Tuesday, June 30, 2020

ACFW-SC Chapter First Page Contest Winners



There is nothing as exciting as entering a contest and winning!

Last month we had fourteen inspiring authors from South Carolina polish the first page of their manuscript and submit it to our contest. We had the best time reading through each entry, and we have some wonderful rising authors on our heels.

Judging each entry was a Managing Editor for Heritage Beacon Fiction, Smitten Historical Romance, and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Each first page was scored according to the following criteria.
1 to 5 points each for qualities outlined in submission guidelines.
5 points = excellent (not perfect).
  • Hook (first sentence, first page overall)
  • Characterization (believability, empathy)
  • Setting (time period, location, description, mood)
  • Conflict (gripping, problems introduced)
  • Voice (style, including active, deep POV and showing over telling)
  • Neatness (typos, grammar, punctuation)

A comment from the judge.
“Because of the emphasis on the hook, the first page, and creating a powerful beginning in this contest, there were some examples of super strong writing that may not have won or placed. Some just need a little tweaking to start in the most compelling place.”

A drumroll please ...and the winners are: 
  • 1st place: Winner requested we not post her name and title at this time due to the guidelines for another contest she has entered. - 30 points
  •  2nd place: Joni Vance - Repercussions – 28 points
  •  3rd place: Candy Arrington - The Appledore Legacy- 26 points

Each of our three finalists were encouraged to submit their completed manuscript to Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. How exciting is that?

Monday, May 4, 2020

First Page Novel Contest - ACFW-SC Chapter



First Page Novel Contest ACFW-SC Chapter

First Page Novel Contest Guidelines and Judging Criteria 

ELIGIBILITY: 

Any author (chapter member or non-member) whose work has not been previously published in fiction (in ANY print or online form) is eligible, with no limit to the number of entries that may be submitted, however, a manuscript may not be entered into multiple categories. The manuscript should not contain profanity, graphic sex, or other objectionable material and must otherwise conform to generally accepted standards of the CBA (Christian Booksellers Assoc.) as determined by ACFW. Judges may request submissions not meeting this requirement be disqualified.

TIMELINE:  

  • The contest will begin on May 8, 2020. 
  • The deadline for entries is June 1, 2020, 8 PM EST 
  • All entries will receive a confirmation e-mail indicating receipt of the entry. If an entrant does not receive an emailed confirmation, please e-mail the contest coordinator, Tracy Fredrychowski, author@tracyfredrychowski.com 
  • Entry Fee for current ACFW-SC members and Low Country-SC members is $15 per entry. For non-members, it is $20  per entry. Fee must be paid before sending the entry(s). 
PAYMENT:

  • You may pay the fee through PayPal. (See Paypal links below.) This is our chapter preferred way. 
  • You may also mail a check (do not mail cash), made out to ACFW-SC Chapter 
  • Mail to Tracy Fredrychowski, 5323 Ninety Six Highway, Ninety Six, SC 29666


MEMBER FEE - $15.00

NON MEMBER FEE $20.00

SUBMISSION: 

Submit the first page of your novel or novella manuscript. Indicate in your email what genre your novel manuscript targets. (General Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Speculative, New Adult, Young Adult)

MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION: 


  • Manuscripts may only be submitted by email as an attachment. 
  • We will only accept a .doc or .docx format. No other formats are admissible. 
  • Email submissions with “ACFW-SC First Page Novel Contest” in the subject line to: Tracy Fredrychowski, author@tracyfredrychowski.com 
  • Do NOT place your name, pseudonym, or any other personal identifiers anywhere on the manuscript. Also, be mindful of not posting to your online profiles the name or other identifiers of your contest-entered manuscript(s) since judging is to be anonymous. 
  • ONLY in your email, include your full name, the title of your entry, target genre, email address, and phone for the contest coordinator (Tracy Fredrychowski) to note. Required Submission 

FORMAT: (not just suggestions)

  • Use 12 point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. 
  • The contest requires the use of Times New Roman or Courier New. 
  • Include a header on each manuscript with the title, genre, entire manuscript word count (or estimate if ms not finished) and page numbers. 
  • NO entrant's name or pseudonym should be in the header. 
  • Start your first page one double-space down the page from the header. (Not the usual extra spaces) 
  • Send the first page of your manuscript. Prologue first pages are acceptable. DO NOT send more than one page of your manuscript. Important Note: Entries not fulfilling the above specifications will be disqualified. Entry fees will not be refunded. 


