Three activities provided hubs for most of June’s writing activities: ACFW email course work, research, and article writing.
ACFW Email Course
Members of American Christian Fiction Writers have the opportunity to sign up for regular writing courses by email. Each month features a different course and course leader. The courses are free with paid memberships and if you’re a member and not taking advantage of them, shame on you.
June’s course was led by Randy Ingermanson and we learned about the first four steps of Randy’s snowflake method of story design. It was a great course with just about the highest level of participation I’ve ever seen.
I’ve been using the snowflake since first discovering it in October 2009 and this was a fun course, with a lot of new information. I spent a lot of time each weekday reading and/or responding to loop emails. You know what? I don’t regret a minute of it!
BONUS! I connected with a forgotten story and character through the process.
I’ve been reading Old Testament prophets as part of my daily reading, but have supplemented that reading with note-taking, reading Bible commentary, and reading the works of Jewish historian, Josephus.
I began following a couple of blogs relevant to the ideas I’m researching and I also spent more than one afternoon listening to speakers speaking about Old Testament prophecy and its relevancy today.
In addition, I read a couple of very good books, both fiction, but with heavy doses of reality. Safely Home and The Harbinger are both well worth the read. In fact, I would go so far as to say they are both MUST READS for today’s Western Society Christian.
Time spent on article writing was equally divided between blog articles for my two blogs, Homeward Bound and Carrie L. Lewis Horse Painter and art tutorials for EmptyEasel.com, where I’m published twice a month. I’ve gotten into the habit of writing or fleshing out as many articles as possible at least one day a week. Brainstorming like this makes it a lot easier to meet deadlines and to keep my writing mind energized and active.
It’s not a bad thing to see a dozen or more potential posts or articles already drafted to one degree or another and it’s even better having articles ready to go or ready to polish.
Odds & Ends
A little bit of scene writing with Saving Grace. My brainstorming partner and I are still feeling our way through the creative process. Sometimes it seems like it’ll never get done, but we make progress each month.
Revisited an ‘old acquaintance’ among my characters, a gal who first approached me several months ago, told me a little bit about herself, then wandered off again. I now know a little bit more about her history, but she still hasn’t told me what her story is.
Rediscovered a story I spent a lot of time on early in 2011 and for which I wrote a complete story summary early this year. When I thought of it during the snowflake course, I began working through the snowflake process alongside the course. I got the first three steps of the snowflake finished and made serious inroads into step 4.
All in all, it was a good month.
And a good first half. Time for a brief break with the Fourth of July, then into the second half!