Writing Craft

Down Under

By the time this blog is posted I should be nearing home after spending the weekend with a wonderful group of Australian and New Zealand writers at a retreat center in Mulgoa, Australia (approximately an hour’s drive west of Sydney) for The Omega Christian Writers Conference.

I had the privilege of giving six hours of presentations, taking a number of appointments, and just enjoying their hospitality. It was a marvelous time. (Did not see any kangaroos although they were apparently in the area.)

We absolutely must remember that publishing is a global business. The issues and challenges of the world and how to express one’s faith are universal.

It is rather unusual to be the one everyone accuses of having an accent!  But the “differences” are curiosities, not barriers. These writers wrestle with their words, tackle marketing frustrations, and balance work and life with the call to write.

While we may not be close in proximity (it is a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney and you gain 18 hours) to the rest of the world, we are close … because we are all part of the Body of Christ.

I came away impressed with an enthusiastic group hungry to learn how to change the world through the written word.

It was great to spend significant time with agency Aussie clients David Rawlings, Narelle Atkins, and Carolyn Miller. David, with his novel The Baggage Handler, is the first Australian to be a finalist for the Christy Awards.

For those of you in the U.S., take a moment today and pray for our fellow brothers and sisters around the globe who are striving to improve their craft of writing, just as you are. In fact, anywhere you may be, take a moment to lift up your international fellow writers.

We are on this journey together!






Leave a Comment

Writing Sympathetic Characters

Have you ever stopped reading a novel because you didn’t like or weren’t interested in the characters or you couldn’t muster enough caring about them to stick with them for 300 pages? Here are a few tips to try to keep this reaction from happening to your readers: 1. Portray …

Read More

Always Be Learning

During the Summer of 1978 the #1 hit on Christian radio was the classic “He’s Alive” by Don Francisco (click here to listen). That same Summer I attended a Christian music festival in Estes Park, Colorado and decided to take a class on songwriting being taught by Jimmy and Carol Owens. I settled into my chair near the back of the room with notepad ready.

Just as the class was about to start a bearded man slide in the chair next to mine….notepad at the ready. To my astonishment it was Don Francisco. (I recognized him from his album cover.)

Here was a singer/songwriter who had the number one hit in the nation…taking a class on songwriting! What did he think he needed to learn?

Read More

I Want to Read This!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared ideas about stakes versus conflict and the importance of making stakes and conflict both high and riveting. I also shared examples of pretexts that no one would care to read. Here is one: Reginald just bought a private jet; but the air traffic controllers …

Read More

Create a World Your Readers Love

Today’s guest post is written by Virginia Wise, one of Tamela’s clients. Welcome, Virginia! She is the author of the Amish New World series, in which colonial settlers discover love—and God’s promises—in the Pennsylvania wilderness (Kensington Publishing). Her latest books include An Amish Second Christmas, Where the Heart Takes You, …

Read More

A New Perspective

When I run errands, I park in the lot’s equivalent of the North Pole, so my car doesn’t get dinged. I walk quickly, with swagger and purpose. I learned to do this in my twenties under the advice of security types who said women can deter attacks against themselves by …

Read More

First Lines in Fiction

The opening words of your novel may be all a prospective buyer will read before making their purchasing decision. Are yours an opening salvo; an opening punch; or an opening sigh, easily dismissed? They will also be the first words an agent or an editor reads when they see the …

Read More

Handi Wipe® Brand Names from Your Writing

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post in this space titled “Details Are Great—Except When They’re Not.” In that post, I said, “Sometimes details can be lethal to an article, story, or book.” (I quote myself occasionally because if I don’t do it, who will?) Soon, someone emailed …

Read More