JUDGING/PRIZES: 

The contest will be judged by an anonymous Acquisitions Editor who has years of experience in writing, editing and judging. See below for the Judging Criteria.

  • First Place Prize: $50 
  • Second Place Prize: $30 
  • Third Place Prize: $20 
  • An Honorable Mention Certificate may also be awarded at the judge’s discretion 
  • The judge will also give each entrant a short note about the strength and/or weakness of their first page. 
  • The winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the June 27, 2020, ACFW-SC Meeting. Absentee winners will have their awards mailed. 
May the Lord bless you as you hone your craft and prepare for this contest is our prayer.

Tracy Fredrychowski, Contest ChairmanElva Cobb Martin, President ACFW-SC



First Page Novel Contest Judging Criteria 

Entrants in the First Page Contest will be judged on:

  1. HOOK: Presenting a compelling first sentence, first paragraph and first scene that will make the reader want to keep reading. 
  2. CHARACTERIZATION: Introducing a believable main character with whom the reader can empathize. Is he/she someone the reader will care enough about to want to follow through to the end of the story? 
  3. SETTING: Creating a sense of time and place for the story. Does the reader know from the outset where the story is taking place and in what era? 
  4. CONFLICT: Though it takes some time to fully introduce the plot and its conflicts, does the reader in the first page at least have a sense as to what will be the overarching problems faced by the main character? Does the plot promise to be gripping rather than predictable? 
  5. VOICE: Has the author begun to develop his/her own voice in the use of diction, sentence structure and word choice?

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Interview with Glenda Manus, Best Selling Author


Glenda Manus

Glenda Manus, author of the bestselling Southern Grace Series of 8 cozy mysteries SET in SC!


How did your writing journey start? How many years have you been writing since the first book?

My writing journey began with a year-long daily diary given to me by my older sister when I was in fifth grade. I found that it was too small to put all my thoughts down and I filled it up within a few months. She was impressed so she gave me a large journal. The newness of it wore off for a while, but when I was in high school, I took up journaling again and I have over fifty books of journals that I’ve filled up over the years. I basically chronicled my life in those journals and it’s both thrilling and embarrassing when I go back and read them. I wrote poetry and short stories but it was always in the back of my mind to write a book. About ten years ago, I decided to make it happen. I subscribed to Writer’s Digest and ordered self-help books on writing. I studied the craft with a passion; I challenged myself with writing prompts and after about two years, I felt I was ready. And one year later, on December 24, 2013, I self-published my first book, Sweet Tea and Southern Grace.

What made you decide to write Christian cozy mysteries?

I’m both Southern and Christian and I’ve always loved a good mystery. I just decided to write what I know. I really didn’t think about them being “cozy” but somehow that label resonated with my readers and I got branded as a Christian Cozy Mystery author.

How do/did you plan your series? Does the Rev. Rock Clark character continue in every volume?

I’m a member of a small Presbyterian church in a quaint little town. I don’t think my books would have been quite so successful if I lived elsewhere because I patterned the town of Park Place after my own town.  We had an endearing pastor at the time who was married. I patterned Rev. Rock after him, but I made him unmarried, much younger and much more handsome because I wanted all the unmarried ladies in town to be slightly in love with him.
  Our pastor was much too old for that sort of thing. It just sort of snowballed from there and Rev. Rock took on a life of his own. He is featured in all the books, but in four of the eight books, he is not the main character. 

How did you learn to indie publish on Amazon?

In mid-2013, when I had finished writing the first book, I began to explore my options on how to get it published. I queried an agent and she responded. She loved my book but as we talked, she told me the process of getting a publisher and getting it published could take up to eighteen months. I was 65-years-old and I didn’t want to wait that long. And what if she couldn’t find a publisher? I would be back to ground zero! I read in Writer’s Digest where more and more authors were publishing through CreateSpace, a division of Amazon. I also read that Kindle books were outselling physical books by leaps and bounds and when you self-publish through KDP, your royalties are 70%. I loved 70% compared to what the agent had offered me. A traditional publisher does a lot of work for you though. Hiring an editor, a cover designer, and someone to format your books can be expensive, but you can price around and find some talented people out there who supplement their income doing side jobs and I’ve been blessed with the people I’ve found. Here again, just as in learning the writing craft, you have to be willing to work hard to make it happen. It was a huge learning curve in 2013 to self-publish. Amazon has made it so much easier now.

