Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I learned

So as some of you know I recently attended LDS Storymakers Conference. A few posts before I mentioned that I would post what I learned at that conference. Well, now I'm finally getting around to doing it. I learned a butt load of useful information and it would take an incredible amount of time to write everything, so I'll just share a few.
1. I need to be careful with info dumps at the beginning of my stories.  The story needs to move and keep the reader's interest, not overload them with the past.
2. Instead of telling how someone felt or what their reaction was, show it.  For example;
She was stunned when she noticed the lock was missing.
Okay... How about this;
Her breath caught in her throat when she noticed the lock was missing.
Better?  This is only a simple example.  There are several ways to write how someone is stunned, but I hope you get the idea.
3. Don't start every sentence with I, or She, or the name of the character. (It will depend on your POV)  This is something I need to work on.
4. If you're going to write action novels make sure you put your character in realistic situations.  If you have your character escaping from being duct tape to a chair, then duct tape yourself to a chair and see how you can get out. Don't have them doing impossible things just because it sounds cool. Act out their fight scenes so you don't have them ending up twisted in a heap on the ground.
5. There are many rules to writing fantasy.  I can't go into it all now, but make sure your fantasy hero isn't all powerful with their magic.  They have to have a weakness.

Anyway, as I said, there are tons more things I could write, but it would take too long and I have kids that need to get to bed.
I hope I was of some help in sharing what I now know.
Have a fantabulous day!

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Something Silly

When I was a kid--about ten or eleven--I would go to bed with my purple alarm clock/radio under my pillow. Why you ask? My pillow muffled the music I would listen to as I would fall asleep (My parents didn't like it when I listened to music late at night).
I remember one particular night a song came on that made me cry.  I cried through the entire song. I now look back at that memory and laugh. The song still makes me teary-eyed, and when I'm done getting emotional I laugh at myself. How is it that a song about clowns can make someone cry? 'Send In The Clowns' has such a soulful melody, it wouldn't matter what the lyrics were.
Goes to show how music can influence our souls. Pin It

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Dynamite Day

(Note: If you haven't read the post before this one, do so.  I wouldn't want to confuse you)

What I'd really like to do is rush into telling you my fantabulously (yes, it's a word--at least in my world it is--I always use it) news, but, that won't do.  I have to started at the beginning of the day.  It began with dragging my husband out of bed so he could drive me to the writer's conference (We had plans afterwards and I didn't want to drive home separately).  I hurried into the building, found my ANWA (American Night Writer's Association) friends and began the day of classes.  After an awesome class taught by Julie Wright I headed into the ballroom for lunch.
I hadn't realized how much time I spent talking with someone until I entered the crowded room.  While I searched for my friends, people were raising their hands to indicate to those coming in late that there were seats left at their table.  One man looked directly at me and pointed at a seat across from him.  I felt a bit stunned and intimidated because the seat he was pointing to was next to the MC and all those in charge of the whole shindig.  I wanted to sit with friends, but after having eye contact with someone who was expecting me to sit where he indicated I didn't want to be rude and move on, so I obeyed like a good little girl and sat.
One of the ladies next to me was frantically writing things down on a note pad, so I asked if she was presenting something during lunch.  She informed me she would be announcing the 1st Chapter Contest then she asked my name.  I replied, then she asked if I entered the contest.  I told her I did and she said, "I thought your name sounded familiar."  Then a few minutes later she stepped up onto the stage to make the announcements.
To my astonishment my name showed up on the screen.  My novel "Amanda Who?" won 3rd place in the suspense category!  WAHOO!  I was so stunned I think my brain was left in my seat when I mechanically walked up to receive my award.  I was on cloud 11 and a half all the rest of the day.
So, now I am an Award Winning Writer.
Who'da thunk.

After the dynamite day was nearing the end I found Anne Perry (the Author I mention in the previous post) sitting in the lobby of the hotel where this conference was held.  I approached her and asked if I could speak with her.  She warmly invited me in and I told her that her speech had helped me discover what I loved (see post below).  She noticed my portfolio and asked if she could look through it.  She was the first person in a long time to really look at my artwork.  She pointed at everyone and mentioned something about the expressions and feeling it brought with it.  She loved each one then gave me a challenge--to draw older people.  It's something that I've wanted to do for some time, but hadn't got around to doing it.  So, hopefully you will start to see artwork of older people, though not for a while.  I have editing to do.
My visit with Anne Perry was just as rewarding as winning the contest.  Her eyes were kind and her spirit was warm, wise, and loving.  I hope someday I can reflect the same feeling she does.  She is a great lady and it was a privileged to talk with her.
I truly have been blessed. Pin It

