During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight to link up your story by clicking here.) And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to novelist Wendy Paine Miller.
Coming up with Strong Novel Concepts is like Catching Bullfrogs
Growing up, I used to have a blast catching bullfrogs in our pond. I’d listen for the rhythmic croaking, stake them out, then leap for one at just the right moment. As an author of over eight novels, I’ve decided securing a bullfrog in my grasp is much like nailing a solid novel concept.
You can’t force it or an idea will flee from you. You have to move in at the optimal time, not too soon, and not stalling when it’s time to wrap your hands around the belly of the thing. You have to be prepared to pounce.
Unfortunately for me, brainstorms for my novels like to ribbit in the wee hours of the morning.
One of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever received is to keep a pen and pad of paper by my bedside. And to bother to write down REM-inspired thoughts. The professor who shared this bit of advice said, “This is what distinguishes those who take writing seriously from those who don’t.”
So I moonlight as a bullfrog hunter and I get my ideas down before they hop away.
Wendy lives in New England with her husband, their three young girls, and a skunk-dodging Samoyed. She feels most alive when she’s spending time with loved ones, speeding on a boat, reading, writing, refurbishing furniture or taking risks. Her work has been published in Christian Fiction Online and in numerous anthologies, including Love is a Flame published by Bethany House. She graduated with a BA in English from Wittenberg University, where she earned an Honor of Distinction for her accrued knowledge of literature. Visit http://thoughtsthatmove.blogspot.com/ to learn more about Wendy. Or check out her Facebook and Twitter pages.