This past Saturday, the Oregon Christian Writer’s Fall One-Day Conference featured keynote speaker, author Eva Marie Everson. I always look forward to these one-day conferences, and this one was no disappointment!
Everson is a fiction and nonfiction published author who has won many awards. She has traveled to Israel several times, out of which came one of her most recent books, “Reflections of God’s Holy Land,” which tells of a moment that she truly “fell” into the Bible. What do I mean exactly? You should buy the book and see!
She spoke about how God’s timing is His own, and He knows the perfect setup for us writers and our novels. One of her book ideas served as a launching point for a different book, “Reflections of God’s Holy Land,” which earned her a prestigious award nomination and much acclaim.
Of course, this is what God clearly wanted me to hear, as I’ve been dragging more and more with my current work in progress. There are those valleys in the writing process where you wonder if all of this is even worth it. The answer? Yes – it is always worth it, even if that novel never sees the light of day. Every writing experience teaches you and develops voice, skill and so much more.
Everson taught several classes that I also took during the conference, one about turning articles into books (fiction or nonfiction). This resonated with me, since I have many years as a journalist.
The most fascinating class of the day was her class on writing suspense. Using the movie, “Speed,” as a classic example of high suspense, she gave us the how to for suspense based on the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock. Since I love suspense scenes, this was very helpful – tips like writing from a reader’s perspective, varying the pace, showing the audience danger the character doesn’t know about to build anticipation, and more. Now, as I watched a movie the next day, I analyzed every scene to notice where the tension and suspense came in. Even in a chick flick, there is subtle suspense – it is what keeps the reader reading.
Now, it’s time to go back and look through my novel and make sure I have enough suspense to keep the reader turning each page, unable to stop. And, when it comes down to it, I know that my writing is part of my journey and God will use this project as He sees fit.
Thanks, OCW, for the inspiring and rewarding One-Day Conference!!