Friday, October 28, 2016

Meet Lynda Young - Author of Cling to God

Lynda and I know each other from a long time, a few weeks after I started blogging in 2010, I met Lynda. I came to know of critique partners from Lynda’s blog: I won a 10 page critique on her blog, Lynda’s amazing feedback and suggestions set me on the road to finding a CP. And when I came to know that Lynda’s book Cling to God, A Daily Devotional was releasing on October 18, I wanted to be a part of her blog tour. Lynda was gracious enough to do a guest post telling us about her writing process.

The Writing Process for Cling to God
Lynda R Young

 A big thank you to Rachna for lending me her blog for today. She asked me to share a little about the writing process to get my debut devotional, Cling to God, to a ready state.

First up, it didn’t start with me saying, “I think I’ll write me a collection of devotionals with an inspirational thought for every day of the year.” If I’d done that, I doubt I would’ve finished. Even the sound of that makes the task seem far too daunting. No, it started as quick personal thoughts jotted down in a journal, triggered after reading the Bible.

I was a youth leader at the time, also the chairperson of Elders at my church. It was easy to share some of the thoughts during Bible study, or as a devotion before a meeting. It wasn’t until I’d filled my journal that an inkling of an idea blossomed: It might be possible to turn these into a book to share with even more people.

Once the book idea formed, the only changes I made to my writing process were that I became more diligent, writing more than one devotional thought when the occasion struck me, and perhaps more mindful of the audience I was writing toward. I also edited them multiple times and collated them into a meaningful sequence, some relating to specific days of the year. I even polished up my Excel skills and created a spreadsheet to keep track of the verses, themes and dates. I then sent the book off to my late aunt who was a professional editor, then addressed all those red marks the manuscript came back with. Then it was query time.

For a long time it sat in the proverbial drawer, collecting real dust. That “drawer” was a bookcase shelf next to my computer, and the manuscript with all the printed spreadsheets, along with all my scribbled notes, stared at me every day. And the stare got glarier the longer I let rejections conquer me.

Years later… (Yes, I let it sit there for years and watched it get buried by other notes for other projects) life changed. I was reminded about the shortness and preciousness of life. Rediscovering the manuscript, I dusted it off and read through it again. It was good. Good enough to share. It was wrong not to share it. Initially I thought self-publishing was the way to go, but quickly shied away from the steep learning curve. So after another update and edit (because I’d changed an awful lot as a writer) I sent it out again and to my shock it was accepted.

Did you ever start a project that changed over time? What’s your writing process like?

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional.

by Lynda R Young

Release date: October 18th, 2016
Published by Freedom Fox Press

Tagline: Cling to God in the chaos of life…

Blurb: Cling to God is a book of devotionals for every day of the year. The aim is to encourage Christians in their faith, to help them think about their beliefs and learn more about God. The devotions are short and inspirational so that people with busy lifestyles will still be able to spend time with the Lord each day. It will appeal to a wide Christian audience, to those new in their faith as well as those matured beyond milk and honey.

Author Bio: Lynda R Young writes devotionals, articles, and speculative short stories. In her spare time she is also an editor, game developer, artist, and dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Australia with her sweetheart of a husband. You can find her here: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Lynda's Blog 
Lynda on Twitter
Lynda's Author page on Face Book
Lynda on GoodReads

Buy Lynda's Book for Kindle 

Buy Lynda's Book on Amazon

Lynda's Book on Nook

Here is wishing Lynda loads of good luck from all of us.

Friday, October 14, 2016

How Do I Write My Story?

I always have the beginning and the ending in my mind whenever I start writing a short story/a novel/a picture book/a feature for the newspaper. It’s the middle part that I get stuck in. I’ve learnt to circumvent that by introducing new complications, new characters or twisting the plot in another direction to keep the wobbly middle from drooping.

I always work on a basic outline for my books.

Inciting Incident. I start with the Inciting Event/Incident that is responsible for throwing the protagonist headlong into the path of trouble/conflict or problem.

Plan. It’s what my Main Character decides to do to thwart the obstacle, to bypass the roadblocks and overcome the Antagonist.

Game. Here I work on the protagonist and the antagonist’s strengths and weaknesses. Who has the odds stacked against them? Who is the Dark Horse? 

Changing Obstacles. The obstacles in my story keep changing growing in size and changing their direction and shape. This change of direction can get the protagonist into more trouble and make the antagonist more powerful. I also introduce sub-plots here.

Plot Twist. I like to have a few plot twists in place where I bring in new characters or put the protagonist in unexpected situations.

Dark Moment. I don’t know why I’m a big fan of this plot point. I always have this dark moment where my main character is left completely alone. He or she has to now trek the route to victory only on the sheer strength of his or her own efforts. External help may or may not come. But the fight that was started has to be waged and the battle fought.

Epiphany. I love this particular plot point. It’s the moment of illumination when things fall in place and the path ahead is clear as though someone has shown the protagonist a roadmap complete with detailed directions.

New Plan. With the moment of Epiphany I make the protagonist charter a new course of action, make fresh plans. I charge the scenes with tension.

Cliffhanger. The Cliffhanger brings my protagonist and antagonist together, not exactly face to face but both of them have their own plans to tackle each other.

Climax. Where the final battle is fought. The protagonist is all set to do or die, while the antagonist is all ready to kill or be killed.

Ending. Where perfect resolutions find their true place and all the loose ends are tied together. 

My stories are based on this outline but I also tend to deviate between these plot points.

How do you all write your stories? I would love to know your plotting method!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG Post - When do you know your story is ready?

I can’t believe that we have reached the 10th month of 2016. This year has flown past at an amazing speedy that’s made me giddy. It’s time for our monthly IWSG post.  IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is the place we writers hang around online, sharing our writing insecurities, anxieties, worries, clearing our doubts and learning from each other. As all the writers are at different stages of their publishing journey, there is a wealth of information on the IWSG website. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.

We all have to thank Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh (author of the Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars) for starting this awesome group.

The October 5th Question: When do you know your story is ready?

When I feel I have done all that I can to get my story in the best shape possible, I know it’s ready for submission to editors and agents. When I feel I can’t change anything anymore I know that my story is ready to be sent out. And that is after several revisions with the help of my critique partners and my own frequent rereads.

Nowadays I trust my inner editor a lot. I know instinctively that I need to work some more on my story before pressing the send button. For my last manuscript which I will start querying from this week, I was reluctant to start querying for it as I felt that it wasn’t ready to be sent out yet.

I’m eager to read all your posts to know when you all know/feel that your story is ready.