Why Should I Attend the Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference? Make the Most of Your 15-Minute Conference Appointments – Cindy Sproles 7 Things to Do NOW to be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes – Edie Melson You Need a Platform – Living A Story- Assignment 3 Redundancy: An Excessive, Oppressive, Pervasive Disease The One Sheet The Bio – The Fragrance of Who You Are Over-Edit? Imagery–When This is Like That Basic Writing and Editing Tips Blog or Website—Which One Does a Writer Really Need? – Edie Melson A Blog about Blogging My Blogging Affair – Terri Webster My GPS Writing Life: “Recalculating” – Elva Cobb Martin Is Your Blog Healthy? Conferences – Finding Direction Navigating Your Writing Success Why Your Writer’s Bio is Valuable Real Estate Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path – Edie Melson So You Were Asked to be a Beta Reader Writing the Perfect Bio Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul 2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers (Critiques) Pray Uniquely Write Right – A Christian Writing Career Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul The Conference is Over – Awe, Man! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada 15 Minute Appointments – Cindy Sproles Break Out of Your Writer’s Cell – Denise Loock Writers Call Out Assignment 3 – Conflict in Every Scene? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Assignment 2 – Gaining Word Count Assignment 1 – Picture Perfect Bio Writing as a Ministry Titles – Terrible or Terrific? How 5 Simple Tips Can Change Everything Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack 10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist Commas – Bethany Kaczmarek Compounds Are Not that Complex – Bethany Kaczmarek Divorce My Words…Never! Get Your Grammar Fix (ed) – What Kind of Mood Are You In, Verb? Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Forms of Dementia Find Your Blog’s Subscriber List and Schedule Email Notifications with Feedburner Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life And Objective Look at Subjectivity My Take on…Creating Villians – Part 2 Mike Dellosso My Take On . . . Villains, Part 1 – Mike Dellosso Chicken Soup for the Soul – Writers Call Out Touching the Spirit of Our Readers Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home First in Fiction – Characters – Aaron Gansky Critiques – No Pain, No Gain Making Time to Rest Writers Call Out The End – Saying Goodbye to a Story Writing’s Circle of Life Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak What’s So Wrong with Waiting? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup Books Emotion – Moving the Reader from Common to Uncommon Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Writing the Best You Can Bringing Security Blankets to Conferences—Tips for the Linus-Writers “Who Wants to Write a Story With Me?” CONTEST! – Mike Dellosso How to Get Amazon Reviews – Eddie Jones Freedom as a Holy Ghost Writer – Edie Melson My Worth Is NOT Determined by My Numbers – Edie Melson An Author’s Responsibilty – Cindy Sproles Call Out for Writers Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers – Author Edie Melson Carolina Christian Writers Conference Chicken Soup Writing Opportunity The Tweet Life, Why Bother with Twitter? Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters – Writing Op How Writing an Article is Like Feeding a Baby – Edie Melson After the Conference…then what? Assignment 5 – Characteristics of a Lazy Writer Assignment 4 – TickyToes@urggggmail.com Assignment 3 – Pack a Punch When You Write Top Ten Authors Southern Writers Awards Boot Camp Free Subscriptions Assignment 2 – Vonda Skelton How to Make an Appointment Why I Should Make an Appointment Keep Your Image Current Top Five Blogspots Be an Encourager – Cindy Sproles Learning the Lingo – Part 4 – Appointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors Learning the Lingo – Part 3 – Publishing Terms Learn the Lingo – Critique Groups – Part 2 Learning the Lingo – Steps to Understand the Art of Writing and Publishing – Part 1 Preparing to Attend a Writers Conference Writing the Perfect Bio Don’t Forget! Writing Opportunity – Zookeepers Ministry Is SEO Dead? – Edie Melson What’s Holding You Back?
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Assignment 3 – Pack a Punch When You Write

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Pack a Punch When You Write

There is more to telling a story than just the story itself. A story can be good but without certain qualities readers are left unfulfilled and frustrated. It’s our job as authors and writers to stir the emotion of the reader, to draw them deep into a plot that leaves them begging to know what will happen. Yet at the same time, never allowing the obvious to occur.

