Writing Believable Bilingual Characters

Today and over the next few weeks I thought I might take you behind the scenes in the fiction writng process. Sharing some things I’ve learned along the way.

Casa-Bernal_-452How can you create bilingual characters in dialog? How do you write in a language you don’t know? Let me share how I did it and what not to do. And the fine line to clarity.

When I discovered a few of my secondary characters either did not speak English or it was their second language, I wanted to help my readers understand them and appreciate their ethnic differences. Adding portions of another language to my manuscript could make things interesting. The trick is not to add too much. I’d learned from other writes not to write my dialog exactly as I hear others around me speak. That goes double when writing dialog spoken by bilingual speakers. Trust me—don’t. It is difficult enough to decipher some pieces of conversation where the syntax is different or words are mispronounced. Put that in writing and your reader will be confused enough to stop reading. I recall years ago when my son was required to read Shiloh for his English class. He asked me to read it out loud to him. The author had put thick accents into his southern dialog, and there were times I had to stop and explain what the words meant.

The trick is sprinkling dialog with an accent rather than recreating the accent syllable by syllable. Although the Irish speak English, it sounds different. As my heroine Evangeline reflects on her late friend an Irish woman. She recalls her brogue. Using the word brogue lets the reader hear the accent. Adding words like lassie and ye into the conversation nails it without overdoing the speech pattern.

“I saw ye in a new place with large mountains and wide plains, and the wind was blowing your hair. Your face be more serene than I had ever seen it afore. Ye seemed younger, and love glowed from your eyes, the love a woman has for a man.”

Sprinkle in the second language

In my current novel a few of my minor characters are Mexican. I wanted to add a line here and there to flavor the scenes in Spanish. I went to a language translator on the internet to quickly add what I needed. Once my rough draft was finish, I showed those lines to my Mexican daughter-in-law and her family. They explained the need to change the wording because it wasn’t Mexican. And based on few scenarios, a more informal exchange was needed. Spanish has several dialects, and what I found on the internet was a more formal European Spanish.

Balance is the key. My Mexican housekeeper character mixes her languages.

“Mija, you’re going to break the chair. Stop sitting like a boy; try to sit like a lady.”

Listen carefully to those bilingual speakers around you, and then modify your dialogue to touch on it

Why did I make sure the translation was accurate?

Because readers who know Spanish would be taken out of the story if the language is wrong. Rather than have a lot of Spanish, I have the Mexican characters say a line in Spanish and another character react in English so the reader can follow the conversation. In this snippet our heroine practices her Spanish on her neighbor’s maid. We can tell by the neighbor’s remark what she said.

“Su pastel seve delicioso, muchas gracias.” Evangeline smiled as she spoke to Maria.

“I see you have picked up Spanish. That is a good way to keep these people on their toes. But there is no need to thank Maria; she is only doing what she is paid to do.” Thomas remarked.

Implied language

When it came to my Chinese characters, I opted for a more implied scenario. Wong Mae greets Evangeline as she enters her dry goods store. Here is a portion of their conversation.

On hearing Selena’s name, she turned to the older man, speaking in what Evangeline assumed was Chinese. The exchange between the two had a melodic quality.

“I am Wong Mae, and this is my father, Wong Chow. We hold Miss Selena in high regard. She is kind and brings us much business from the households of the white ranchers. If she is your friend, you are ours. My father did not know Mr. Marcum married. He says to give you the best price on anything in the store.”

Notice how the translation is all we read. That way I didn’t have to worry about incorrect translation. If these were main characters, I would probably have added Chinese dialog. I wanted to establish their nationality and their position in the community rather than a deeper characterization.

Introduction through dialog

Even without describing your character you can introduce their ethnicity. Selena the housekeeper is introduce through dialog.

“Good Morning, Selena.”

“Buenas Dias, Senor.”

Later more details are given regarding her character, but for a brief moment the reader can visualize a Spanish woman in the kitchen preparing breakfast.

 red dragon

Introducing language through setting

Describing setting can also give the writers a feel for the language. Evangeline visits a dry goods store run by the Wong family. As Evangeline enters town, she observes the distinctive Chinese flavor of the store fronts in one area of town. The dragon bedecked door sets the Wong’s store apart from any other shop. Instantly, the reader expects to enter the store and be greeted in Chinese.

Remember only touch on the accent

Decide what part of an accent flavors it without creating confusion. My other daughter-in-law is Filipina. (Yes we are an international family.) The syntax of the English language comes out different from her and all my other Filipino friends. Let’s create a short dialog to see how it might sound.

