• 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

Don’t Just Write

After posting A Page a Day, I came across a fellow blogger’s post about not writing everyday and realized I needed to expound of that point.  To be a good writer it is important to write and write a lot, but there so much more to it than that.  Practice makes perfect and writing everyday is good practice, but there is more to that practice than just writing.

Becoming a Proficient Writer

To became a skilled writer don’t just write – read, learn and critique along with writing.  If you want to learn a skill what do you do?  You read up on it, you research, you look at the examples of others along with practicing said skill.  It’s the same for writing.

Writing everyday is a good start, but if you write everyday for a year without going out and learning about writing, without reading stories or articles, without reviewing grammar rules, story structure and character studies, you’ll more than likely end up with a bunch of writing that is unusable.  Writing is a skill that’s learned.  Even for the people that it comes naturally too, they still have to work at it.  Writing is also a learn-as-you-go-along skill.  No matter how long you’ve been at it, there is always something new to learn.

More Ways to Practice

Finding Resources:

There are so many resources out there today for writers.  Books, blogs, websites.  Take advantage of them.  Go online, search through the library, materiel is out there, you just have to go find it.   Here are a few that I have used.

The One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum – by Daniel Schwabaurer

A Writer’s Coach – by Jack Hart

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft – by Janet Burroway

Comma Sense: A fundamental guide to punctuation by Richard Ledder and John Shore

Critiquing:

One of the things that tremendously helped me as a writer was critiquing for others.  By finding flaws in other’s works, I was able to more easily find flaws in my own writing.  If you know someones else who is a writer, share your work with each other and go over it together.  Find a writer’s forum where people post pieces to be critiqued.  Start a critique group at your school.  Whatever you do, critiquing is not only helpful to the person receiving the critique, it’s helpful for the person giving it.

Review:

Reviewing basic grammar rules, sentence structure etc. is a good idea.  You might feel like you’re back in grade school, but if you want to write well, keeping your mind refreshed on the rules of writing is never a bad idea.

Read:

It’s just that – read.  Why did we want to be writer’s in the first place?  Because we love to read.  (Well, that’s true for me anyway.)  I’ve found when I haven’t read a good novel in a while, writing just doesn’t seem possible.  Books are like fuel. Out minds need them, our imaginations need them.  Keep a reading list so when you’re not sure what book to read next you can refer to said list.

Writing not only involves disciplining yourself to do it, it involves disciplining and training your mind as well.  Writing everyday will give you lots of practice putting words on paper, but studying and learning the skills will help you learn how to write well and make those words on paper came to life.

Writing for His Glory (New Page)

The literary world has changed drastically since authors such as Tolkien and Lewis first published their manuscripts, and it hasn’t necessarily changed for the better.

As I look through book stores at the suggestive covers and careless content of popular books I’m filled with a sense of dread.  This is what young people and adults alike are reading?

Have you ever stepped back and really looked at today’s modern fiction?  Both Secular and Christian?  Continue Reading

Under Construction

Hello readers!  I just wanted to give you guys a heads up on some changes happening with the blog.

I’ve grown and changed a lot since beginning this blog back in July of 2009, and I’ve been thinking, it’s time it grew and changed with me.

The first change I’m sure you’re all wondering about is the name.  Why did I change the name?  Well, because this blog isn’t just about writing now.  Yes writing will still be a big part of it, but it is no longer the main part, and for me, the name just didn’t fit anymore.  My goal as a writer will continue to be writing for the glory of Jesus Christ, that will never change, nor will the main purpose of this blog, to encourage a new generation of writers to join me in writing for His glory.  Because of all the changes in my life, my goals, and my writing, I just believe it’s high time to give this place an update.

I have lots of new plans for the blog.  One will be to share recipes as I begin a journey of learning to cook my favorite things without sugar, and eventually, without wheat.  I will be adding another page called “Creations” for easy access to these recipes.

I also plan on adding new writing categories to help with world development, character development, story development and a few other things.

Another thing that has changed a lot are my books.  That page is due for an upgrade, as well as “Book List” and “Research Tools”.  My about me page needs an update too… Pretty much all my pages will be getting an update.

I also plan on adding more pages and categories as my life continues to change.  I have lots of new ideas for this blog and I am excited to see where it goes this year.   Who knows, maybe I’ll be writing on here more.  🙂

God bless!

~Laura

Confessions of a Frazzled Writer

crumpled-paperI believe it’s about time I gave you all a writing update… so, here we go.

First off, Choices, Chances and Aeden book 3.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about those books and their future.  I’ve been trying to write Chances and edit Choices, and well, they just were not working.  After much thought, mental argument and frustration, I came to a conclusion I really didn’t like.  I need to re-write Choices completely and shelve the other two books.  Why am I doing such a thing?  I shall explain.

Choices is a book that is very dear and close to my heart.  It is also a very personal book and flowed very naturally when I wrote it.  Chances and Book 3 are not.  Because of how close this story and these characters are to me, it wouldn’t be right for me to force it out just for the sake having more books.  Honestly, I just can’t do that.  So for now, Choices will be a stand alone book.  Will it be like that forever?  Honestly, I hope not, that’s really up to the characters and whether a natural plot line presents itself.

