Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Focus on the Path

By C. LaRene Hall

Five years ago, when I first started thinking seriously about writing I posted a list next to my computer to help me avoid certain taboo words while writing. Some of those words included “was” and “were”. Until this past weekend, I never realized why they are wrong. I usually searched each document and tried to delete the words if I could, but didn’t understand why.

On Friday, while at the LDStorymaker’s Conference I learned that when you use was and were you are telling instead of showing. The entire concepts of changing “was” and “were” into action words such as “he was writing” into “he wrote” finally clicked for me. With this firmly in my mind, I searched for the unwanted words and now my story has more action.

The day was long, but worthwhile. We were encouraged to be persistent in our writing, and never give up. They told us that if we want to improve our writing we should read and read and read. The journey of writing is important and we should focus on what we are inspired to write.

Lisa Magnum from Deseret Book listed five things you as a writer cannot control.
1. Publishing is a business.
2. Number of manuscripts submitted in a year.
3. Other manuscripts that are similar to yours.
4. What other people are doing.
5. Her moods.

She then listed five things that we can control.
1. Do your homework.
2. Follow guidelines.
3. Write a killer cover letter.
4. Showcase your talent.
5. Deal with rejection letters.

Jessica Day George, the keynote speaker ended the general session on Friday by reminding us that we are encouraged to explore our talents because it’s part of our culture.

This conference helped me once again focus on the path I am headed toward. Thank you LDS Storymakers.

1 comment:

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I loved Lisa's presentation. It's good to be reminded that sometimes something like an editor's mood, or the editor already having something similar to our work can determine whether our story is accepted.