“Madam, see this sale. A buy one take one.” Ana held up her two pair of sandals.

“Nice. But what will your husband say? You already have a lot of shoes.”

Sharon’s question deflated the Filipino girl’s joy.

Ana did not look at her friend for a moment. A smile formed on her lips. “She knows I love shoes.” Her eyes anxious. “It’s okay, ma’am. Don’t worry.” Ana reached inside another bag, her smile regaining its sparkle.

“Look at the watches. I got three pieces for twenty dollars. See, beautiful.”

Sharon determined not to quench her friend’s one real joy by further rebuke.

Immediately it appears there is a typo. Shouldn’t she be he? The term husband usually refers to men. However, the Tagalog language and all the dialects of the Philippines have no pronouns. So often when my daughter-in-law is referring to a man she may slip and say she or her. Pronouns are a confusing part of the English language even after speaking it since grade school. So I would opt not to use this quirk unless the confusion aided in the plot. And it would have to be well-established early on for readers.

But the use of less common English words would give the same feel. Filipinos refer to buy one get one free as buy one take one. Rather than say there are six, its six pieces. Part of the culture is to refer to women as madam and men as sir. Yes ma’am is very common. So we capture her speech pattern in a way not to confuse the reader.

Lastly, let me recommend some great books from experts. For a more in-depth look at dialog check out James Scott Bell’s book How to Write Dazzling Dialogue: the Fastest Way to Improve Your Manuscript. DiAnn Mills The Dance of Character and Plot is another great reference.

How do you capture the essence of your characters?

I would love to have you join me on my writing journey. Follow my blog by clicking a link on the right. You can follow me on FB and Twitter as well.

 

Posted in character description, writing tips | 2 Comments

Writers/Bloggers World Tour continues with John Turney

Whew, John Turney grabbed the last rung of the railing on the caboose to stay on the writers bloggers tour. He got derailed by an internet shutdown on his end but managed to get reroute and a little delayed. Check out his post at www.facebook.com/InnocentBloodEquinoxOfReckoning.

Author John Turney

Author John Turney

John is not only an author but an exceptional artist as well. His books are edgy and his answers to our four questions are insightful.

His latest novel Whiskey Sunrise is available for preorder.

Take time to peruse the pinterest board for the writer blog tour.

http://www.pinterest.com/cmcadamsmoore/writerblogger-world-tour/

There’s some great books available or coming soon to add to your must-read list. They cover a variety of genres and non-fiction niches.

Posted in Interview, Uncategorized, Writers/Bloggers Tour, writing tips | 1 Comment

Check Out These Links For The Writers/Bloggers Tour

I wanted to post a couple of links today for those who are following the Writers/Bloggers World tour I’m on. Carol McAdams Moore is next up.

Check out the Pinterest Page Carol McAdams Moore has post so you can check out all the different writers on this tour. http://www.pinterest.com/cmcadamsmoore/writerblogger-world-tour/

Carol McAdams Moore_Author PhotoDon’t forget to stop at Carol’s blog, the next part of our tour.
http://carolmcadamsmoore.blogspot.com/2014/07/writerblogger-world-tour-this-is-how-i.html

Every writer on this tour answers those four questions differently. You’ll learn some interesting things about them and find some awesome books to purchase as well. If you’re in the mood to try something different. Follow my post backward starting with Gloria Doty and see who went before me.You’ll find some wonderful posts on a variety of subjects not all writing related.Your sure to find a new blog to follow along the way.

Post Your thoughts: What was something interesting you learned  while checking out the other author blogs and what books are now on your to read list?

 

 

Posted in Interview, teaching writing, Uncategorized, value writing, Writers/Bloggers Tour, writing tips | Leave a comment

Writer/Blogger World Tour: This is how I do it

 

When author Gloria Doty asked me to join this writers/blogger virtual world tour I hesitated for just a moment. Being part of such a great group is an honor. Jumping on this tour is a cool opportunity. Gloria authored the award winning book cIt shares her thirty year journey with her daughter Kalisha’s autism, Asperger’s and intellectual disabilities. Gloria shares her writing gift in a variety of publications.

Author Gloria Doty

Author Gloria Doty

Visit her blog, Montage Moments at: www.writingbygloria.com

Friend her on Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gloria.doty.98

Or follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/detour27

 

During this tour each Writer/blogger is asked to answer four questions about their writing journey. There are no right answers. (That’s a relief.) So, I chose to share insights from my non-fiction writing as well as my current novel. I promise to be brief.