What kind of marketing have you found most successful?

Indie authors have more marketing flexibility than traditionally published authors. I run a few Facebook ads from time to time on my author Facebook page, but the one thing that’s worked best for me is to discount one or more of my kindle books each month and use a marketing site like Faithful Reads, BookGorilla, or Bookbub. You pay for a one-day promotion. They send out daily emails to their reader subscribers. With a series, when a reader likes the book you are promoting, they almost always buy the rest of the books in the series.

a.     How important/lucrative has it been to write a continuing series?
As I stated in the answer above, once you hook your readers on one book, they usually buy the whole series. They get to know and love the characters and think of them as old friends. I never leave a book with a cliffhanger. Each book is a complete story.

b.     Do you do a lot of social media marketing and/or paid ads?
I haven’t done any paid Amazon ads but I’m not adverse to doing so. I have a dedicated author Facebook page and sometimes use a $10 paid ad to reach more people, but mostly I just use it to inspire my readers. I post something inspirational nearly every day and I give updates with teasers on my latest writing projects. On the last page of my books, I do an author letter where I invite my readers to like my Facebook page and I provide them with my email address.

What was your greatest writing problem/roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

I’m an impatient soul and my biggest problem has been learning patience. I have a tendency to want to be lax on the editing process but fine-tuning and getting your book print-ready is the most important thing you can do if you want to be successful as an indie author. A book filled with mistakes is very grating on the nerves of avid readers. Edit, edit and edit some more! It’s my least favorite thing to do, but I’m blessed to have a friend who was a magazine editor before she retired. She beat this advice into my head constantly and I’m so glad she did!

I’ve also experienced writer’s block. The best way I’ve learned to deal with that is to just sit down and read. Writers need to read books in the genre they write in order to study and fine-tune the craft. The Bible is a great source of inspiration. “Be still and know that I am God.” Quiet times of reflection can help get you back on track.


How has God guided you through your writing process?

God has guided me all the way. I find that when I don’t seek his guidance or I try to write something that he wouldn’t approve 100%, he dries up my words. When I’ve decided on a plot and begin outlining my book, I seek out scripture verses that I think would speak to the plot. I make notes of them to use as I create my story.


 Do your stories or characters ever come to you in your dreams?

I dream all the time, but I must say that my dreams are so crazy, I would be hesitant about writing a story about them! Maybe I should try. I wake up quite a bit at night and have trouble falling back to sleep. The quietness is conducive to some heavy thinking during those hours, so I keep a notebook and pen beside my bed and if a good story idea comes into my thoughts, I write it down. More often, my story ideas come to me when I’m washing dishes of all things! So, I wash dishes a lot!

 How did you build an email list (if you have)?

I haven’t used email as a marketing tool yet, but I think it’s a good idea. I have built a list through giveaway contests on Facebook. A requirement for the contest is for the contestants to give their email addresses through a private message. On the back page of my books, I encourage my readers to email me their thoughts or questions about my books and many of them do. I add those to an email list to possibly use at a later date.

What are you working on now?

I am working on two books at the present time. One is the ninth book in the Southern Grace series. It is a spin-off from one the characters I mentioned in my last book. The character is Anabelle Porter, a forty-five-year-old spinster. When Anabelle was in her twenties, she put her life on hold in order to care for her invalid mother. Her mother has passed on now and Anabelle is ready to get her life back. She is lonely and wants to find love so desperately that she ends up falling for someone who is just trying to get into her bank account. Or is he?


The other book is historical fiction, a genre I love to read but have never written. The story follows a young couple as they migrate west during the 1850s. I’m a big Louis L’Amour fan. His books always feature a strong male protagonist, but mine features Dorine McCade, a feisty Irish lass whose common sense and strength of character rescues her little family on more than one occasion as they cross the country seeking a new life. I’m almost finished with this one and it will be in the hands of my editor by the first week of May. Writing in a new genre has been a fun, but somewhat bumpy ride.

