3 Questions Wednesday with Lindsey Brackett

BrackettLWEBHappy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author and speaker, Lindsey Brackett. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Lindsey:  Currently? Lauren Denton and Patti Callahan Henry. Obviously I love southern women’s fiction but both of them capture prose like its poetry and there’s really nothing I love more than beautiful writing. My upcoming favorite author is my critique partner Kimberly Duffy. Watch for her historical fiction debut, A Mosaic of Wings, from Bethany House next summer! And I’ve always loved Lucy Maud Montgomery and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Forever they are my inspiration.

Great authors, and we will keep a look out for Kimberly.  Next question…

 If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

Lindsey:  Recently I wrote a southern gothic novel that’s now out on submission. It’s set at my alma mater, Berry College, and explores the truth behind the legendary ghost story of “The Green Lady.” While researching, though, I fell in love all over again with the story of Berry and its philanthropic, feminist founder Martha Berry. Someday I think I’d like to fictionalize her story and honor this place that helped define the person I’ve become. 

But people keep asking if I’m done writing about the Coultrie-Halloway-Watson family and the answer is no. Their story is so deeply rooted in my own family’s story that I’m sure there will be another book someday that shares Annie’s story.

Both sound interesting 🙂 Last question:

seascape-2444040_1280

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Lindsey:  I’d love to spend the day with Lou and Liam on the tidal creeks of Edisto Island. During my research for this story, I was captivated by the environmental practices coming into play in my beloved Lowcountry. Never has it been so important to recognize the impact we have on our ecosystem. These places we love will pass away with overuse unless we—the ones who treasure them—subscribe to sustainable practices so the land and water can be enjoyed and utilized for generations to come. 

Of course after we worked, we’d settle in for a great Lowcountry meal. For me, however, this would have to not include shrimp. Sadly, I have developed a late onset allergy. Good thing I love scallops and crab—and those don’t seem to bother me as long as they aren’t fried with shrimp!

Oh how sad to miss out on shrimp! Coconut shrimp is my absolute favorite.  That sounds like a productive and rewarding day.    Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: Author Lindsey Brackett talks about writing and a giveaway.  #amwriting #lowcountry 

Lindsey  Lindsey Brackett is giving away an ebook of The Bridge Between.  Leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing…


TheBrideBetween

The Bridge Between

Louisa Coultrie Halloway has returned home as caretaker for the family home on Edisto Island, but years before she left this world behind. Now she flounders to find her place. When Liam Whiting, a local professor studying tidal creek preservation, invites Lou to join his research team, she welcomes the opportunity for purpose.

David, her ex-husband, has followed Lou and their children to Edisto. As he finds his footing in this new life, their once strained relationship eases into a familiar rhythm—and he hopes for more.

But the past still has a hold on them all, especially in the presence of Grace Watson, whose son intends to marry Lou and David’s daughter. Somehow, Grace and Lou must let the past of a shared love settle between them.

In this idyllic setting, relationships, like the creeks, deepen and shift. Once more, Lou finds herself caught between the life she’s chosen—and the love that might be meant to be.


BrackettLWEBLindsey P. Brackett writes southern fiction infused with her rural Georgia upbringing and Lowcountry roots. Her debut novel, Still Waters, inspired by family summers at Edisto Beach, released in 2017. Called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing,” Still Waters was named an INSPY finalist and the 2018 Selah Book of the Year. Her second novel, The Bridge Between, released July 31, 2019. Download Magnolia Mistletoe with newsletter signup at lindseypbrackett.com or on Instagram and Facebook

In Conclusion, All Things Told

Other Ways to Break into Publication

July has been such an exciting month! We’ve hosted several authors on 3 Questions Wednesday and on our Saturday interviews.

In order to best address this month’s topic, we’ve welcomed a couple of guests to our regular Monday & Friday posts, as well as our own crew, who work so hard to bring you relevant, timely information. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading our content and will return on a regular basis to find out what’s happening here at Inspired Prompt.

If you’re a writer, learning the craft can be daunting, especially if you’re uncertain of your specialty and/or preferred genre. You must decide what and where you want to write. Then, you’ll need to learn how to write what you want to write. It’s not easy, but there’s help to be found, for whatever you’re interested in.