As for re-writing Choices

For one, I was 16 when I wrote it.  I have grown and matured a lot as a person and as a writer since then, and the book really hasn’t.  My awesome critique group at the OYAN Summer Workshops really helped me see this.  Those sessions were very eye opening to me about the story.  I’ve grown up since Kate first met Terren, and now it’s time for them and their story to grow up as well.  So as of right now, I am going to start all over, re-outline and everything.  It took me a while to finally admit to myself I needed to do this, but, I figured if Tolkien, Bryan Davis can do it, so can I.  I truly believe this is what the book needs and the story will be better for it.  Wish me luck!

In other news, I am in the midst of creating a brand new fantasy world.  This world will include two new races, Asian unicorns, multiple dragon breeds (it’s not cool without dragons 😉 ), and (hopefully) a rich and vast history.  Right now I am working on some sort of a naming language for it.  (A much more daunting task than I first imaged, for I am no Professor Tolkien.)  So far I have at three stories I plan on setting in this new world, quite possibly more.  What’s it’s name you ask?  Well, it doesn’t have one, not yet.

Well, that’s it.   Right now I’m in the midst of wedding planning and not doing much writing.  Hopefully I will be back at it after the exciting event this fall and after I am settled in Oklahoma. 🙂

Blessings!

~Laura

*opens new Word document….dives in*

Yep, that’s right, a new Word document.

So, what then am I writing?

*drum roll*

CHANCES! 

That’s right!  The time has finally come and book 2 of Aeden’s Call is no longer just scribbles in a note book, but a real Word document.

So this is what I’m up to.  Between working, editing Choices and family life, I am writing Chances.

Who’s excited?  (Other than me of course.)

Opening Line

The opening line to Kaeley’s story…

“Eight years old and alone, but Kaeley wasn’t afraid.”

So readers, is it a good one?

September 4th, 2008

Four years ago this past Tuesday I became a member of the One Year Adventure Novel online student forum…

Four years ago this week I became StoryGirl and joined the OYAN family… and my life has never been the same.

Little did I know what exactly I was getting myself into that first time I logged in.  I had never been on an online forum before, and I really had no idea what it was or what to expect.  There I was, seventeen going on eighteen, a senior in High School, just beginning to seriously dabble in the world of writing, and then WHAM! I suddenly found myself the world of OYAN.  (And no worries, it was a good WHAM. 😉 )

I don’t think I had ever felt so at home in a new place before.  It’s a weird thing to say about a forum on the internet, but that’s the best description for it I can come up with.  I was welcomed in with open arms by people who were just like me!  Writers, nerds, Tolkien fans!  And best of all… people who understood completely my passion for stories and writing.  Having a place where I could ask questions, seek help and encouragement, even sympathy, was like finding a slice of heaven.  For those of you who are writers, you know that writing, being a writer is a very solitary thing.  With OYAN, I suddenly discovered I wasn’t alone, and never had to be.  We were all doing it together.  Writing different stories, in different genres, but we were always there for each other when it got hard, and we still are.  (We’re a force to be reckoned with. 😉 )

Over the past four years I have been so blessed through OYAN.  I was given so much through one writing curriculum.

Strong friendships.

Encouragement.

The tools I needed to become a great writer.

Fellowship with like-minded writers.

A place to be myself.

Crazy people who were just like me! 😉

Challenges I needed as a writer.

Support.

Help when I needed it.

Shoulders to lean on, (or even cry on).

An incredible second family.

Amazing experiences.

And most of all…. love.

Yes, love.  To me, OYAN means love.

My life has been changed so much through OYAN.  God has used it to make me not only a better writer, but a better Christian who is closer to Him as well.  He has used the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made through it to help and change me in more ways then I’m sure any of them realize.  When I say it changed my life, I really mean it.

So, to all you OYANers reading this… Thank you.  You have been such a blessing to me.  You all have changed me, as a writer and as a person.   Thank you.

And to Mr. and Mrs. S.  Thank you.  For creating the curriculum, for supporting us and being there for us.  Just for everything you do.  Thank you.

From the bottom of my heart…. Thank you.

God bless you all.

OYAN forever!

 

Some Writings from a Writer’s Mind

Whether it’s on paper or just in my head, I’m always writing.

Here’s a little something that was going through my mind while out on a lake with my family yesterday.

What do you think?

Ominous gray clouds lined the sky, turning the lake a cold blue. Wind rippled across the water stirring up reflections of the firmament above. Suddenly a break appears; a tear in the gray. Amber sunlight spills through, washing the clouds with its brilliant light. Golden fingers of sunbeams reach down to touch the tree covered hill tops, crowning the world around with heavenly splendor. A voice seems to whisper from the wind; it glides across the water. “Take comfort dear heart, for you are not alone.”

Editing Continues…

Edits on Choices continue to crawl along.  Hopefully the pace will pick up later this week.  *fingers crossed*

I’ve been fighting a head cold for about a week now.  Doesn’t help when I work late on the weekends and can’t get to bed early, but a well, such is life.  Thank heavens for Young Living Essential Oils.  Without their peppermint oil to relieve my sinuses I think I just might have died. 😛

Only three weeks and four days until I leave for Kansas!  (I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED!!!!!)  I’m beginning to think I’m not going to finish the eleven chapters I have left in Choices, especially if it keep growing on me.  There were only sixteen chapters, now there are eighteen, and at this current rate I wouldn’t be surprised if I have twenty chapters by the end.  But then, it’s growing for a good reason, it needed to.  Kate and Terren’s relationship has been reigned in and made to progress at a more realistic pace, so naturally the book had to grow with it.

Here’s hoping this draft will be done by fall and work on Chances can be moved to my top priorities list. 🙂

Critiquing

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