Saturday, October 17, Stacy Monson and Brenda Anderson organized the first annual Fall Harvest of Books at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth, Minnesota. Well, they didn’t exactly wait until Saturday to organize, but the event was put together quickly. The idea started as a book launch for Stacy’s Dance of Grace (second in her Chain of Lakes Series) and for Brenda’s Hungry for Home (the conclusion of her Coming Home Series). When they invited other authors they knew to join them, the thing exploded. In the end we had thirteen authors and between one and two hundred attendees. (We were all too busy to count!) Besides the Facebook event page and the links we all made to that, the event was featured on the local Christian radio station.
MN-NICE ACFW October 2015 - - Delores Topliff
“Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there.” ~ American novelist, Thomas Berger (1924-)
Creating a scene is like setting up camera shots, or combining elements and style for paintings:
Writing Styles: Simple Realism (literal and concrete) - Grandma Moses, Andrew Wyeth
In several Minnesota NICE meetings we have heard references to the Scrivener writing program. Some people seem to be intimidated by its huge capabilities. But you don’t have to use all of them to find the program useful. I am by no means an authority, but I love what I can do with Scrivener. In our August Minnesota NICE meeting I led members through a hands-on session to get to know Scrivener and hopefully get over their confusion. Obviously, this blog won’t work for a hands-on session, but perhaps I can start you on your way.
Pat Trainum (who writes as Patricia Bradley) was the speaker for our May meeting. Here are her notes on plotting and planning.
Are you a Plotter or Panster or Tweener?
Plotter: Outlines every scene, labels them action/reaction, has an Excel spreadsheet listing each scene, has ever plot point (turning point) fixed. That’s not to say his characters can’t suddenly surprise him and take the story in another direction, but when it does, he goes back and re-outlines. Her joy comes in the outlining. This is where she discovers her story.
by LeAnne Hardy
Nineteen Niceies gathered May 1-3 for the first annual Minnesota Nice Writer’s Retreat. We met in the woods on a lake at Camp Lebanon, near Little Falls, Minnesota. No agenda. Just computers, fellow writers and of course, chocolate.
Our August 2014 chapter meeting was packed with news to celebrate and a wealth of information on solid fiction writing practices and the publication process.
Congratulations to Michelle Lim, who has received two requests from publishers for full manuscripts, and to Gabrielle (sorry I didn't catch Gabrielle's last name), who is now under contract for two novellas. We also shout a hearty "bravo" to our own Chawna Schroeder, winner of the 2014 Save Our Synopsis contest!
This month, we were privileged to have as our guest speaker Julie Klassen's editor Karen Schurrer. During her career as fiction line editor for Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Karen has edited such bestselling authors as Tamera Alexander, Kristen Heitzmann, Karen Hancock, Patrick Carr, Karen Witemeyer, and of course our own Julie Klassen, among others.
Karen shared insight on such topics as how to make a good impression through your proposals and at writing conferences, what to expect while working with an editor during the publishing process, and what she looks for in a novel. The wealth of knowledge and experience she brought to us was enhanced by her down-to-earth, friendly nature. After her presentation, she lingered to chat with group members about all aspects of publishing, showing genuine interest in authors at every stage of the process.
To read a detailed account of the six elements Karen listed as components of a great novel, check out this post at Light's Scribe blog. Also, here is an informative interview with Karen.