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Give Thanks for this Writing Season!

While you’re accumulating your list of blessings to share around the Thanksgiving table, don’t forget to include these features that make up your writing journey. You can find many reasons to be thankful for it this season.

Be thankful for…

A never-ending amount of writing resources.

No matter what part of the process you’re in, you can find a multitude of resources to learn from. Not sure how to start writing a book? You don’t understand marketing? Trying to figure out your audience? You can find plenty of books, conferences, workshops, and blog posts that will help you along the way.

Your mentors.

Do you have that friend who has always encouraged you and been willing to read your rough drafts? Do you have an editor or literary agent who has helped improve your skills and connected you to others in the business? Take the time to recognize and thank the people in your life who have helped you not only stick with this journey, but also have helped you get better.

The progress you’ve made.

Whether you’re leaps and bounds ahead of schedule, or not quite where you want to be at this point, you are progressing. Maybe you’ve met with a critique group or submitted your manuscript to a few publishers. Perhaps you went to or taught at a conference. Whatever you’ve done, remember each step is a step closer to your goals and you should be proud and thankful for the opportunities this year has brought.

Your accomplishments

This may go without saying, but accomplishments come in many forms. From typing “The End” on your manuscript to getting on the New York Times Best Seller List, celebrate the blessing of each and every victory.

Your readers!

Readers bring a whole new level of satisfaction to your writing. They are the ones that share your book, buy it in support, leave reviews, and engage with your content. While the number of readers doesn’t define your skill, having readers makes all the toil worthwhile.

I hope this list has made you feel all warm and fuzzy while you think back on the many blessings that have crossed your writing path. What are some things you are hoping to be thankful for this time next year? It’s never too early to start preparing!

Happy writing!


Leah Jordan Meahl writes to encourage both the rooted and the wandering Christian to go deeper. She’s a born and bred Jesus-follower hailing from Greenville, South Carolina. She’s a lover of devotional writing as well as fiction. Check out her latest release Pebbles: 31 days of faith enriching parables. Feel free to visit her blog for inspirational content. And ‘like’ her on Facebook.

Ways to Connect with Writers

Writing takes up a lot of alone time. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that many other writers are facing the same questions and struggles over the keyboard that you are. If you take the time to broaden your circle of writing peers, I guarantee that you and your writing will be better for it.

Here are some ways you can branch out and connect to other writers.

  1. Join a Facebook Group

Facebook or other social media groups are a great way of connecting with other people with the same interests as you. Plus, you can get good advice and resources to help make your writing journey easier. Be sure to participate with the posts. Everyone likes to be acknowledged and appreciated, especially us hard working writers.

  1. Go to a Writing Conference

A writing conference is a big step out of a typical writer’s comfort zone, but it is highly beneficial. The best networking happens at a writing conference. You get to learn new skills through workshops, gain experience and opportunities to pitch your work to publishers, ask questions with other writers, and peruse hundreds of new works. One of the best parts of a conference is the fact that you get to connect with people over something that you’re all passionate about: writing!

  1. Participate in a writing group

A writing group is an important way to exercise your craft. While your writing is getting looked over with fresh eyes, you can engage with your likeminded peers. A writing groups brings a variety of diverse perspective to the table (literally!) It’s also fun to share your experiences with others who understand and have these people support your writing accomplishments.

  1. Invite other authors/writers on your blog

When you extend an invitation to a fellow wordsmith to share their story on your blog, you’re making an instant connection that goes deeper than a name on a book or a screen. As a result, you both add to your wonderful content and support and encourage another writer in the process. It’s a win-win.

  1. Show your support

You don’t have to purchase every book or product that someone is selling, but every once in a while, it’s good to buy that ebook or paperback and leave a review. Enter that giveaway, comment on that post. Writers are working hard not only writing that book, but also building their presence and platform. Reward them with your engagement, even if it means spending a little money.

 

I love the writing community. I have found so much encouragement and support from the people that I’ve connected with throughout my journey. I encourage you to try these out–you might just walk away with some amazing new friends!


Leah Jordan Meahl writes to encourage both the rooted and the wandering Christian to go deeper. She’s a born and bred Jesus-follower hailing from Greenville, South Carolina. She’s a lover of devotional writing as well as fiction. Her newest book Pebbles: 31 days of faith enriching parables has just released on Amazon and Kindle. Visit her blog or her book page.

Elements of Parable Writing

Whenever I come up with an idea, I immediately start planning my next novel. With my latest project however, I have learned to practice the art of shorter stories, or in my case, parables.

A parable is “a simple story used to illustrate a moral or religious lesson.”

As you know, the Bible is full of parables in both the Old and New Testament. It probably goes without saying that though they are smaller in comparison to an entire book, parables can be just as or even more powerful. If you want to exercise concise and influential storytelling through parables, here are some basic elements you will want to include.

  1. Fictional

No big surprise there! A parable is a made-up story but with relatable characters and events.

  1. Brief

Jesus could tell a parable in as little as a couple of sentences. Parables shouldn’t be long and drawn out. The plot points should come one after the other without a lot of filler information. Parables should be no more than a couple pages, so you don’t get into short story territory.

  1. Persuasive

In the very least, a parable should be thought-provoking. Whether your focus is on feelings, actions, or events, parables should persuade the reader to act in some way. It might be to think from a different perspective or to make a change in behavior.

  1. Highly Symbolic

One of my favorite aspects of parables are the many symbols you can weave within the words. Symbols can be obvious or obscure, but either way, they help the reader unpack the deeper truth underneath.

  1. Human

Parables always have human characters. Having human characters allows readers to connect and apply the message to themselves. That’s what sets parables apart from other moral stories like fables.