 How can your readers get or stay in touch with you or purchase your books?

I have several ways for people who want to connect with me.

Glenda's Bio: 
Glenda Manus is Southern born and Southern bred which means she says yes ma'am and no ma'am, sends thank you notes, bakes casseroles for sick friends and funerals, and likes to visit her neighbors over a glass of sweet iced tea. Her writing is both inspirational and Southern which in her opinion are one and the same. The characters within the pages of her books are filled with grace and charm but they're not perfect by any means. The fictitious town of Park Place, South Carolina is where it all begins. It's an idyllic, sleepy little town where rocking on front porches, drinking sweet tea out of heirloom glasses while indulging in a little innocent gossip is a way of life. It's much like the little town where Glenda, her husband, and their cat Theo call home.
Glenda's novels are part of The Southern Grace Series, but each novel can be read as a stand-alone with its own unique blend of characters and plot and they are sure to satisfy a Christian's thirst for clean family fiction.


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Planning Your Novel -Part 5 Deep Heroine Characterization

by  Elva Cobb Martin (updated March, 2020)


Planning an Heroic, Determined, Compassionate Heroine --start with a picture or two.

Here are a couple of the photos I've chosen for my heroine in my historic romance, Marisol, showing her two sides as a lovely Spanish lady and a trained sword-fighting foe when necessary. (And, yes, that talent is going to be necessary). I love having an idea of how my heroine might look as I plan and write the story.
(Do  you recognize Catherine Zeta Jones?)

My heroine: 

Doña  Marisol Valentin 




Physical Description: Medium height, long, curly, dark hair, hazel eyes with a tinge of gold,  dark arched brows and thick lashes, skin color and texture from her English mother – creamy ivory; face structure – oval/oblong with high cheek bones; straight nose, full lips and gleaming straight white teeth, small but strong hands with long, tapered fingers; general body structure – small bones, lithe, well endowed, much stronger than she looks. Had Spanish father and English mother.
Special skills:  Trained in sword fighting. Is excellent horsewoman and Flamenco dancer. Raised on an Andalusian Stud Farm in Cadiz, Spain

Don't forget my premise for this novel:

Love, forgiveness, and determination can overcome the most horrifying experiences and poor choices when God is invited into the equation.

Here are some characterization details I'm working out for Marisol that will help develop and bring my premise into realization. Of course, some of this may very well change as I write the story. I keep my plotting outline fluid!

Internal Goal/Motivation – to overcome her terrible past and find love, security, respect. She falls in love with widower privateer Captain Ethan Becket, but sees little hope for that relationship due to her terrible past with the murder of a Spanish noble who attacked her. 
Spirit of Rejection  - desperately wants to be part of a loving family circle but doubts she's worthy.
 External Goal/Motivation-  Escape from Spain to New World. Later, help Captain Ethan Becket find and rescue his sister from Spanish captors thought to be living in Cartagena.
        
Core need: to find true love, security, respect and a new beginning.
 Greatest fear: That ALL her past will be revealed and she’ll suffer great consequences, even to being garroted (in Spain) for murder. And Ethan Becket will never understand if he learns of the murder.
The incident that wounded her earlier in life that got her to believing a lie.
Her stepfather tried to marry her off to a rich, wicked don she refused to marry. One day the nobleman attacked her but she managed to stab him, accidentally killing him. She had to flee her home and live by her wits and charms. She escaped from Spain by becoming an indentured slave on a ship bound for the colonies.
Character Arc:  
Persona (face she shows to the world):  A very capable, sometimes harsh, sometimes vixen, fearless young woman.
Essence: An insecure, frightened, low self-esteem, young woman, who longs to escape her past and find love, family, and security.
Will become: a strong, godly young woman willing and able to fight and sacrifice for  others.
Spiritual Arc
Marisol starts out as a nominal believer, not sure what blessings faith affords. Even though she repented her past sins, she still feels like soiled goods and knows she’ll go to prison or to  execution if the murdered nobleman's family finds her. She is sure no one will believe her version of the attack vs. the version of the man’s family, who are wealthy and of the Spanish nobility.
   
