• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

To Give Up or To Not Give Up

TheWriteStory

You have a story that you love, one that’s been around – either on paper or in your head – for a long time.  You’ve pulled it out several times, but each time the plot and character puzzle pieces never really fit together.  So you put it away and work on other projects until one day more of the puzzle falls into place.  Out it comes once more, you think you’ve got it.  Things are finally working and the whole things is outlined and ready to go, but when you sit down and start typing out the fourteenth rough draft the puzzle falls apart.

This is where I am (and have been) with my first novel, Heart of Hope, that I wrote back in 2005.  I worked on editing it on and off for a couple of years before finally putting it aside for I-didn’t-know-how-long.  It sat in my folders for a few years gathering virtual dust until the plot began to reshape itself in my mind.  Everything got a much needed over haul and the story finally began to grow up to a more un-cliched work of fiction.  I was excited to be working on it again.  Even though it had been a headache before, I still loved it and wanted to make it work.  I thought it was finally there, but as I began to construct the new rough draft it just stopped.  I fell once more into a gaping plot hole.  Once I finally crawled out of it I tumbled right into another even larger one.

I had lost count of how many times this had happened, of how many times I had excitedly pulled it out thinking it would finally work to watch it all fall apart over and over again.  When do I just call it quits?

Let it Go and Give it Up?

This story is nearly nine years old, it’s just a first novel, maybe it’s time to just let it go and give it up…but…I don’t want to.  I’ve been going over and over the debate of forgetting about it and moving on or just letting it sit for a while again or working on it anyway.  I know from experience that forcing it will only make things worse, but is it time to say goodbye?

I think we all have a soft spot in our writer’s hearts for our very first completed book.  It was our first baby, our first great accomplishment in our journey to becoming writers.  We love it, we hate it, we want to throw it away, but we stick with it.  We feel this way about most if not all of our stories/novels.  So what do we do when one just doesn’t work even though we’ve sweat blood and spend countless hours perfecting it?

Let Yourself Move On. 

I’ve come to the conclusion with this book that it’s time to just move on.  It’s not like I don’t have an army of other stories waiting to be written.  But part of me doesn’t want to move on because I think by “giving up” that I am failing in some why as a writer.  But that mind set is wrong.  When a story doesn’t work you haven’t failed, it’s just not working and we need to accept the fact that no matter how much we love it, it may never work.

For now Heart of Hope will be the story I may dabble with here and there when I need a break from something else, but I won’t beat myself up if it never fully works or ends up as a paper back in Barns and Nobles.  I’m still learning and I am far from perfect.  We don’t have to “give up” on a story that we love, but there comes a time when we may need to let it go and move on.  Don’t feel like a failure when that happens, even though you don’t have a workable draft you’ve gained that much more experience you can apply to another project.

Writing is hard and ideas don’t always pan out and that’s okay.  As writers we just need to keep trucking ahead one story at a time until something does work and we get to write those two satisfying words – The End.


Have you had any stories that just wouldn’t work no matter what you did?  Let me know in the comments. 

Like what you’ve read?  Check out other posts on writing and subscribe! 

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To the Frustrated and Frazzled Writer – It’s Okay to Walk Away

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We’ve all been there.  Your story is just not working, but you’re on a deadline!  You have to get the last 10 chapters done in the next two weeks, you just have to!  But the more you try to force creativity, the worse it gets.  Now all you’re doing is beating against a mental brick wall that refuses to budge.   It’s big, it’s in the way and it’s size mirrors the enormity of your frustration.

Deadlines can be a blessing and a curse.  Some writers flourish under the pressure of deadlines, others crack, while some are 50/50.  Deadlines are good, they help us achieve our goals, but they can also become looming specters casting shadows over our work and peering over our shoulders, striking us with anxiety.  When plot holes begin to swallow you and you’ve run down so many bunny trails you’re head is spinning it may be time to get up, put the story aside and walk away.

Everyone’s creative process is different.  Some can whip out the stories.  It’s as easy has mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Each new batch brings out dozens of new and amazingly satisfying ideas.  Plot holes are foreign to them, woody characters don’t exist and they’ve never head of this mysterious ailment known as “Writer’s Block”.   Others are constantly plagued by creative blockage and instead of delicious chocolate chip cookies, they’re stories look more like old Swiss Cheese.  Then of course we have those who are in between.  They deal with plot holes, but it’s not too difficult for them to full.  They may burn a few batches, but in the end they have a nice gooey batch of chocolate chip goodness.

I’m of the second group.  Writing is my passion, it’s something I feel at home doing, something I was made to do, but it is also the hardest taste I have ever undergone.  I love developing new stories, it’s my favorite part of the creative process and it’s also the most frustrating.  I’m constantly falling into plot holes, frantically looking for new and better ideas to fill them.  When I first started writing I got into the bad habit of blazing ahead and writing rough drafts even thought half my outline was empty.  As a result I created more work for myself later on in the form of a cliched pile of Swiss Cheese instead of a golden chocolate chip cookies.  It frustrated me to no end.  (I’d rather of cookies then cheese any day!)

I blazed ahead because I wanted to have written.  I wanted to be the person who when asked how many books I had finished, I could proudly proclaim “Oh, fifteen or twenty.  I’ve lost count.”  As writers we tend to look at the amount of things we have finished as our status.  As Michael Kanin put it, “I don’t like to write, but I like to have written.”  Walking away is not an option, WE HAVE TO FINISH IT RIGHT NOW.