What am I working on?

My WIP is a historical romance. Secrets and Charades takes place in 1873. And the plot has many secrets and some interesting charades. (Did you catch my cleverness… any who.) Envision a female doctor running from her past by agreeing to be a mail order bride. Add an unsuspecting rancher with his own secrets and life gets complicated. I am working with my editors to whip it into shape. I have a contemporary romance novel in bits and pieces on my computer working title New Duet dealing with emotional abuse and PTSD. I have some flash fiction, devotionals and articles in my writing cue. I love doing book reviews and interviewing other authors for my blog. Just finished being a Beta reader for an up and coming thriller. That’s fun.

How does my work differ from other genres?

That is a subjective question. I write a lot like others do. My characters speak to me and I listen. A scripture or a situation opens my heart to a devotional. Skits are often formulated based on the ability of the actors. I guess I write from the heart more than the head.

Why do I write what I do?

Is it lame to say—because I must? Stories don’t let go until they’re in print. Some ideas don’t make it past the gatekeepers of my mind. Others find their way to paper. Everything I write whether it’s a novel, a short story or an article I want to honor God by giving my best.

How does your writing process work?

An idea sparks in my mind. I let it ruminate. While in the shower I talk through scenes, interview my characters. (Hey, no on hears me in there.) Secrets and Charades was a seat of the pants story. New Duets has a little more planning. Both required research, research, research. I spent a few months reading all sorts of books on women in the 1800s, especially doctors and diaries of homesteaders and settlers for Secrets and Charades. I interviewed re-enactors, visited museums, and the library was my friend. You can find stuff on the internet but not the details a book can give you. Much of what I read never made it into my book. When I write articles I do research too. Often I outline, tape interviews and take lots of notes. Scripts and skits are based on themes and may evolve as they are performed.

 

Now that you’ve heard my answers check out my two writing friends. I love what they share about their writing life.

John Turney is a mild-manner engineer by day with a wonderful wife and two grown sons. When he slips on his writer’s cape he pens fiction full of action and intrigue. He loves writing flash fiction which has appeared in Splickety magazine. John will be releasing his award winning second book Whiskey Sunrise soon. His debut novel Innocent Blood: Equinox of Reckoning a page turning fantasy is available on Amazon and his website.

Author John Turney

Author John Turney

Follow John on his Arthur page: My Facebook author page is https://www.facebook.com/InnocentBloodEquinoxOfReckoning

Book links:

Innocent Blood Published by Oak Tara

Whiskey Sunrise Published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas

 

Carol McAdams Moore writes for children and youth in the Christian and general markets. Her debut tween devos – Dare U 2 Open This Book and Just Sayin’ - will be released by Zonderkidz in October 2014. Additional writing credits include work for David C. Cook; Urban Ministries, Inc.; Christian Education Warehouse; Clubhouse; Clubhouse, Jr.; LifeWay magazines; and The Christian Communicator.

Her desire is that every child will answer Jesus’ call and discover God’s purpose for his or her own life. Carol McAdams Moore prays that they will discover . . . Jesus more amazing than we can imagine! ! !

Carol McAdams Moore_Author Photo

Carol McAdams Moore

Get to know Carol better, visit her online.

Blog  http://carolmcadamsmoore.blogspot.com/

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/Carol.McAdams.Moore
Website    www.carolmcadamsmoore.com

Twitter    @CMcAdamsMoore

Pinterest    http://www.pinterest.com/cmcadamsmoore/

Visit Carol and John’s blog posts next Monday, July 21st to learn their answers. Why not grab a book while you’re there. :)

 

 

 

Posted in Interview, teaching writing, value writing, writing tips | 7 Comments

Author’s Anonymous Great Example of A Bad Critique Group

people meeting around table

This past Sunday I rented the comedy Author Anonymous because the premise intrigued me. Here we have six wanna-be writers in a writers group. Each a stereo-type of the worst type of critique group participant. The movie is a tongue-in-cheek documentary with scenes ranging from funny to ridiculous.

Cast of characters

Alan, a dentist, started the group because his wife Colette has a passion to get published. He admits he isn’t really a writer, but rather an idea guy. He records ideas for plots and character names on his hand-held recorder as the thoughts come. He never finishes anything. As the founder he leads the group with no real ability of his own.

