Tag Archives: writing

Feeling Discouraged?

seal on coverFeeling discouraged? Maybe these stories will give you the courage to keep going one more day.

You probably remember the movie The King’s Speech? What you might not know is the 73-year-old screenwriter, David Seidler, who won an Oscar for his screenplay, had only one other script produced–twenty years earlier.  

Kathryn Stockett’s first novel took her five years to write and was rejected by 60 agents. It went on to sell more than five million copies and became the award-winning motion picture The Help.

Bob Nelson wrote a screenplay while working on a odd late-night comedy show in Seattle called Almost Live. He was delighted when he sold his ms to a Hollywood producer, but then it sat for ten years. Occasionally he’d call and this semi-famous person would promise him he had forgotten him. Ten years is a long time to wait and I’m sure there were times when he felt discouraged. But finally that Hollywood genius put his words into film. And now Nebraska has been nominated for an Oscar as best movies of the year.  

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13 NLT).

7 Ways to Increase Tension in Your Writing (Man vs. Nature)

Man vs. Nature

I’m reading Lisa Wingate’sDawn's visit 2010 004 The Sea Glass Sisters. In it, a young girl is nabbed out of a car and the main character blames herself. If this doesn’t cause enough nail biting, the author ups the tension by adding the possibility of a hurricane hitting the coast of North Carolina—the exact place where the MC and her mother are headed. Will it hit, will it miss? The question keeps the reader guessing AND turning the pages to find out if the characters will stay and face the storm, or leave the Outer Banks for the safety of the inland.

You can add the element of mother nature to your novel too. In my first novel, The House with the Red Door (unpublished), I hint at an unusual snowfall and sure enough toward the end, my main character is caught in a blizzard—an important turning point in the novel.

Nature is a worthy opponent. She is mighty and unpredictable: floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Mountains that need to be climbed, prairies that need to be crossed, crops than can fail are other elements that can add suspense to an otherwise dull manuscript.

What if your story is set in a city? Add a rainstorm, an extra hot summer, a tree the city wants to remove (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), an electrical storm that cuts power (happens all the time in the Pacific Northwest), or a disease that strikes your character.

As Christians, remember God created nature. Be sure to bring the struggle of why he allows bad things to happen to good people into your story. This question keeps many from following him. You might help someone settle that question. “He gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike,” (Matt 5:45 NLT).