This month, we’ve talked about ghostwriting, collaborative writing, travel writing, journalism, technical writing, and screenwriting. We’ve shared our ideas and talked to the experts so they can share theirs. As you may already know, writers are amazingly helpful to other writers. We’re so thankful to our crew and guests for giving their time and knowledge to help others.

Reaping the Benefits

This is for you. That’s why we do what we do. It’s a lot of work to keep this blog up and running, but we’re happy to do it. It’s a ministry for us and a safe place for our readers. A place where you can come and learn, comment, and ask questions. We’ll do our best to help you. If you need answers, just ask. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll check with the experts. That’s why we’re here.

August is Coming

Next month’s topic will help answer a “who” question. “Who do you want to write for?” So, stop back by during the month of August for more valuable information to help you find the “Write Road” to publication.

A prompt for you: After witnessing the aftermath of an earthquake, you’re inspired to write an article for your neighborhood paper. Compose an opening line that will hook your readers.

On the Inspired Prompt blog, we hope to create a safe place where you can come and learn, comment, and ask questions. – Click to Tweet – Thanks!

How to Start Screenwriting

By Tracy Ruckman

I’ve been a professional writer since the 1980s when I received my first paycheck for a magazine article, but it wasn’t until about five years ago that I discovered a love of the screenwriting format. Once I learned the basics, I was hooked because screenwriting seems to come naturally to me. Making that statement sets me up for all sorts of comments, so I’ll clarify: just because screenwriting (or any other kind of writing) seems to come naturally doesn’t mean I can write them perfectly. I had to learn the craft, so I sought an MFA in screenwriting. (Not a path I necessarily recommend, but I loved all that I absorbed.)

Screenwriting comes naturally for me because I tend to think out scenes in the same format as a screenplay – letting the images carry the load, rather than bogging myself down with minute details.

But if you’re new to screenwriting, where should you start?

First, pick up the latest version of Dave Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible. It’s now available in Kindle, but my print copy is so dog-eared, I’d recommend getting the paperback. It’s easy to use and as you write, you’ll need to grab something quick to find out how to format something from one scene to the next. The author not only provides instructions, but also the “why” behind the instructions, so you’ll understand the purpose. I’ve used this one book more than any other during all my screenwriting classes and all my script writing. (At this date, I’ve completed four scripts, and have five others in various stages of completion.) It is considered the industry-standard.

Second, you’ll need some screenwriting software. (Formatting becomes a breeze, so save yourself a few headaches and get the software instead of trying to format it yourself.) At one time, Celtx offered a free version but when I checked on it for this article, I learned they now charge. If you’re not sure if screenwriting is for you, but want to try it out, they offer a monthly subscription so you can try it for $20 a month.

But if you decide you like screenwriting and want to continue, I recommend purchasing one of two programs: Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter 6. I’ve had Movie Magic for years, and have loved it the entire time, but I loved it even more after I took a production class, because the software used in production works seamlessly with MMS6 – because it’s created by the same folks. (Final Draft gets a lot of mention, but as far as I can tell, MMS6 is the most user-friendly.)

[TIP: If you are a student or a teacher, or have a student or teacher in your household, you can usually get enormous discounts on software. You’ll just need to provide a student e-mail address, and sometimes (but not always, so ask rather than assume), also a student ID. I saved hundreds on all sorts of software while I was a student.]

Third, create an idea box. Thanks to a professor, my idea box is called the Baker’s Dozen after his assignment. This idea box should be big enough to hold index cards (you can use 3x5s or 4x6s). I use 3×5 color-coded cards, with each color representing a different genre, because I write different kinds of stories.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/bomei615-2623913/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1751883">Bo Mei</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1751883">Pixabay</a>The first time I was introduced to the Baker’s Dozen, the professor instructed us to come up with 12 feasible script ideas and one that was “way out there.” He told us the “way out there” could be an idea so crazy no one would listen to it, or a budget so big no one would consider it. The purpose of that 13th idea was to stretch our thinking, and it worked.