Walking away may be the best thing you ever do for yourself and for your story.  It was hard for me to finally admit this it and to actually take action on it.  It’s okay if your writing process is slow, if it takes more than a few months or a year for a story to rise to it’s true potential.  It’s okay to walk away from the draft, deadline or not.  In fact, it’s okay to walk away from writing all together for a time if need be.

Whether it’s walking away for a day, a month or a year it’s okay.  Walking away doesn’t make you a failure as a writer, it just means you need a break, a breather, some time to give your imagination a time to recuperate.  Find a good book, spend some time enjoying nature or family.  Ideas come from life and the stories we read.  If you’re lacking ideas, take a break and look around you, the answer may be hidden under an old dusty cover or in a moment with a loved one.  Where ever it is, you’re not going to find it by staring at your computer screen.

A Page a Day

I saw a picture on Facebook that read, “A page a day keeps insanity away”.  From a writer’s perspective, writing a page a day could very well keep insanity away, and it doesn’t even have to be a page of a novel.  Just anything.  A written page.  Everyday.

I know when I go a while without writing anything I can feel like going crazy!  I’ve left all these words, stories and characters trapped in my subconscious too long and they are screaming to get out! Also, I’ve learned the best cure for Writer’s Block is to just keep writing.  Anything.  As long as you’re putting words on paper.

This is one of my goals for the new year, to try and write at least a page of something a day.  Whether that’s a page of my most current novel, a page of outlining, a page of story notes, a page of free writing, or a page in some random story.  Just a page.  Everyday.

I know there will be days when I’m not going to have the chance or time to write a full page of something, but I’m going to try.   I think this is a good exercise for any writer to have.  Keeps you in writing.  Keeps you in practice.  I know from experience, the longer you go without writing, the harder it is to get back into it.  (Sometimes this is not the case, but most of the time it is.)

So, to combat writing laziness and keep working on my craft, I’m writing a page a day with a goal to keep it up as best as I can all year.  

What about you?

Writing Again

A couple weeks ago I wrote the opening to my next novel.  After almost a year of writing nothing new and months of battling Writer’s Block it feels SO GOOD to be writing again!  (And I have to say, I’m in love with this opening.)  I can’t wait to completely immerse myself in this new world and follow this set of characters on their journey.  It’s going to be epic, at least in my humble opinion. 😉

Anyone want a sneak peek of the opening? Let me know by liking this post or leaving a comment!

News Flash

Heylo Readers!

My apologies for the lack of new posts, lots of things going on right now.

For one… God has given me a job!  I am now a writer with a day job. 🙂  I work at this awesomely unique place that sells imported British food and merchandise, (plus British pastries they make there at the shop).  There’s allot to learn, new brands, new products to familiarize myself with, but I do believe I am going to greatly enjoy working there.

As for writing… I have not done any significant writing in two weeks… yeah, I know, ouch.  This is due to a combination of writer’s block, procrastination, and starting this new job.  Hopefully I can remedy this within the next couple of days.

I was planning on putting out a video today, but I have so much writing to catch up on it will have to wait until next week.

Hope all you lovely folks are having an awesome week!

Until the next post!

God bless!

L.E.R. Jenkins

Curing Writer’s Block

The story isn’t moving long, writer’s block as hit, what to do…

Idea #1 – What if monkeys came out of nowhere and started throwing purple watermelons at the characters? And what if one character turned out to be allergic to watermelons and suddenly started swelling up like a balloon?

Archie: Would you really write that in a story?

To cure writer’s block, yes, it can always be cut later.

Archie: I would hope so.

Idea #2 – What if someone the hero never expected to see again suddenly shows up? Is this person a good person or bad person? Pick someone who the hero has a lot of conflict with. Conflict helps move the story along.

Idea #3 – Have a scene idea in your head that is in a completely different place in the story than where you are working? Writing it! Get it on paper.

Idea #4 – Want to write something else? Open up a new Word doc. and start writing it! The point when you are stuck is to fill up that white piece of paper. Conquer it, defeat it, show it who’s boss!

Archie: Such sage advice.

Oh you be quiet.

Idea #5 – LEAVE THE COMPUTER. Go take a walk, cook something, listening to music, get a nice cup of tea or coffee. If you play an instrument go play it, just get away from the computer for a few minutes. You could even work on that check list of things to do. Breath, relax and don’t think about that story.

Idea #6 – Make a bubble outline. What’s a bubble outline you ask? (I use this when I’m not sure where to go with a scene and need ideas.) Here’s what you do, get a piece of paper, favorite notebook, something you can handwrite on, no typing here. In the center of the page write what’s currently happening in the story then circle it. Now, draw another circle and connect the two with a line. Write an idea of what could happen in this new circled and just keep going, adding connecting circles with new ideas and before you know it, you’ll have a scene to work on.

Idea #7 – Think of all the things that could go wrong and choose one to work into the scene.

Idea #8 – Think of all the things you DO NOT want to happen and see if you can work one into the scene. Who knows, if might bring out something interesting.

Idea #9 – Hand it over to your characters. I know when I get stuck I tend to just go into “all-powerful writer” mode and make my characters do what I want so I can just get through the scene. Whenever I do this, the scene ends up woody and dry and my characters turn into puppets. I’m slowly learning to avoid this and to give my characters the reigns to move the scene where it needs to go. I ended up with a beautiful moment between two characters when I finally let go and let them lead.

Idea #10 – This idea goes to you! What do you do to cure writer’s block? Leave a comment and let me know!

Hope some of these help. Good luck!

P.S. Also, silencing that inner editor might help, just lock him/her away in a box for a while. Once you’re unstuck you can let them out.

Archie: That is a most unpleasant idea…

Maybe for you, but not for me.

Archie: Humph.

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