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Colleen Coble

Author Colleen Coble's over thirty novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best awards.  Colleen's series include the Aloha Reef Series and the Rock Harbor Series.   Her family welcomed their first grandchild!

Favorite Verse:  Romans 8:28 - "For we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."(I saw this verse in action when the whole family was injured in a bad car accident in 1980 and we became Christians as a result).


 

 "Be Brave!" - Writing Tips by Colleen Coble

Click here for a printable version of this page.

 

1. Learn to network. The Web is a fabulous place to find help in your writing journey. Check out www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com . This great organization has aspiring writers as well as established ones all intent on honing their writing skills. You can find critique partners and other like-minded friends there. They have the premier conference for Christian fiction in the country and it’s very inexpensive. This year’s ACRW conference is Sep 18-21 in Nashville. Another great conference is Mount Hermon’s Christian Writer’s Conference. Blue Ridge is another good one as is Glorieta and the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference. Look around, there may be smaller ones close to you as well.

 

2. Read what you like to write. This is a pet peeve of mine. Don’t think you want to write something just because it’s selling. If you’ve never read a chick lit book, don’t think you can write it. If suspense scares you silly, don’t try to write it. And don’t think you can write it all. Figure out your passion and stick with it until you get it right. You’ll never build a brand if you write a little women’s fiction, then dabble in a little suspense then try your hand at science fiction. Readers want to know what to expect from your name.

 

3. Experiment with POV. Maybe you’ve never tried your hand at first person or have never tried third person. You may find your voice in one other the other. When you approach each scene to write it, figure out who has the most to lose in that scene and write it from that POV.

 

4. Find what works for you with plotting. Always been a seat of the pants writer? Try organizing your ideas in a spreadsheet. Always been a meticulous plotter? Try writing a character-driven scene where you have no idea what will happen. There’s no one right way to write. Don’t assume you have to do it the way you’ve been told you must. I used to be totally seat of the pants, but I decided to try Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake method. It worked great, but it also sucked the joy of discovery out of the story for me. Now I use it to plot part of the way but not all of the way, leaving room for fresh discovery. So I blend the two.

 

5. Read some great books on writing. One that writers at any stage in their careers can learn from is James Scott Bell’s book, Plot and Structure. A great help! Several other good books are Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King.

 

6. Be brave! Start sending your baby out there. One of the hardest things about the writing life is the rejection we all face. No matter what stage you’re at, there will be times of discouragement. I got enough rejections to paper a wall in my office before I sold my first manuscript. Truly. But I just kept getting up and dusting myself back off. Get in the fray and don’t quit!

 

7. Find a critique partner who “gets” you. I have three really super ones: Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter and Diann Hunt. Close writing buddies will root for you when you are on top of the mountain and commiserate with you when the dreaded rejection comes your way. Mine have held my hand many times, and I’ve held theirs.

 

8. Name that baby. Character names are so important. I found a great resource for naming my babies. It’s called The Baby Name Survey Book. It tells what people think of when they hear names. It really helps characterize the people in your novel. Another great resource is a phone book from the area where you’re setting your novel. You can see the last names that are common. I struggled with this a lot before I discovered area phone books. You can buy them or better yet, contact someone on your networking attempts who lives in that area who will send you last year’s.

 

9. Discover travel guides. They are indispensable for helping pull out the flavor of an area. For my Aloha Reef books, I used The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook and Hawaii: The Big Island Revealed. They have been a lifesaver.

 

10. Learn to love the revision process. It’s my favorite part! Slogging through the first draft is hard, but revisions are like an extension of brainstorming. Realize when someone suggests a change that it’s not a personal attack on you. You can always make it better!

 

 

 Don't Miss!

Lonestar Sanctuary, Lonestar Series #1
Lonestar Sanctuary, Lonestar Series #1
Colleen Coble
CBD Price: $11.99

Abomination
Abomination
Colleen Coble
CBD Price: $11.99

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Writing & Publishing Your Book



Web Resources for Writers

There are many web sites with great information for Christian writers. Below are some that you might find helpful.

 

  • American Christian Fiction Writers
  • Christian Writers Fellowship International

  • The Christian Writer's Manual of Style
  • Writer's Digest
  • Writer's Market
  • The Writer's Magazine
  • Christian Writer's Market Guide
  • ACW Press
  • Writer's Edge (Manuscript Service)

  • More Author Tips

     • Words of Advice: Chris Fabry

     • Writing Advice: Maureen Lang