Once you have the Baker’s Dozen written on individual cards, let those ideas speak to you. Which character or story is calling you most? Pick the top three, and on the back of the cards, write a log line for that story.

A log line is short and sweet, but power packed – like those descriptions in TV Guide.

After you’ve written the log lines, one of those three should be screaming to write that story first.

Start writing.

By the time you’ve finished that story, others are calling your name.


Writing Prompt: Create your own Baker’s Dozen.

To help generate ideas:

  • What is your happiest/saddest memory? Put a character in that memory and create her own story from it.
  • Hunt down a short story in the public domain, and write your own story based on that short story.
  • What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but have never had the opportunity? Give a character that opportunity!
  • What’s your favorite Bible verse? Create a story using that Bible verse as the theme.

Tracy Ruckman owns TMP Books, a subsidy book publishing company. She is also a consultant and freelance writer and author. She and her husband are currently on a roadtrip of indefinite length, exploring this vast country. You can follow their #LeapFrogs adventures on her blog at www.TracyRuckman.com and look for her latest book Go West, His Momma Said releasing summer 2019.

Click to Tweet: Screenwriting comes naturally for me because I tend to think out scenes in the same format as a screenplay – letting the images carry the load, rather than bogging myself down with minute details.

3 Questions Wednesday with Lisa Worthey Smith

Happy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author, Lisa Worthey Smith. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Lisa: I like books that challenge me to think and to make a difference in the world. For entertainment, John Grisham is a master story weaver. I enjoy untangling the mysteries and trying to discern who is telling the truth along with the main character. His legal series still ranks high on my “favorites” list.

Joel Rosenberg’s fiction is amazing. His stories that weave in plausible scenarios of how the coming events in prophecy might take place, are very thought provoking. I always spend a good bit of time researching Scripture while reading his books to verify the authenticity of prophetic themes he uses. I find that he is always right on track with the Bible. His ability to mesh those prophecies into current day events always intrigues me.

Relatively new author, Jim Miller, has a great action-packed adventure series—The Cody Musket series. His characters show courage and faith as they fight for causes we see in the headlines today. His action-packed books have relatable characters with flaws that only endear the reader all the more. His books remind me that to be a hero only requires we take action rather than sit on the sideline.

I also like nonfiction books about people who have done extraordinary things such as Same Kind of Different As Me and Kisses from Katie.

Sounds like you read a good variety 🙂

If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

Lisa: I like to write about “ordinary” people and events, and find the profound within them. On my wish list, stories from preachers, teachers, and the first family—Adam and Eve. I am fascinated with the Jewish Pseudepigrypha with details about those early biblical figures. Although not canonized Scripture, I am using that information to make notes now about Adam and Eve and how they coped with life outside the garden for a possible biblical fiction book.

That would be an interesting topic…

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Lisa: Sprout, the olive tree who grew up in the Garden of Gethsemane from my biblical fiction/allegory The Wisdom Tree. He lived at a pivotal point in time and interacted on such a personal level with Jesus. If I were there with him, I would hope to see Mary—mother of Jesus. I would ask her to tell me about Jesus as a young man growing up and interacting with others. I would love to hear her thoughts, see Him through her eyes, knowing He was the Son of God. I can’t imagine having the words to express the emotions and wonder she felt.

The Wisdom Tree is a lovely book and meeting Mary would be enlightening. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

Click to tweet: Author Lisa Worthey Smith talks about favorite authors, the Bible, and her latest book. #TheGroundKisser #amreading

Lisa has graciously offered a print copy of The Ground Kisser to one reader who leaves a comment below.


The Ground Kisser

An inspiring story of sacrifice, courage, and perseverance, in the face of incredible odds. When you reach your promise land, you kiss the ground.

Saigon had fallen. With Communism breathing down their backs and their wealth and freedom wiped out, Thanh’s parents had to make an agonizing decision. Without enough gold to pay for boat passage for all eight family members, they had to choose whether to stay together and face whatever came in Vietnam, or risk separating the family to give a child a chance to survive. They had only hours to decide.

Under the cover of darkness, two weeks after her twelfth birthday, Thanh left on an overloaded riverboat set for Australia through the pirate-riddled South China Sea. If their boat could survive that, then Thanh would find a way to have her family join her Down Under.
But that would never happen. One after another, obstacles most people can’t even imagine threatened to take her life. 

