Friday, October 26, 2012

Idea Sparking! How to Brainstorm Conflict Into Your Novel

Hey all, please welcome My Book Therapy team member, Michelle Lim. She's taken the time to write a well done book on how to spark new ideas for your novel that will add depth and conflict.

Welcome, Michelle!

 Rachel, thank you so much for inviting me to visit your blog. 

I’ve enjoyed getting to know you through My Book Therapy and our local ACFW Chapter, Minnesota N.I.C.E. retreat a few years ago.

 For those of you who haven’t heard, during my Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel Tour I’m having a drawing for a Free Kindle Paperwhite.

 For each different blog I visit that you comment on during my tour, you get one entry. Each day I will post any new tour locations on my blog.

 One of my favorite romantic moments in my life was the day my husband left a rose in my mailbox. A surprise meant to bring me delight and it did. 

I fell in love somewhere between roses in mail boxes and moonlight strolls along the shore of Lake Superior.

 Our characters fall in love in much the same way. The struggle is how to be unique in building conflict in a Romance novel. Brainstorming is a great tool for bringing out the conflict to accentuate the romance.

 In my new book Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel I give tools and strategies to build that conflict to lift a sagging middle or intensify a limp plot.

 Let’s try the Strategy of Pedestal Principles when talking about your characters. Characters all have expectations of themselves as do those around them. Oftentimes our expectations cause internal conflict when we don’t meet our personal expectations.

 For example:
 Linda is a Pastor’s wife at a small country church. It is her goal to always bring a meal to a family with a crisis like hospitalization, etc. When Linda comes down with pneumonia she is unable to bring food to a family they have been trying to reach out to for the last year. She feels she has failed. This might cause internal conflict.

 The expectations we have of ourselves are not the only expectations. What about the people around you? The boss that expects you to finish your work by the end of the day, but you value quality and there is no way you can produce quality work in that time line.

 Pedestal Principles are one of the tools I cover in greater detail in my Idea Sparking Book. They are just one of the many ways to add conflict in a novel.

 Focusing on not just the happy gushy moments in our romance story is difficult, especially when what we tend to remember most about our own love story is the special moments that made us feel cherished. Both are needed to create a strong story.

 How about you? What is your favorite romance moment? 


What Others Are Saying About This Resource!

 “I think it's a great resource! I love the way you give examples, offer opportunities for writers to craft out their own ideas.”  ~Lisa Jordan Author of Lakeside Reunion and Lakeside Family

 “Michelle recently helped me brainstorm Silent Night, my new Rock Harbor digital novella coming at the end of next month. Her brainstorming prowess amazed me! I loved her new book, especially the chapter on secrets.” ~Colleen Coble Award Winning Author

 “Michelle encapsulated some workable, practical, yet energizing techniques to help spark that all-important conflict and tension in our stories. I especially appreciated the buffet of ideas that showed how a combination of tips could bring about a tailor-made solution to a lack-luster character, scene, or plot.” ~Cynthia Ruchti Multipublished Author, speaker, and writing instructor.  

Michelle Lim is the author of the new book Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel. Also a romantic suspense author whose manuscripts have earned recognition in The Rattler Contest 2012, the Genesis Contest 2011, and the Frasier Contest in 2010. Michelle is the Brainstorm/Huddle Coach at My Book Therapy and serves as Vice President of MN N.I.C.E., a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. Check out her blog at:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Diary of A Writer: Politics Continued...

Are you struggling with the vote? I hear this so often, "I'm tired of voting for the lesser of two evils!"

Well, Beloved, being silent, quitting and/or checking out and drawing into ourselves is not the answer. Some Christians have become so insular. We've left the world to itself and lookit... 

Then we become more discouraged and more insular and yes, this is coming from a fiction author writing for a Christian publisher.

But the lines have been drawn. Too many publishers don't want the "Christian stuff." If Christian books are shelved with the rest of the books, readers go ballistic. "I didn't know I was going to be forced to read about God."

But originally publishing was done by Christians. The moveable press was invited by a guy who wanted to publish Bibles.

Universities like Harvard and Yale were founded to teach theology and the Bible, to make sure the tenets of the faith.

Now it seems they are quite the opposite. How to destroy the faith.

Hubby and I were talking about the election and I said, "What do you think God is saying? What's on His heart?"

Hubby said something profound, "You know, we're a Republic. Maybe the Lord is leaving it up to us to choose. We get who we vote, or don't vote, for."

A light dawned. America is a Republic, meaning "belonging to the people." Our Fathers dreamed and declared God is our King. So, when we have the opportunity to vote for leaders, it behooves us to choose the best possible men and women.

Christians should not be OUT of politics but in the heart of it. We should not adhere to restrictions on speech such as, "never talk about religion and politics."

No, Beloved, talk about it. Kindly. Informed. With a heart for God rather than ourselves.

Are you struggling to vote for one of the candidates? Don't. Pray. Search the scriptures. And vote. 

We have been given a blessed right by the Almighty to align with Him for the leadership of this nation. "Come, let us reason together," He says.

I know many Christians struggle to vote for a Mormon. Frankly, the alternative with his Liberation Theology and Muslim leanings isn't any better. 

Study. Don't just guess. Don't just go on the politics you had in the '70s, '80s and '90s, Those days are over! Way over!

More is at stake here than our personal comforts and beliefs.

My friend and fellow author Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven, has been blogging about this election. It's thorough, thought out and well written. Much better than what I'm doing here. So, please, check out his series.

Pray. Vote. Be vigilant for freedom.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dairy of a Writer: I Care About Politics

I think a lot about politics. Not because I'm a junky. I'm not.

Nor because I'm a news junky. I'm not. But when I read the Bible, I see politics. 

I see Jesus as a returning King to judge the nations.

I see verses like, "If My people who are called by my name humble themselves and prayer... I will heal their land."

God, healing a nation, IF His people pray? Sounds political.

As a Believer, I can't ignore the political landscape of my country. If I hide myself away and pretend all is well, surrendering my partnership with Jesus for His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, then I'm ignoring my calling and right as a co-heir. 

So, my first action is to pray. For our nation. For our president and our leaders. For my state and my county.

Second, I stand for Biblical values. I ask for wisdom to understand what the Word teaches me and how it should look in the society I live in.

I strive to think critically. I've been moved by ideas, speeches and leaders only to discover no substance behind the person or the promise.

Asking questions. Looking deeper. So critical in politics.

Too often we just vote the party line. Vote our traditions. But as Believers, we must be transformed by the Word we read. By the Holy Spirit. We must vote and stand according to the truth of God's Word.

How are you voting next month? By your own standards or God's? I'm praying about the vote -- mine and this nations.

I want to remain, "One nation under God." We've a lot to fix. A lot of unity to restore. But with God as our King, it's possible.

Don't sit this one out. Pray. Vote. Be a voice. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Diary of A Writer: Crash. And Burn

Well, as you can see it's been a month of Sunday's since I blogged here. Why?


Using my words for other things!

I had a revelation. Most writers try to blog three times a week. Less some, more others. I blog once a week at and once a week at

Each post takes me about an hour to do.

Between travel, writing and blogging, my own blog has been neglected.

I think of things to write, but by the time I get to them, I'm weary or have forgotten.

This is the life of a writer. I want to save my best energy and words for my stories. I feel I owe that to my readers more than a quippy, regular blog.

I've thought of just taking it down. But I do like to post when I can. So there's the truth about blogging.

I'm working on the second royal wedding book. Can't wait for Once Upon A Prince, the first in the series to release in May!

Be a peace everyone. God is with us. More later... ;)