Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Donita K. Paul

At a H.I.S. meeting (a Colorado chapter of ACFW) last night, I got to meet Donita K. Paul, who is a champion for the dragon sub-genre of Christian fiction.  She talked about some advanced writing ideas and then signed some of her books. 

She impressed me with her quick wit and creativity.  And her confidence in her craft.  She discussed three main points:

1)Wait For It - don't give away everything in the beginning of your story.  Plant hints but then leave them dangling for awhile.  Just be sure you eventually resolve those early embedded questions.

2)Resist the Urge to Explain - Trust your reader's intelligence.  Don't define the spices in your story; allow them to subtly flavor the story.  Don't explain but rather tickle the reader's curiosity. 

3) Flashback cautions - avoid backstory and flashbacks because those stop a story's momentum.

 And sitting among a group of fellow writers is always delicious, exchanging ideas and encouraging one another.  The writing process can be a lonely one:  just me and that computer screen.  But we're not alone and it was great to be reminded of that again at last night's meeting.

Colorado has several ACFW chapters plus we're hoping to get one started in our town.  ACFW is a wonderful organization with lots of resources and support for Christian fiction writers.  

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