This is the true story of Thanh Dương Boyer’s strength, courage, and perseverance in the harshest of circumstances to fulfill the dream of living under the banner of freedom. The Ground Kisser is a faith-building, flag-waving story that will inspire you to recognize the important things in life, treasure them, and take action to preserve them—even if it cost your life.


Long time Bible student and teacher, Lisa Worthey Smith is sometimes called “The Parable Teacher.” She often uses ordinary events to explain a biblical truth. In fact, her first book was about an injured hummingbird she rehabbed. Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird was voted into the international list of “50 Indie Books Worth Reading 2016.”

The Wisdom Tree followed in 2017. One of the Vietnamese boat people who now lives in the USA read The Wisdom Tree, and asked Lisa to help her pen her memoir. The Ground Kisser released in 2019, placed in the NGCWC Georgia Peach Awards, and is an Amazon bestseller.

Let’s Get Technical

By Carlton Hughes

If I asked, “What is one thing you have written that would surprise others?” I would get numerous answers. What’s my answer?

I have two: standardized test questions and an instructor’s manual for a textbook.

Sounds thrilling, I know. Here’s the deal: they remain the highest-paying freelance jobs I have ever completed, by far.

First, how did I get into writing standardized test questions (and who would want to write those?). A friend’s mother knew a guy at a well-known company that needed writers. I submitted samples, and bam! I became that guy.

My job was to research any topic I wanted, provide some facts, and then write a summary in three different skill levels as a rubric. So I got paid to write on a scale from excellent to POOR about pot-bellied pigs, Babe Didrickson, and the history of radio. Good work if you can get it.

The textbook job was a bit more complicated. I’m a teacher by trade, and we get emails all the time from publishing companies. To be brutally honest, I usually ignore them, but one subject line caught my eye: “Take survey, get money!”

This company wanted feedback on the Interpersonal Communication textbook I have used for years. The survey required me to share my opinions in different areas. I provided highly detailed answers, probably longer than they wanted, but I like big sentences, I cannot lie. I hit “submit,” and, a few weeks later, I was twenty bucks richer.

A month later I was at a WRITERS CONFERENCE taking a continuing class on FREELANCING. Warning: irony ahead!

One morning I checked my email before class, and I had a message from this same company, offering me a contract to write the instructor’s manual for the new edition of the communication text. The money offered was ridiculously good, so I jumped at the chance. The work wasn’t exactly easy, but I did get to use knowledge I already had.

Here’s what I learned from my technical writing experiences:

  1. Write what you know. Most of us don’t sit around writing creative stuff all day (If you do, great!). You might work a public job or have hobbies or skills that could translate to the technical market.
  2. When opportunities come, take them. I took that seemingly innocent survey that led me to my biggest writing job ever; I heard a guy was looking for a question-writer and went for it.
  3. Don’t be a writing snob. Sure, I would love to write award-winning literary works that appear on bestseller lists. But I’m not going to dismiss other opportunities that will sharpen my skills (and pay really well).

So, if Johnny takes the train 200 miles south and then switches trains and goes 80 miles east, what topping will he choose for his pizza for supper?

I’ll wait for your answer . . .

 

Click-To-Tweet: #HowTo break into technical writing! Let’s Get Technical with @carltonwhughes via @InspiredPrompt #freelancewriter


Carlton Hughes wears many hats. By day, he’s a professor of communication at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. On Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings, he does object lessons and songs with motions as Children’s Pastor of Lynch Church of God. In his “spare time,” he is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including Chicken Soup for the Soul and several devotional books from Worthy Publishing—The Wonders of Nature, Let the Earth Rejoice, Just Breathe, So God Made a Dog, and Everyday Grace for Men. His book Adventures in Fatherhood, a 60-day devotional co-authored with Holland Webb, will release in Spring 2020. Carlton and his wife Kathy have two sons, Noah and Ethan, and a daughter-in-law, Kersyn. He is on the planning committee for Kentucky Christian Writers Conference and is a year-round volunteer for Operation Christmas child. Carlton is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.