 She Will Become: Marisol will discover through scripture and experiences that God wants to wipe away all that stains her mind, will and emotions and help her become a true woman of God worthy of respect and love. The battle she will face when the murder catches up with her will serve to strengthen her, not to destroy her, and will build a strong faith in God’s justice and belief in his love for her.

Romantic Arc
Marisol falls in love with widower Captain Ethan Becket, but many hurdles stand between these two ever finding love and a HEA.

Do you like this heroine so far?  Please do leave a comment and share the blog on your social media by clicking the square links below.

Marisol, Book 1 in my new historical series, was released by Wild Heart Books in November, 2019.  It has spent time on Amazon's 100 Bestseller's List for Women's Religious Fiction

Thanks for stopping by.

Blessings on your writing,
Elva Cobb Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Planning Your Novel Part 4 - Characterization Special: Dancing Horse Heroine

By Elva Cobb Martin  ---Check out the above YouTube Clip!


If you're planning a novel, I assume you've studied a lot about characterization and how best to plan and detail your characters. But today with the above YouTube clip I am sharing with you something I've run across with planning my Spanish heroine in my current wip (work in progress).

In my research I ran across the Spanish horse or the Andalusian breed which has had a large influence on the bloodlines of the beautiful Lipizzaner breed of horses of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. That's why it's called the Spanish Riding School, but it's in Vienna, Austria.

I've had horses myself and love them. I am thinking about making my heroine more special than ever by setting her on a Spanish horse stud farm where she has learned the beautiful dancing with the horses like you see in the clip. Don't you think this will make her a much more special character that readers will love?

Remember, one of my first points in planning your novel in Part 1 was Research and More Research! I've spent some time studying out the Spanish or Andalusian horse and had a great time doing it. My novel will be much richer as a result. These horses are still being bred in several nations and very popular all over the world, not just in Spain or Austria.

In the clip you can see where the Lipizzaner got it's beautiful dressage genes! And don't you love the Spanish guitar accompaniment?

Of course, I've got MUCH research on this subject I may never get to use in my novel, but that's fine. I'd rather be on the rich end rather than the skimpy one.

Here's a few quick notes from my research for you horse lovers like me!

Spanish horses, including the Andalusian, originated from Arabian and Berber horses from North Africa. They were brought to Spain in the 8th Century. (Think Muslim invasion and takeover of Spain which continued several centuries and hence the mosques still standing there).


During the 15th and 16th Centuries (think of the Catholic deliverance of Spain, Queen Isabella's Empire, and Columbus) these majestic high-stepping Spanish horses became the status symbol of the royal courts throughout Europe. 
Note: my photo may be of Isabella...and it might not be. But you get the picture. ( :



1580: When the importation of horses from the Spanish Peninsula became more difficult, the Vienna court under Archduke Karl II decided to develop their own breeding farm in . . . Lipica. He sent buyers to Spain and they brought back stallions and mares. They became the foundation of the Lipizzan breed. And, yes, I have the rest of the exciting story about even these Lipizzan horses and all they went through during the various European wars, even their rescue during WWII by our own General Patton. But that's another story. . . for another day.




Have you planned a special talent or work for your main character that people will love to learn about? This is the kind of thing that makes an historical or a contemporary novel much richer. In my contemporary Summer of Deception novel, I shared the growing and making of tea by my hero. You can find the novel here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071L28PHH
I also have a beautiful Arabian horse in this novel named Haidez.

Do join the fun and tell us about your character's special talent or work. Please click on the social buttons below to share if you found this blog helpful.

Blessings,
Elva Cobb Martin


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Planning Your Novel Part 3 "Pitches and Book Tags"

by Elva Cobb Martin


In Part 2 we talked about "Premise" and how it will actually help you write your pitch. Never mind pulling your hair out. You can access Parts 1-2 in my archives.

So what is a pitch (or log line) and how does it differ from a book tag?

A pitch is a one or two sentence nutshell that explains what your book is about. 

Imagine someone asking you, "What is your book about?" (Some one like an editor or agent that you may run into at a conference and you only have a few moments to tell them about your book). 

Here are some examples of pitches:

1) Jacob Marshall must avenge his father's honor by implicating Serena Jones' father, only to realize revenge often hurts the innocent.

