Monday, May 5, 2014

Tips Gained at Writers Conference, Part 1

Progress, or at least consistency, has been made. 
In passing the 200th post mark with this article, I found that learning some fresh ideas for blogging to be a timely topic for me. I gleaned some goodness from the Blogging class taught by DeNae Handy at the LDStorymakers Conference 2014. It's never the same as being there and hearing the fun stories accompanying one's notes, but here are some tips anyway. Enjoy!
Blogging: The Writer's Workroom
1. Everything is searchable and public. You cannot use published blog posts for profit elsewhere, so save your special ones for your memoir.
2. Blogging helps the writer: become a better observer, be creative, learn to be concise/brief (as opposed to writing a novel), develop subplots (as we meander into a different subject than when we began), connect with readers (verses the isolation of a novelist), tell engaging stories, expand your readership, lets you practice, discover, and more.
3. Go back and reread a few old posts to see how far you've come and to refreshen your voice.
Great tips, DeNae. Find her blog with funny stories at It's the new-to-me blog of the week.

I decided I better sit in on a Romance Genre class since my upcoming novel is being called a Book of Mormon Romance. Here's some of the pointers Krista Jensen shared:
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
1. Never let the hero and heroine be separated for more than ten pages. (Yeah. I broke that one until the climax. But then my story is more about Karlinah's self-discovery journey with romance as a subplot until the end.)
2. Show them in a variety of settings. (Check.)
3. Put them in a setting where they can't escape each other and must deal with one another. (Check.)
4. Romances have happy endings. (Double check.)

I'll share one more class for today, but look for more tips next week. Jeff Scott Savage gave examples and let the class 'fix' them in The Art of Creating Stronger Stories Through Subtlety. He showed us how to step things up and try something different.
1. Write in ways that 'show-don't tell'. Avoid thought verbs, using SO (She was so angry that...), and shortcuts. They 'tell'.
2. Keep foreshadowing subtle enough that readers don't know it's there until later.
3. Use misdirecton. Reader is lead to think a certain thing will happen but changes instead.
4. Avoid the obvious by not writing the first thing that comes to mind. What are the options?

Good stuff, eh? 


kbrebes said...

Nice tips, Renae! Thanks!! I enjoyed seeing you at conference.

Renae W. Mackley said...

Now if we can only implement them. I enjoyed seeing you too, Kathleen.

Maria Hoagland said...

Thanks for sharing your notes!! Now if I could figure out how to avoid "thinking" verbs in women's fiction where so much of it is internal and in close 1st person, so she doesn't know what everyone else is thinking or feeling. Did he give any suggestions about how to do that? I wish I could have attended Storymakers this year, but at least I got your notes!

Tera Mecham said...

Great tips on blogging. Thanks for sharing!

Renae Mackley said...

Maria, Jeff referred to this post called "Unpacking Thought Verbs" by Chuck Palahniuk. Go to He has a few examples worth studying. Good luck!
Thanks, Tera!