Sunday, August 21, 2016



Susan Marlene

Research can make your project shine and the lack thereof can lay waste to a perfectly great idea. Let’s consider the many flavors of research to strengthen your writing, be it fiction or non-fiction.

Agent WEB sites: Proposals/Writer Business set-up info * Free *                                                    
Here are some of the delicious nuggets these agents offer.

·       Links to their author blogs by name

·       Links to writers’ conferences

·       Proposal Info

·       Business for the writer

·       Editorial Services

·       Blog posts about writing topics

Resources and Chip’s Blog Info

·       Choosing An Agent

·       Submission Guidelines

·       Recommended Reading

·       Blog by Chip McGregor

Research Books:

Writing Business and Mechanics of Writing:

Book proposals that Sell by W.Terry Whalin; The Christian Writer’s Market Guide  Jerry B. Jenkins; The Elements of Style by Strunk/White/Kalman; Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Brown & King. The Little Red Writing Book by Brandon Royal; Punctuation Plain & Simple by Edgar C. Alward & Jean A. Alward. Various dictionaries.

Books on Plotting and or Technique:

Anything Donald Maass and or James Scott Bell. Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland; Getting Into Character by Brandilyn Collins, Wired For Story by Lisa Cron; Story Trumps Structure by Steven James; From the Inside…Out   discover…create…and publish the novel in you! Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck; Jeff Gerke “The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction” and other books he has written.

Relationships & Psychology & Human Behavior:

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman; Emotional Vampires by Albert J. Bernstein Ph. D.; Overcoming Emotions That Destroy by Ingram Johnson; What Every BODY is Saying by Joe Navarro with Marvin Karlins, Ph. D.; For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn;  For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice; Psychology book; etc.

Spiritual Influence:

Bibles and Bible studies and reference books. Abingdon’s Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Devotionals, Old history books with the character of our founding fathers. David Barton’s The Founder’s Bible

What is your genre?

Books available for the time period in which you’re writing. The technical or specific information you are writing about. (Rocket ships, horses pulling wagons, transportation, tools, food and clothing to match your stories time period.) Travel information and photos etc. J

Writing for Men or Women? 80% more women read fiction – it is a chemical thing. 

Look up brain chemicals that fire during fiction reading.

Inform from Jeff Gerke and Wired For Story

1)      Catch the reader’s attention.

Must convince reader your story is more interesting. Use Braine Science.

Ø  Danger—Self-preservation – JG.  Mirror neurons pg. 66 Wired For Story. “If you start with the mundane and ordinary the readers brain will move on to something else.” Quote from Jeff Gerke. Jane Austin – relationship danger to 007 danger.

Ø  Surprise-unexpected/humorous/ intriguing (reader surprise not necessarily the character.)

Ø  Appropriate TONE --for your story. (It could be the wrong start no matter how excellent it is written, because it doesn’t match the tone of the story.)

2)       Connect the reader to the character (s).

Ø  The emotional engagement “Your job as a writer is the have the reader become the character.” Dr. Zach…  Wired For Story pg. 67 states: “…readers mentally simulate each new situation encountered in narrative. Details about actions and sensations are captured from the text and integrated with personal knowledge from past experiences.”  Called Transportation – character is in a situation and you are feeling it…rapid heartbeat, sweaty hands/emotional or physical reaction.

Trick to transportation – character is vulnerable – releases oxytocin.

3)      Present a Story of Struggle
Internal and external which build as the story progresses.

Present a story of struggle. Let’s Make a “Tasty Fruit Salad of a Story Beginning” by creating delicious sentences from these basic boring ones. Use our research tools. Use these notes or the sample research books and any other information and I believe you will be amazed at the sparkle and flash you will discover in your writing sample today.

Sentence choices:

A.      Joyce ran to the store with her car. She shopped for special ingredients and checked her list to make sure she purchased everything. Tonight would be real special _______________________________________________________________________

B)      The unusual circumstances for amount of time he would be away were puzzling. After all he had special reasons for this trip ________________________________________________________________________

C)      Cats and rats and tomatoes? How could these have anything in common? And what was


____________________ to do with___________________________________________



D) It was a birthday like every other year. _________________________________________


*Add in a love language, goals, motivation, conflict and detail using strong nouns and verbs.

*Add in punctuation or twists or plot turns (watch out for our Kathy!) Okay everyone enjoy!

With great knowledge there is huge responsibility! Use your words wisely to build and not tear down. To bring truth and displace lies.

Realize that people, editors and agents want to be engaged in great story or helpful non-fiction. Let’s do our research, sprinkle it like a perfectly seasoned meal, and serve it out to the masses!

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