Colette, a full-time stay at home writer. She has no kids, no responsibilities and it appears no real writing talent. Writing flowery, ridiculous erotic love scenes that book publishers keep rejecting. These rejection letters give her a neuroses of self-abasement that leads her to do foolish things to get agents attention.

John, a retiree is very opinionated and self-absorbed. He considers himself the next Tom Clancy. He too knows nothing about writing.

Henry suffers from writer’s block. He is a gifted writer but is often distracted by life and the newest member of the group Hannah. Henry reads extensively and can quote lines from Hemingway and the like.

William keeps bringing the same three pages. He is unemployed and always borrowing money from the group. Sleazy best describes him.

Hannah is the newbie. She took writing classes but has no college degree and feels inferior to the others in the group. She also is not a reader.

Check out Author Anonymous trailer: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/video/download/00051273/

What these characters teach us

Other than William, who is truly the most undesirable member, we can learn from the other characters.

Let’s start with Alan. His heart is in the right place. He pursues writing because he loves his wife. Being supportive does not mean you have to join a group together. It takes a special grace to accept critiques from your spouse. Starting a group to benefit someone you love is honorable but not really helpful. Leaders need to have a passion for the craft that propels them to a higher level. This passion encourages those in the group to grow as well.

Wanna-be Colette thrives on compliments. She wants to be the first published. And she breaks all the rules of networking and meeting publishers and agents. The results of her actions hurt her marriage and her credibility. We all start out as wanna-bes. It’s how we follow the road to success that can make or break us. Follow the example of successful writers who have gone before you. Don’t worry about whether you are the first to be published in your group or the last. Enjoy the journey.

Henry decorated his walls with rejection letters. Because of his writers block he comes to meeting after meeting with no pages. The group feels cheated because of the one-sided participation of Henry. Once he gets his priorities straight the words flow, and he eventually gets a publishing contract. Rejections and writers block are part of a writer’s life. How we handle it is the key. Write no matter what. Even uninspired words get us moving in the right direction. Take those uninspired pages to your group. Their input can unlock inspiration. Rejection letters are better than no response at all. If you are lucky, there may even be helpful advice or edits included in one of those letters.

Hannah is the most unrealistic character of all. She writes but does not read. She gets an agent and a contract right out the gate. To add insult to injury for the rest of the group, she gets a movie rights contract and a best-selling author to mentor her. And still she does not read. Writers who do not read are not the best writers. Ask any best-selling author what he reads and his list is extensive and varied. Writers can glean so much reading others works. Whether it is old classics or the latest top ten.

Attitude is everything

The reaction of the group to Hannah’s success can sadly be true. The other group members put on fake smiles and celebrate her good fortune. But walls come up. Everyone becomes jealous of Hannah, refusing to critique her work. They no longer want to help her improve her writing. (Getting a contract is only one rung on the ladder to success. Don’t be small about helping with needed editing.)

John, the guy with the giant ego becomes so jealous he goes the vanity publication route. No way is he going to let the newbie get published first. His book is printed in China and is available in a few weeks. The back cover is written in Chinese and the front cover of his novel Roaring Lion features a barking Chuhuahua. Although vanity publishing isn’t quite this bad, it can be pretty awful. Full of typos and lacking professional editing with odd covers and incorrect back cover information. (Let me clarify, I am not referring to self-publishing which is becoming an accepted route if done properly, i.e., well-written and edited manuscripts.) John’s book is published prematurely with no real marketing plan or network leads. His home is full of boxes of unsold books. He becomes bitter.

Jealousy makes the group toxic and ends with its demise. Critique members need to guard their hearts and seek to encourage each other to do their best and reach their goals. Giving sincere praise and encouragement when others are successful.

Let’s summarize

Critique groups fail or succeed based on the attitude of the group. Leaders should have a passion about writing and helping other writers. Their feet should be doing a happy dance for every success in the group. Newbies should feel nurtured but challenged to improve their skills. Sleazy people should be ejected from the group. And those who are only playing around as writers will leave on their own as the group continues to challenge one another.

I have been part of a wonderful critique group Word Weavers for almost four years. Click here to learn more about them.

Tell me what you love about your critique group?

