Get Physical

Now that the glow from Realm Makers is wearing off, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. The inspiration of RM has me fired up with goals and dreams. I have to get them implemented.

A primary goal is to edit and revise the first draft of my YA story so it can be submitted. And writers just LOVE editing.

Some actually do. I like it when I get into making a story better, but it can be a slog as well.

One of the best decisions I’ve done with my writing is to work with freelance editors. On an early draft of my suspense, my heroine wasn’t likable. Thanks to Becky Miller, I was able to turn my main character¬†around.

Then I worked with Ben Wolf after a couple of revisions of the full novel. This is where the nightmares set in.

See, Ben would see all the spots where I was telling something, instead of SHOWING what happened. Early in the book, he’d explain in his comments. As it went along, the code became:

Get Physical.physical

I’ve had a couple dreams where I see red over the manuscript, and the continual admonition to “get physical.” And it’s a great code to remind me to not be lazy and just tell the reader something.

Of course there’s time for telling. I’m not going to show you every breath a character takes. But we writers need to be ever vigilant on letting bad habits slip in.

That’s my encouragement to my writer friends, especially those Realm Makers Alumni who are hard at work on their WIPs. Keep going. Remember what Robert Liparulo said.

And get physical.

The Quiet Moments

Realm Makers is an amazing opportunity.

I just got back from St. Louis for the 3 day speculative fiction conference. In just three years, the staff has produced a high quality gathering that was informative, yet it was so welcoming and encouraging. As far as I can tell, there’s been universal praise for it from writers coming back ready to tackle the writing world.

If you look for posts from other attendees, you’ll see them¬†rave about the fun, the great books and authors, the study of craft, and being fired up to keep writing.

I can say “ditto” to all of those, but Realm Makers stood out to me for a different reason.

They were the quiet moments.

Like meeting my new friend Herbert. He’s not a writer. He’s a homeless Vietnam veteran who I met on the train after arrival. We got caught in a downpour together, and we ended up sharing pizza and prayers the first night. I could’ve caught a group going to dinner if I’d gone right to the dorm. Instead, I had a cool moment with a guy in need, and with God.

I may seem outgoing in the crowds there, but I’m also kinda reserved. I don’t like to impose on people. But when I goofed and was waiting for the shuttle to get to my first pitch appointment, I had to be bold. Because I timed things badly and was waiting for the shuttle during its down time. No shuttle to take me 15 minutes away with 5 minutes to go (after I’d waited 20 minutes).

That’s when Pam came in.

She was a random lady getting into her car when a crazed author flagged her down and asked for a ride to the conference center a mile away. God bless Pam, as she didn’t hesitate, and I made it on time.

Probably a good thing I wasn’t dressed for the costume dinner.

I met so many cool people during the conference, or got reacquainted with friends I’d met before. But one time stood out. My roommate Josh Smith had his van, and was very kind to run us back and forth (he wasn’t there for the last story). We got time to share heart to heart, especially when talking about ministry we each did back home.

God is good, and He works through pizza, hitchhiking, and simple talks among brothers.

And Realm Makers rocks. I’m sure many others have their quiet moments as well. Anyone want to share?

Not quite the same image Pam saw.

Not quite the same image Pam saw.