What goes on inside the writerly mind?
Let’s sit down with one of our Word Weaver Writing Contest 3rd place winners, Sharon K. Connell, and find out.
DAN: Did you write your story for the contest or was it part of a larger piece or something you had written before?
SHARON K. CONNELL: This story was written some time ago for a local writers club contest where I won second place. Since then I’ve worked on it and when you offered the opportunity in your Word Weaver contest, I polished it some more. Thanks to Dan’s critique, I think it’s ready to shine at this point.
Tell us about your writing process. What is the journey from idea to published piece /completed story?
When I get an idea for a story, I write it down in a notebook. I have a ton of ideas at this point. Then I start the story.
“I’m what everyone calls a pantser. The story takes off on it’s own and I go until it’s complete.”
At that point, I go back and reread, making an outline from what I’ve written. After this step, I self-edit using an online editing program. The next step is to send the story one chapter at a time to my critique partners for their inspection. They are always a great help with everything from spelling errors, grammar, things I’ve missed that the reader may want to know, etc. When I get those chapters back, I made my changes where I feel they are necessary, and do another read-through. Finally, the MS is ready for my editor. After that, we all know what happens. LOL
Where do you do your writing?
I have a desk in my office that sits next to a window overlooking the front yard and gardens. A birdbath is right in the middle of the window space, so I take a break `occasionally to watch my feathered-friends in their antics. It’s a nice, quiet atmosphere.
Do you have a writing goal you want to achieve?
At this point, I feel I’ve already achieved my goal. The rest is simply added achievements.
What helps you the most when it comes to writing?
A quiet space, encouragement from my critiquers and readers, knowing that I’m doing what God wants me to do, etc. There are so many things that help, it would be hard to know which is the most helpful.
What does writing success look like?
I feel I have at. People are reading and enjoying my work.
What are you working on now?
I’m finishing the rewrite on my second published novel, Paths of Righteousness (written and published before I knew anything about writing), and will be sending it to my editor in about a week. Then I’ll start the rewrite of my third published novel, There Abideth Hope, to make it into what it should have been the first time around. After that, I have a new story to write, tentatively titled, Treasures in a Field.
There are a lot of writing contests out there. What drew you to this one?
It sounded like my short story, Spirit Lake, would fit, so I sent it.
How did you hear about our contest?
Through Dan’s newsletter.
Have you ever entered a writing contest before?
Yes, a few, but it’s not my general interest to participate in writing contests. I’m more interesting in the writing itself, and having my readers supplied with good reads.
Will we see you again in the next Word Weaver Writing Contest, if there is one?
If I have something I feel fits the genre for the contest, I will certainly want to be a part of it.
Did you know the piece you submitted was special?
This piece was a story my Uncle Hjelmer (The real spelling of his name) told us kids, and it stuck with me all these years. I always thought it was special, I guess because my uncle was a story teller and you never knew if he was making something up or telling you the facts. When I found out that the Legend of Spirit Lake was something that people had told for years (in various versions), it made the story all the more special to me. I embellished what my uncle had told, and decided it made a great short story.
What’s next for you?
Like I said, rewrites, republish, and then start a new story.
What was Dan’s critique process like?
I found it very helpful. Dan doesn’t try to change your writing, just help it.
Has anyone else ever told you that you have a gift for spooky stories?
Yes. I have a friend who writes paranormal tales. On my group forum, we have a writing prompt each day, and often I get it into my head to head down this trail. She loves it. LOL
Sharon K. Connell was born in Wisconsin and lived there for five short days. From that time through college, she lived in Illinois. For over twenty years, she made her home in Florida where she graduated from the Pensacola Bible Institute. California, Ohio, and Missouri have also been called home through the years. Now retired from the business world, she resides in Houston, Texas, enjoying every minute of her writing career.
Except for six, Sharon has visited every state in the United States. She has also travelled to Canada and Mexico. The stories in her four published novels reflect some of the experiences she has had during that time.
Sharon writes stories about people who discover God will allow things to happen in your life that will help you grow and/or increase your faith. She has learned through the years that there is nothing too big for God to handle. And He will…if you take your hands off it, and leave Him in control.
Her genre is Christian Romance Suspense, with a little mystery and humor added for good measure. She also writes short stories in other genres on occasion.
Here are Sharon’s links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell
Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1
Author’s Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianRomanceSuspense/
Facebook group forum: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChristianWritersAndReadersGroupForum/
Blogging on WordPress: https://sharonkconnell.wordpress.com/
Sharon is a Member of:
American Christian Fiction Writers: https://www.acfw.com/
Houston Writers House: http://houstonwritershouse.net/
2 Elizabeths Literary Magazine: https://2elizabeths.com/
CyFair Writers Group: https://www.meetup.com/CyFairWriters/
Her Published Works:
His Perfect Love http://amzn.to/2iCMALI
His Perfect Love https://youtu.be/e3tRr6mLzZk
A Very Present Help https://youtu.be/wYyoOE5IzS0
Paths of Righteousness by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/w2JkmYqhFyE (available soon)
There Abideth Hope by SharonKConnell http://youtu.be/16G7IZaZB9Y (to be rewritten)