 

TADA! Time to  announce the winner for last weeks Give-away. An autograph copy of John Turney’s novel Innocent Blood: Equinox of Reckoning is: Mary Deborah Dornedon. Congratualtions! Innocent Blood

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Interview With Author John Turney And Book Giveaway

Author John Turney

Author John Turney

 

 

I am welcoming to my blog today my friend and awesome author John Turney. I mentioned him in a previous blog as an author who followed writer’s guidelines before pitching a story idea. He got his book contracts at Write-To-Publish so he seemed like someone we should get to know. When he’s not wearing his writer’s superhero cape he works as a CAD Technician for a pharmaceutical company in Ohio. Simply put he is an engineer. He’s had several articles published in e-zines as well as several flash fiction in Splickety Magazine. He attends Liberty Heights Church with his wife. They have two grown sons. Before we get started with this interview John has offered to send a copy of his book to one lucky winner who comments on my blog.

Cindy Huff: John is a delight to have you with us today. I just recently finished reading Innocent Blood and was drawn into the epic story. I felt like a movie playing before my eyes. Now, briefly tell us about your book for those who have not read it.

John Turney: My first novel is Innocent Blood: Reckoning of Equinox and was published by OakTara in 2013. Based on the Celtic legends of Halloween, it’s the tale of a young man—a college student—who has his life mapped out. When events force him to look at his plans, he has to decide if he’s going to pursue his dreams or make the sacrifice to do what’s right.

CH: Tell me, why did you choose to use Halloween as the place in time? That day is not very popular within Christian circles.

JT: First, I love the Fall. Foliage comes alive in multiple colors. Football. Warm days blend into cool nights. Football. Wearing jean jackets. Did I mention football?

CH:Okay, okay we got that you love football. You’ve even added a football player as the enemy of your hero, not to mention a pivotal scene taking place on the grid iron. Sorry, I am just so excited about your novel. Continue please.

JT: Second, when the church avoids something—whether it’s a style of music, a people group because they’re not like us, or a particular holiday—it creates a spiritual vacuum. Rather than ignore Halloween, we should embrace it without embracing its darker elements. Give out candy, and not the cheap stuff. You might even have something for the parents as well. Have a Harvest Party at church and invite the neighborhood to your church for the event. Have goodies for the kids, perhaps bouncy houses, face painting, puppet shows and so on. Have fun with it. Instead of being against something, be for something.

So I chose Halloween, introduced some of its Celtic elements and wrote a story where the protagonist stands against the darkness. For the last 2,000+ years, the church has stood against the darkness of its time. We need to do so today. As a writer, this is one way I can do that.

CH: Good point. I appreciate your candor. Now, I have to know. As a mild-mannered engineer where did you learn about karate, sword fighting, police procedure, dwarfs, elves and the walking dead. And let’s not forget believable fight scenes.

JT: One writing motto is “write what you know.” However, if you don’t know something, then you can learn. And we live at a time where learning—or research—can be done by anyone, anywhere at any time. The internet provides a rich source of materials to help learn. For example, the internet offers videos of men and women in armor fighting with various swords. And they give explanations of the various moves. So I spent several hours watching these videos. I may not be able to physically handle a sword, but I learned how it was done. I’m not a cop, but I attend a writer’s conference (Mad Anthony in Hamilton, Ohio) that one year took its conferees to a community college that trains cops. Another year, it had three women from the TV show Police Women of Cincinnati explaining the ins and outs of their jobs. Other years various police agencies have sent officers to explain their duties. I also attended Lee Lofland’s Writers Police Academy and read his blog “The Graveyard Shift.” This weekend, I will be touring the crime lab in Columbus, Ohio with a Sisters in Crime writers’ group. If you don’t know something, go forth and learn. As to the elves, dwarves and the undead, I signed a nondisclosure agreement not to divulge their locations or how to contact them. They’re very private, so I respect that.

 CH: Why base Innocent Blood in Ohio?

I based Innocent Blood in the southwest region of Ohio. At one time, Cincinnati had a large influx of both Irish and German peoples. So with, the Celtic culture comprised of western and northern Europe, it just seemed a good fit to start the series there. Plus I live there, and the cost for visiting potential sites for settings was much cheaper.

CH: The conclusion of Innocent Blood leads right into a sequel without missing a heartbeat. When is that coming out?

JT: I don’t have a date from Oak Tara the publishers of Innocent Blood regarding the sequel. But I will tell you this: Patrick and his friends go into the Celtic Otherworld

CH: You also write flash fiction and have had a few stories published. Why flash fiction?

JT: It’s fun. It’s short, so there is no long time commitment. You come up with an idea. You write it and it’s done. 1000 words makes you focus on using the right words. The plot and character development have to explode onto the story.

CH: What would you tell writers trying to break into publication?

