Hello everyone! It’s time for Wisdom Wednesday and I’m not sure about you, but I need some extra motivation this week. As Christmas and the new year approaches, what goals are you working on?
Today, we have author Ellie Gustafson with us. Welcome, Ellie!
Name: Ellie Gustafson
Latest Release: An Unpresentable Glory
Writing Tip for Authors:
I am a slow writer. My brain works slowly, for one thing, and my start-off writing is pretty awful. I love to edit, however—going over each manuscript, in bits and pieces, at least fifty times before it’s fairly presentable. Editing does require a competent grasp of grammar and punctuation, and I’ve learned these skills, along with just plain good writing, through the tutelage of several editors.
Beta readers are invaluable. I’d recommend getting at least five who are not shy about telling you what stinks. Your brain sees the big picture of your story, the necessary details, but other brains don’t have that advantage. Your beta readers will help you find the blank spots. Don’t shoot your wad of readers all at once, though. Space them out, and keep making changes as suggested by each one. The care and feeding of beta readers is high on my priority list!
Your brain may work more efficiently than mine, but I would advise you to slow down to improve your end product.
This question took me over an hour to answer—and still, it’s not perfect. But then, I haven’t gone through it 50 times. Only about 30!
I love the editing phase. To me, that’s when the real writing takes place! If I try to edit before the rough draft is finished, I will never get anything accomplished.
Writing Tip for New Writers:
Read well-written books and take notes—not to plagiarize, but to learn how good writers do it. What makes the plot flow well? How does the author build tension? What makes that sentence zing? Learn to think outside the box. My very first editor, Judith Markham of Zondervan, spoke of a particular passage: “Ellie, you can write better than that.” Her words keep coming back to me, prodding me along the road of writing excellence.
I’ve heard other writers say that they don’t have time to read and that’s so sad. In order to grow, you need to keep reading and learning. Never stop reading!
“I trusted you, and some day, you may know just how much you hold in your hands.”
Linda Jensen leads a relatively quiet life in Westchester County, New York, as the owner of a highly acclaimed garden. Inherited from her parents, the garden is her pride and joy. However, finding a strange man sprawled near her delphiniums does not bring joy. The mysterious man is sick, unable to do more than drink water—and beg for secrecy. Ignoring all alarm bells, Linda sees to his needs, but her caring act takes on unexpected significance, and unpresentable glory.
Seeds of trust, and perhaps love, are planted in Linda’s garden haven. But as secrets are revealed and scandal hits the headlines, the act of caring for this man threatens to tarnish both of their reputations. Like weeds in Linda’s garden, circumstances threaten to choke out their fledgling relationship, and small moments prove to be the biggest influencers—on a national scale.
Having lived a few years, Ellie has collected long-ago memories—playing cowboys and Indians, watching first-run Wizard of Oz, collecting tinfoil for the war effort, driving a pony to a red ribbon, getting married and pregnant, and finally, enjoying the pleasures of kids, grandkids, and authoring. Add to this list gardening, house construction, tree farming, and loving on people—all of which bring color and humor to her fiction. One of Ellie’s major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the power of story.
Ellie’s Social Media:
Blog www.eleanorgustafson.com/ HOME, scroll down
Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/eleanorgustafson
Facebook: Ellie Gustafson
An Unpresentable Glory: https://tinyurl.com/y9lpft6a
The Stones: http://tinyurl.com/nf5o63d
Thank you for joining us today for Wisdom Wednesday. Don’t forget to check out Ellie’s book, An Unpresentable Glory, and connect with her on social media.
Do you enjoy the editing phase of writing? Do you have a team of Beta Readers? Let us know in the comment section!