Pulling together a story that packs this kind of punch takes time and crafting. Once you grasp hold of the elements that tie a reader into your work, you’ll have accomplished what many fail to deliver.

Here are five elements that you will help your story pack a punch.

1. Make it relate or resonate with the reader – A story that grabs the heart of the reader allows them connect. We tend to gravitate toward characters whom have some of our own tendencies (even if we don’t speak of them – we love characters that have a tiny bit of “us” in them.) “Find the scab in your heart and scratch it until it bleeds. When the blood comes you’re writing with emotion and true heart.” It takes practice and a certain amount of personal vulnerability to find this quality but once you do. Wow.

2. Stories that pack an punch, teach a deep lessonThose stories we read that continue to gnaw away at us weeks later, have touched a nerve. They’ve us taught a lesson. For example, in Nicholas Sparks’ novel, Message in a Bottle, the lesson is tell those you love about it. Don’t wait. In a fleeting moment life can be snuffed out. After I read this novel, for weeks that message rang deep in my heart. Don’t take for granted life and its length. Regrets are terrible. The story taught a deep lesson and it stayed with me.

3. Stories that pack a punch are honest – Readers aren’t stupid. They don’t enjoy being told how to feel nor do they like a story that doesn’t ring true. The truth is, life is not easy…not for the reader nor should it be for your characters. Veer away from the storybook ending if the lives inside the story are not lending themselves to that. Characters make mistakes and they make choices. More times than not, they should make the same choices a real person would make (which by the way, is rarely the right one). So let your characters experience the truth in life. Let them make mistakes and then set a goal for them to work their way through it. Remember, life is not always a bowl of cherries. Be honest in your storyline.

4. Stories that pack a punch show the good, the bad and the ugly– No one is perfect. Neither is your hero/heroine. Even the good ones have bad qualities and likewise, the worst of the worst will have some vulnerability that makes you, if even for a split second, feel a little bad for them. Let your characters be real. Let their personalities develop and shine. Snow White on her best day was naïve. It worked to her detriment, but it didn’t make us love her any less. In fact, knowing that about her, made us pull for her when she faced conflict. Let your characters be their own person. You’ll be glad you did.

4. Stories that pack a punch leave room for the reader to make their own conclusions – Two things happen to writers. 1) We want to tie everything in a neat bow 2) We want to tell the reader how to feel. But it’s those stories that leave things a “bit unfinished” that bonds a reader to the characters and the story. Life doesn’t always end the way we want it. It’s fun as a reader, to wonder just a bit. Again, Nicholas Sparks does such a wonderful job with this. In his novel, The Notebook, you see Noah lying in the nursing home bed with his wife. The story leads you to see the two went to sleep. But sleep how? Sleep as in death or just asleep for the night. Everything that leads up to this closing allows you to believe they die…but there’s that element of question. Did they? And you don’t find out until you read The Wedding, that Noah in fact did not die. Sparks allowed the reader to make their own conclusion. He didn’t tell them how they should feel or why, but he tied up the story and added an element of mystery.

5. Stories that impact define us – The stories we read and write innately say something about us. They allow us to live in a fantasy for a short time, saying and doing things we’d never do in real life. When a writer builds in these qualities of whimsy and even suspense or mystery, readers sink in and become a deep part of the story, living their own dreams through your character. Find the qualities that help to define you. It may be fear or impulsivity or perhaps something else, but let those things find their way into your characters. You’ll find a certain magic will begins to happen.

Your assignment this week is to take your work in progress…whether fiction or non-fiction and find the elements that make your story grab and hold the reader. What have you done to pack a punch?

Christian Devotions Ministries - www.christiandevotions.us - A 501c3 non-profit organization.
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