Saturday, December 6, 2014

Elizabeth Maddrey Gives us Her Writing Tip of the Day

Have you ever dreamed of being a writer? Many try, but few survive. Dreams vanish because of trying to follow so many directions that often the writer finds it overwhelming and stops trying.

Elizabeth Maddrey, author and Virginia area coordinator for American Christian Fiction Writers (#ACFW), visits the Writing with God's Hope blog today with a writing tip and news of her new release.

Writing Tip: Finding What Works For You


So many people dream of being a writer, it’s probable that you’ve run into a handful of them over the course of your life. And for those of us who decide to take that dream a bit farther and see if we can’t transform it into a reality, chances are the first thing we do is buy (or check out from the library) a stack of writing books that tell us how to be a writer. Delving into those books, you’re likely to be inundated with six different “right” and “only” ways to be a writer. And, if you’re like me, you’ll dutifully try them, one after the next. And none of them will fit very well.


And that’s the point where you will hopefully realize that, as with the majority of life (with the notable exception of hats) there’s no one-size-fits-all in writing. The mechanisms and methodologies that work for one person may not work for you. And that’s okay.


Maybe for you that’s not news. If that’s the case, you’re way ahead of me. It took me years (seriously – years!) to realize that I didn’t have to follow any particular prescription for writing. It wasn’t like a course of antibiotics that needed to be finished if it was going to work properly. It was okay to try something and switch to something else when I realized that whatever I was doing didn’t work for me. That realization, when I finally had it, was amazingly freeing. And that’s why I’m taking the time to share it here.


There are a lot of great things that can come from a long, detailed outline complete with timeline and twenty-page character outlines. You’ll know everything about your plot and your characters backward and forward and diagonally. But, if you’re me, by the time you’ve assembled a two-inch binder of paper planning a novel, you’ll be so sick of that plot and those people that you won’t be able to abide the thought of spending any more time with them.


For me, what works is to just sit down and write. But that doesn’t work for everyone, either. Some people can sit and stare at a blank Word document for hours on end and never come up with a word to type. They need that structure, the outline, the character profiles, the Pinterest page full of actor and model photos and outfits etc.


And then there are the people who split the difference. They do a little plotting and then write. Or they write a little then take a break and do some plotting. Or they have a wall full of post-it notes that have ideas written on them…the possibilities are endless.


So that’s my best piece of writing advice: find what works for you. Read the books. Try the various methods. Keep the parts that resonate and throw out the pieces that make you cringe. And then keep working and refining your process until you’re able to sit down and enjoy letting the words come through your fingers onto the page into the book that you’ve always wanted to write. And be aware (and excited about the idea!) that your process may change with time. Mine has – because I keep reading the books and trying new methods and refining my workflow. Being a writer is a fluid thing. And that’s one of the things I love about it.

Thank you, Elizabeth. That's wise advice.

Now, tell us about your new release Love Defined.

Dreams Change. Plans Fail.


July and Gareth have reached the end of their infertility treatment options.  With conflicting feelings on adoption, they struggle to discover common ground in their marriage.


Meanwhile, July's twin sister, June, and her husband, Toby, are navigating the uncertainties of adoption and the challenges of new parenthood.


How much stretching can their relationships endure before they snap?

Sounds very interesting and the cover is beautiful. Since your book released this week, give us the link where we can purchase it.
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website or on Facebook:
Here's three other ways to find Elizabeth online. 
Twitter: @elizabethmaddre
 Thank you for visiting Writing with God's Hope blog today. Good luck with the new book. I see you also have two other books available,
Faith Departed  and Hope Deferred. Those viewing this post might want to check those books out as well.
Is there any would-be writers out there struggling with following everyone's advice?

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