Friday, May 10, 2013

What I learn and love

Today was another incredible day--so incredible I feel like my smile is permanent--kinda like I received botox (not that I have any experience with it, ha!).  Yesterday started my greatly anticipated weekend at LDS Storymakers conference.  I had the privilege of being instructed by Traci Abramson (to see her books go to the link below on the right) at boot camp.  My group loved my book and helped me to know what to improve on.  I was able to pick Traci's brain to get the much needed info about FBI and CIA that could make or break my novel.  Now I know what not to write and what to change.
This morning started off with a school reunion of sorts.  I showed up for classes and found several people I went to high school with who all decided to become writers.  I learned from awesome authors about character building, POV, query letters, how to make my story vivid and clear, and what makes a good love story.
I was able to meet and laugh with several authors.  While we ate, I almost knocked a tray from a servers hands that stood behind me.  I really should tone down my hand gestures--but at least everyone at the table was laughing. :) (I really had no idea what was going on behind me).
And the coolest part of the day was the keynote speaker; Anne Perry.  She spoke about writing what you love and helping others through writing.  She also spoke about finding the one thing that you love.  Anne loved the way the light touched the water, which I thought was cool because I have spent countless hours watching the light dance across the waves or a raindrops sliding down the window.  I love the color and light in our world.  So when she mentioned what she loved I pondered on what I love.
I found it.
Before I tell you what it is I have to tell you what happened this morning.
Lately I have been listening to hymns as I drive around town, but this morning I tuned into FM 100 for a change.  The next song came on and I instantly thought of my daughter and started to cry.  The song is one that I have always sung to her.  It's our song.  She is the reason I began this writing path in life so hearing this song while I drove toward a day full of dreams made me smile.
The song; When I See You Smile, by Bad English.
While Anne Perry spoke of finding what you love I realized I knew it this morning.  Of course my family is what I love, but she wasn't talking about who you love, but what you love.
I love the way someones eyes react to a smile.  I love smiles and the light in peoples eyes.  Maybe that's why eyes in my drawings are my favorite.
So, my friends... I pass on Anne Perry's challenge and find what you love. Pin It

Sunday, May 5, 2013

In memory of Miss Karen.
You will be missed by many.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

The latest news

There has been a ton going on over the last month.  All of which is pretty stinkin' amazing.  My good friend that I haven't had the privilege for many years to visit with, booked a plane ticket with me.  Where are we going?
First we will fly to London, spend a few days there, then drive--yes, drive (you read it right)--to a small town called Mildenhall where my ancestors are from.  Then on to York where I'll stay at my first English Bed and Breakfast.  My friend and I will drive to Edinburgh, Scotland, see some castles there, and drive up to Loch Ness.  Do you think Nessy will pose for a picture for me?
After that, we will drive back to Edinburgh and fly back to London, then home.  The part about this whole trip that makes me most nervous is the round-a-bouts.  Maybe I should start practicing driving on the left side of the road a few times before I leave. ;)
Why am I going to the UK?
RESEARCH!  I've got a book I've just started and I need to visit some castles before I can really get into it.  It's a murder mystery set in a castle in England.  The murders happened centuries before and the ghosts still haunt its walls.  Cool huh?!

As for my other news that's just as exciting (possibly even more so)...
I have a publisher looking at my manuscript!  I don't know if anything will come of it, but I can't help but feel I've been guided in all this.  I will keep you all updated on what happens, but it won't be for at least another month before I hear anything back from them.  Just know that since speaking with the publisher I've been doing the happy dance inside my head for the last month.

Next week I will be downloading bucket loads of info at a writer's conference, so I'll let you know what I've learned from it.  I expect it will be quite rewarding. Pin It

My Bio

From childhood Christine Walter has been bombarded with stories playing out in her mind.  She never imagined she could write until one day she began what was to be a short twenty page illustrated story for her three children that turned into a good size fantasy novel.  From there she’s written many books and has hopes to publish them all.  She recently placed third in the First Chapter Contest at the LDS Storymakers Conference in 2013Christine spends most of her free time drawing, painting murals and backdrops for church projects and floats for parades, making chocolates for friends, playing the piano, and playing with family.  Her dream is to one day own enough land to have a cow, a pig and some chickens and watch her children grow.
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What's up

Hey howdy hey.  Glad you could stumble upon my corner of the world wide web.
If you're here, you're probably looking for some news on my books.  So I will start from the beginning, since that is always the best place to start.
Two years ago I began what was to be a short illustrated story for my daughter.  73,000 words later I had a novel.  The minute I finished it I began another story... then another... then another.  Honestly I think I'm obsessed.
I now have six completed manuscripts, one 3/4 the way through, one just started and several more ideas.  I can't write fast enough.  I don't count the first book I wrote.  When I reread it put a 'condemned' sign on it and put it from my mind until I have time to rewrite.
I've learned loads since starting this new chapter in my life, and I owe it all to my daughter.  She was my inspiration.

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