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Showing posts from January, 2016

Things To Do

~ Say "Thank you" more
~ Listen to people's stories
~ Act like I've learned
~ Speak more truth and less opinion
~ Obsess more about Jesus' love for me


As I go through my day, I want to remember that I am not entitled to be served by others and opportunities to serve others is still a gift. I want to shut up and listen because my story is not any more important than someone else's. I make mistakes, I learn, and I move on. But my actions following my flaws need to show that I learned. My experiences and feelings do not dictate what is true about God, but God can use them to reveal truth about Him--I must remember the difference. Every morning, I must awake in the awe that Jesus gave up everything to save me. My days instantly take a step in the wrong direction when I am complacent about His love.  ~ Alyson

Do Secondary Characters Reflect Reality?

For years, my secondary characters lacked depth, voice, conflict, and purpose. While my main characters were complex and their words were strong, my secondary characters fell flat in comparison. This was a problem that I didn't realize my story had until I was reading through the third or something draft.
"Your secondary characters are the main characters in their own minds." I honestly cannot remember where I read or heard this advice, but it has drastically changed how I write secondary characters. The advice doesn't take much more explanation to draw a practical application for writing. Secondary characters have problems, goals, desires, quirks. They make mistakes, put their foot in their mouth, and forget things. Those characters weren't there to just tell my main characters what they wanted to hear. It wasn't their job to sit in silence and wait until the main character needed them. I realize I'm talking as if secondary characters make these choices …

On Birthdays

Sunday is Sawyer's first birthday as an official member of my family. He turns seven years old. He missed the age minimum for indoor soccer by 17 days. He's excited because he gets to bring donuts to Sunday School to celebrate.


I'm sad his birthday is on Sunday. Before he was adopted, we weren't exactly sure which day his birthday was. We had a three-day span when his birthday could have been. We let him chose the day he wanted to celebrate. He chose the 16th. After getting his birth certificate, we know it's the 17th. My mom had to break the news to him that his birthday wasn't on the day he had chosen. I don't know about you, but most families don't have to explain the complexities of such birthdays.


I haven't gotten the chance to share my birthday with my whole, 10 member-large, family, and I maybe won't for a long time. My birthday is at the end of August, already a couple weeks into my college semester. This past birthday was my 18th. It wa…

4 Writing Exercises To Help Your Craft

Over this past semester, I wasn't able to write much fiction. Usually, all I could do was brainstorm on sticky notes or index cards to make progress in my WIP. Academic writing filled my to-do list, and I got great grades on my class papers. But, I still didn't feel like I was becoming a better fiction writer. Frustration slowly grew throughout my time at college. I could find time to sit and write, but not enough time to bust out chunks of quality pieces of my novel.
     A few hundred words here and there wasn't improving my craft. My skills weren't being fine-tuned. I found that I needed other exercises to challenge me. Here are some writing exercises that I found didn't take much time, but helped be become a stronger writer.
Write a 300 word story second person POV. Most writers stick to first person or third person point of views. Sometimes when you write in the same point of view all the time, you forget what makes a point of view unique. Writing becom…

A Writer's Honest Dreams

As writers who are trying to get somewhere in the publishing industry, we have to develop thick skin. We share our words with the world, knowing we hand them the power to cut our work to devalued pieces. We know that to let our characters and worlds meet a reader's eye, we have to accept the rejection and distaste that will come--because, we all know it will. Sometimes, it feels that for every step we take in the industry, we sacrifice another piece of a dream. After a few miles, all those initial dreams seem like impossible expectations that only make the bitter truth burn more.
     We will always enjoy writing. We are writers. No industry can take that away. But, what if we could enjoy honest dreams once in a while? What if we could dream about the possibilities of our story without being distracted by the improbability? What if every writer could write a list of honest dreams to help remind that they are a writer, that no one can delete the dreams that started the words…