2) Rachel York determines to unearth the truth about her brother's reported death by taking a position at an historic tea plantation, only to realize the truth may destroy her new found love and could even cost her life.  (This was my pitch for Summer of Deception which helped snag a contract and can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071L28PHH )

Want to try your hand at a pitch?  Here's a simple template that has helped me:

(Your protagonist) _________MUST __________(critical plot goal) BY ______________(action or conflict)  
ONLY TO REALIZE __________________(what the character learns about life that helps him change his goal during journey of book

Tags are a briefer hook, like back cover copy first line or byline in a movie. You'll need this for your book cover and tweets.

To boldly go where no man has gone. (Star Wars)
Don't go in the water (Jaws)
Collide with destiny (Titanic)
Power comes with a price (The List by Robert Whitlow)
Can love survive a summer of deception? (for my novel Summer of Deception)
Falling in love with a pirate was never part of her plan. (for my novel, In a Pirate's Debt).

My Premise for my current wip helped me write my Pitch. Of course, it's an inspirational romance.


To recap, my tweaked premise for my wip is: Love, forgiveness, and determination can overcome the most horrifying experiences and poor choices when God is invited into the equation.

Here's a rough draft of my pitch:

"Marisol Valentine flees after murdering the Spanish nobleman who sexually assaulted her only to find herself caught in a net of kidnappers for the King's colonization of the New World which threatens to derail her forever from love, security and decency until she discovers a God who can work good even from evil."

How's that for a long sentence? But it gets the job done--for now. ( :

Thanks for stopping by. Please do leave a comment and a sample pitch, if you have one. And share this blog if it has been helpful.

Blessings,
Elva Cobb Martin



Thursday, September 13, 2018

Planning Your Novel - Part 2 "Premise"

by Elva Cobb Martin


Planning your novel can get that dream you have (like an illusive bubble in your head and heart), down on plain white paper or on your computer screen.

In Part 1 of planning a novel, we talked about:

a) Reading/immersing yourself in your genre and time period


b) Jotting down your initial storyline
c) Researching and more researching

You can find Part 1 in my archives.

Today, I want to talk about the first of three important "p's" in planning your novel: Premise, Pitch, and Pictures.

Stavros Halvatzis has several good blogs about Premise that helped me. Click http://stavroshalvatzis.com/story-design/how-to-create-a-strong-dramatic-Premise

To recap, he says: 

The story or moral premise is a short description of the entire story in its essential form. It's the essential core or meaning of the story and the chief theme of your story.

A unique premise contains a strong set-up and pay-off, it generates dramatic questions, and gives the writer a blueprint for writing a successful story.

It can be thought of as the two-part genetic code of a story: one part identifies the virtue which leads to victory, while the other identifies the opposite, which leads to defeat.

Here are some movie examples he sites:

1) The Ten Commandments, Braveheart, The Firm, Gladiator
    "The hero must do the right thing to eventually achieve the goal (carry the day, save the world), even if it sometimes means he has to sacrifice himself."

2) In There Will be Blood  
      "The pursuit of wealth and power, at the expense of love and family, leads to loneliness and defeat."

After studying premise this is what I came up with for my work-in-progress, an inspirational historical romance.

"Love, forgiveness and determination can overcome the most horrifying experiences and poor choices."

Can you see the two main parts of my story? (Terrible experience & Happy Resolution) Can you see that it will be an encouraging story for those who have suffered from bad experiences or poor choices? Does it bring to mind dramatic questions like: What horrible experience did the heroine endure? How will she find love and forgiveness to overcome the effects? Does she have enough determination to move forward to a HEA? My heroine, Marisol Valentin, will find what she needs to overcome! She will illustrate my idea of a strong, determined woman who will not let circumstances destroy her or keep her down. And, of course, she will have to discover the great power of Christian faith to do this.

Do you see that from my premise, I actually have my beginning, middle and end of my story? 
     The Horrifying Experience (and all it entailed)
     Working to Overcome (risk, hindrances, conflict, people)
     Accessing love, forgiveness and determination to a HEA

Sound like the 3 acts? Maybe so.

Can you come up with a premise for your novel? It will help you write your story, and keep you on track to your planned ending.
Please share it in the comments. I'd love to read it.

Premise is different from the Pitch which I will discuss in my next blog. Premise will help you write your pitch!

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and share this blog on your social media if it was helpful.

Blessings,
Elva Cobb Martin