Writing Spaces – A Seekerville Challenge

Today on Seekerville, Myra Johnson is chatting about Writing Spaces – so…. I thought I’d show you guys mine.

I’m usually on the move with my writing space (in the car, during lunch break, sitting in the park), but if I have an opportunity to actually write at home, these are a few of my spots.

My little desk in the hallway with quick access to every room in the house 🙂

It USED to be very neat and tidy…but that’s when I first bought the desk. Since life has happened around it, it’s become a bit more ‘realistic’. I’ve never had a writing spot before, so I’ll take it wherever I can get it. Did you notice the book I’m reading on my desk? Ruth Logan Herne’s newest, Small-Town Hearts.

I have my Writer’s Prayer posted to the wall (you can read it here) – plus all my research (for 3 different novels) scattered around. I have to walk to another room to gain access to my research books and favorite reads, but those help inspire me while I’m writing too.


The couch for late at night writing or while the kids watch a video (this is my youngest daughter, Phoebe 😉

And here is my treadmill desk. I’ll place my laptop up here while I walk so I can do some light research, watch videos (like Michael Hauge’s The Hero’s Two Journeys), or check email.

Self-Editing and Scene Goals

I’m reading Self-Editing For Fiction Writers, recommended by Patti Lacy.

It’s very good.

And is causing me to go back through my pages to see where I can make things tighter. Show more than tell, use more action verbs.

Those sorts of things.

But one thing I hadn’t really considered was working each of my scenes around a central goal.

For  example, I have three scenes in the first chapter of The Thornbearer. Well, after a hearty critique by Patti – I now have three scenes in my first chapter. With some helpful prods from Patti and some faithful toe-crushing, education from SelfEditing For Fiction Writers, I’ve come up with goals for each of the scenes in my first three chapters…I think. (It’s me and Patti in the pic to the right – at ACFW. Isn’t she cute 🙂

Have you ever done this?

I’ll show you how I have mine set up. I’d love to see how you set up your goals, or learn ways you come to a goal for a scene. Remember, each scene serves the purpose of moving the story forward.

Chapter 1

  1. Get out of America (Ashleigh’s POV)
    1. Ending hook: Sam is coming too
    2. Keep Sam from coming (Ashleigh’s POV)
      1. Ending hook: Letters, Michael onboard?
      2. Get on that boat with Ashleigh – and sort out his feelings (Sam’s POV)
        1. Ending hook: Lusitania threatened. Feelings for Ashleigh?

Chapter 2

  1. Prove to Sam she is not a child (Ashleigh’s POV)
    1. Ending hook: “Maybe you do not know me or my sister as well as you think you do?”
    2. Make amends for his behavior…realization a change in his feelings for her  (Sam’s POV)
      1. Ending hook: Confrontation with Michael 

What about you?

BRMCWC with Steven James – Organic Writing

As you guys probably know, I’m attending the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference this week. It’s been really nice with lots of fun – and poignant experiences.

Today, I went to Steven James’ lecture on Storytelling for Speakers. Since I got there a bit early, Steven answered a few questions before the class began. One question was about his writing style, ie- do you plot? just write? what do you do?

His answer made me like him even more.

He said, “I’m an organic writer.”

Organic Writer?

The first thing that popped to mind was a farmer with a notebook in one hand and a milk pail in the other 🙂

What Steven meant was he just writes and allows the story to evolve. Another quote from this chat was, “I think that if YOU’RE never surprised as you write your book, then you’re readers won’t be suprised when they read it either.”

I love that, because I write the same way.

I released a large sigh of relief, because I’d heard a lot about indepth plotting. (Nothing wrong with that, btw- but it’s just another style of writing). Steven’s description reminded me that ‘my way’ was okay as long as it resulted in the same thing in the end. A well-written manuscript.

I have so many ideas to share that i”ve learned from various presenters so far…and those posts will come sooner or later, but in the middle of this conference, I just wanted to share a little nugget. For those of you who grow along with your story, or ORGANIC writing – a nationally known, award winning author is write….um….right there with you (and me).

We writers all have different writing styles and choices, but in the end we agree on two crucial elements:

1. We want to write for the glory of God.

2. We are a very unique bunch of people.

To find out more about Steven James, check out his website at www.stevenjames.net