  1. True-to-Life

In addition to the human characters, parables should be true-to-life to make them as relatable as possible. They can revolve around recognizable life events or a one-time moment to help paint a clear picture and build strong connections for the reader.

  1. Illustrative

Illustrations play a big part in parables as you saw in the definition. But some parables focus strictly on illustrating an example like “The Good Samaritan” being an example of a neighbor. Though illustrative is a specific type of parable, you can be sure that you will find illustrations within the symbolism of many different parables.

 

These elements will help you get started on crafting your own parable. I have really enjoyed the process, and I think you would too!

Instead of tackling that novel-sized idea right now, try your hand at parables. You might just be amazed at what succinct storytelling will do to the depth and beauty of your writing.

What is your favorite parable? Let us know in the comments!


Leah Jordan Meahl writes to encourage both the rooted and the wandering Christian to go deeper. She’s a born and bred Jesus-follower hailing from Greenville, South Carolina. She’s a lover of devotional writing as well as fiction. Her newest book Pebbles: 31 days of faith enriching parables is set to release September 2020. Feel free to visit her blog and ‘like’ her on Facebook.

 

 

Pebbles and the Importance of Illustrations

How would you explain the love of God? Or the grace of a savior? How would you describe life as a Christian to a believer vs. a non-believer?

I typically revert to storytelling. Why? Because of illustrations. That’s what I set out to do with my new book, Pebbles: 31 days of faith enriching parables.

The Bible is rich with principles, and for those who love Jesus, it provides a fulfilling course of action for everyone. Jesus, knowing that we could just barely fathom the depths of the Bible’s mysteries, taught people the truth through, you guessed it, parables.

What’s a parable? A story that illustrates a moral or spiritual lesson.

So, why did the Teacher of Teachers use such illustrations and why should we follow suit? Here are my top three reasons.

  1. Illustrations are provocative

Stories have images and these images make us feel as well as think. As humans, we tend to connect with feelings. Instructions have a set of directions, but stories have a set of symbols. The creative nature stirs up something within us which then has a greater impact in the long run.

 

  1. Illustrations last longer

Because illustrations provoke thoughts and feelings, they last longer in our brains. How many times do we remember stories over sermons? Illustrations capture our attention and establish a connection to the underlying message. That connection allows our minds to return to that story or lesson when we need it the most.

 

  1. Illustrations are engaging

Sometimes, we have to work at something to understand it. Jesus knew that. If He simply spelled it out for us, we wouldn’t have to challenge ourselves or seek out anything. His parables have many layers and they offer new discoveries every time we read them. Exercising our critical thinking skills gives us a better appreciation of the meaning once we figure it out.

 

I’ve written Pebbles as a devotional of illustrations for fellow believers. The 31 modern parables will encourage, engage, and challenge your faith as you seek out the Biblical principles hidden within its pages.

Pebbles: 31 days of faith-enriching parables releases September 25th, 2020 and it will be available on Amazon.

Which parable from Jesus is your favorite? Let me know!

 


Leah Jordan Meahl writes to encourage both the rooted and the wandering Christian to go deeper. She’s a born and bred Jesus-follower hailing from Greenville, South Carolina. She’s a lover of devotional writing as well as fiction. Her newest book Pebbles: 31 days of faith-enriching parables is set to release September 2020. Feel free to visit her blog here. And ‘like’ her on Facebook here.

How Dialogue Strengthens Your Manuscript

Writing dialogue is one of my favorite parts of the writing process. If done well, using dialogue can strengthen your manuscript and turn an average story into an engaging ride people will be talking about long after they read it.

Here are 3 examples of how your story benefits from good dialogue.

 

  1. Dialogue puts you into the action

I love starting my chapters off with dialogue because it helps get out of the need to introduce everything, but instead drops your reader into a specific moment. If you’re stuck on how to get your characters into a certain conversation, just begin a scene with the conversation and work from there.

 

  1. Dialogue establishes character dynamics

When writing dialogue, you not only get to write what people say, but you also get to include dialect, body language, and how characters think and feel about each other. All of which are opportunities for you to give your characters depth in each conversation.

 

  1. Dialogue advances the plot

Conversations are necessary to inform the reader on motivation and a means to get to the next step of the plot. If you have a limited narrator, you also need to hear from your other characters in order to get an idea of what they’re thinking. Advancements include: getting a significant question answered, interviewing a character in a mystery, or encouraging a different direction or goal.

 

Warning! It’s easy to write poor dialogue, so here are a few tips on how to avoid common mistakes.

  1. Don’t overuse dialogue tags (said, told, replied, exclaimed, etc)
  2. If you have more than 2 people talking, make sure your reader knows when you switch to a new speaker while also following tip number 1.
  3. Drop and indent each time a character speaks. This structure makes it easy for the reader to follow along.
  4. Read your dialogue to make sure your characters have a unique voice and that it sounds natural. Writing conversations don’t need perfect grammar.

 

Get to know your characters, drive your story, and have fun with it!

Do you find it easy or difficult to write dialogue? Let us know!

Don’t forget to check out Write2Ignite’s masterclass with Joyce Moyer Hostetter where you can learn even more about dialogue and other writing essentials. Click here to learn more.


Leah Jordan Meahl writes to encourage both the rooted and the wandering Christian to go deeper. She’s a born and bred Jesus-follower hailing from Greenville, South Carolina. She’s a lover of devotional writing as well as fiction. Her newest book Pebbles: 31 days of faith enriching parables is set to release August 2020. Feel free to visit her blog. And ‘like’ her on Facebook.

 

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