JT: Pursue your dreams…unless your world is being invaded by monsters from the Celtic afterlife. Then do the right thing. Listen to the advice of those who’ve gone ahead of you—and tell them thanks—and help those coming behind you. And never give up. Also, take time to watch a football game.

CH: Wise words to ponder. Well, accept maybe the football. :)

Your next book Whiskey Sunrise is coming out in a few months and I plan to have you visit us again.

JT: Look forward to it. By the way Lighthouse Publications of the Carolinas will be having a giveaway in July for Whiskey Sunrise.

Book Giveaway to one lucky commenter.

Today I am offering an opportunity for all those who comment on this post to be entered in a drawing for an autographed copy of Innocent Blood:Equinox of Reckoning. Feel free to ask John any questions you may have on writing, Celtic lore or football. Be sure to leave your email in the comment section so we can contact the winner. ( type it using the word at for @ and the word dot for .) If you are reading this interview via Facebook be sure to go to my blog to comment if you want to be in the drawing.

Innocent BloodI will be drawing the winners name in a week. I have found  not all my comments post right away.

 

 

 

 

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Great reward for those who consistently attend writer’s conferences

My award. I am so blessed.

My award. I am so blessed.

For those of you who have never attended or no longer attend writer’s conferences I challenge you to rethink that. After attending writer’s conferences for six years, I have finally reaped an awesome reward. I was chosen as the recipient of the Editor’s Choice Award at the 2014 Write-To-Publish Conference. This award is for perseverance and potential. It entitles me to professional editing of my novel and mentoring and the opportunity to have my novel presented to the publication board of Lighthouse Publications of the Carolinas. Whether they actually decide to publish my book is another story. But it’s a win-win because my manuscript will be ready to present to any other interested party.

The truth about attending conferences

Often beginner writers approach a conference expecting to get a contract with the first editor they pitch their story to. They lug around their manuscript hoping someone will take it home with them. Those stories of instant contracts are few and far between, and if you get down to the real nitty-gritty of details, you will find most of these authors have paid their dues. They have attended conference after conference as true students of the craft of writing. Taking home all the information gleaned from the pros to apply to their own manuscript and marketing strategies. Networking with other writers to be encouraged as well as encourage.

Rowena Kuo presented me with my award. She is one of the wonderful editors full of enouragement for writers that I meet at Write-to-Publish.

Rowena Kuo presented me with my award. She is one of the wonderful editors full of enouragement for writers that I meet at Write-to-Publish.

Writers encouraging writers

For me, my first conference was a learning experience. I flew to Colorado Springs for the Writing for the Soul conference. On the plane I sat next to a published author. I don’t recall her name, only the blessing she was to me. During the flight she took the time to instruct me how to pitch my story ideas and who might be a good fit. She encourage me to enjoy the conference and have fun meeting others. At the conference one devotional editor took the time to mark up my devotional to show how it would best fit her needs. She gave me tips on the right attitude to bring to the editors I would pitch my novel idea to. The editors and agents were encouraging. I went home ready to write my novel.

Guess what, folks, I returned the next year to the same conference pitched my story, got interest. Went home and sent off my novel and got all rejections. :(

Learning from rejection

That is the nature of the beast. One publisher was brave enough to say the writing wasn’t to their standard. :( :( To his credit he was absolutely correct. I knew nothing about POV and many other fiction craft techniques. So, I took another class and read more craft books and continued submitting articles and writing skits and doing whatever writerly thing God brought my way while rewriting my novel.

Arthor Cynthia Ruchti not only was such a wonderful encouragement on my writng journey but she autographed her novel for me.

Arthor Cynthia Ruchti not only was such a wonderful encouragement on my writng journey but she autographed her novel for me.

Benefits of attending even if you don’t get a writing contract

The next four years I attended Write-To-Publish conference. Each time I went home and sent off my manuscript to those who requested it. Each time it was rejected. But I picked up other smaller writing assignments that gave me more publishing credits. I started this blog and a Facebook page. The third year I received excellent edits with my reject manuscript. I persevered through family tragedies and lots of life interrupting my rewrites and still wrote articles and short stories. Some getting rejected, others published.

This last year I reaped the blessing of my perseverance with this award. That is six years from my first conferences. Don’t wait until you have the perfect manuscript to attend. Don’t skip the opportunity because you have nothing to hawk. Come because you need to grow your craft, you need to network with writers, agents and editors. The secret ingredients at all conferences is the knowledge you can take home and the life-long friends you make. Both can grow your writing career at a faster pace than those who don’t attend.

 How has perserverance at a writer’s conference benefitted you?

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