Great Lakes Get Away – 5 Take Aways

Last weekend I had the opportunity to pack my bags and head north with several other writers to Duluth, MN. The view was breathtaking, the camaraderie superb and the teaching by Colleen Coble out of this world amazing!

There are so many different things I could share from this year’s annual Great Lakes Get Away. Instead of trying to cover them all, I will share five things things Colleen shared that impacted me as a writer:

1. Protect Your Voice In Your Edits. As you are reading your book, look for places where you have a voice slip. In comparison to other scenes, this scene will be different in sound and flavor. Correct this mistake.

2. Helpful Writing Resources:

~Scrivner – Offers great planning for writers. Scene plotting tools, sidebar character descriptors, easy rearrangement of scenes, etc.

~Getty Images (You can type in the character’s demographics and it will narrow down pictures so you can                       select your character pictures)

~Baby Name Survey Book- tells the basic impression a particular name has on readers. What that name tells your readers that your character is like.

~The Hero’s Two Journeys- Michael Hauge and Chris Vogler.

3. Use Note Cards To Help You Tackle Macroedits(content change recommendations). For example, if you are trying to strengthen the character journey in your edits, write down the elements you want to change on a note card and check them as you go through each scene. It makes this component of editing less daunting.

4.  Question If You Should Move Scenes Around After New Plot Changes To Add More Conflict. I loved this idea. In fact, I did this last night with my manuscript. Reordering scene to maximize conflict is a great idea.

5. Big Word In The Market Today Is Discover Ability(how readers find you). Understanding how a reader finds an author is pivotal to success. Still the most prominent method: 65% Discover an author by word of mouth. Second most common method of discover ability is by online research.

Colleen Coble also is a huge fan of my very favorite thing: Brainstorming. We did several different methods of brainstorming that were powerful to our stories. Never miss out on this amazing step to the creative process.

How do you discover about new authors and determine you want to read their books?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

12 thoughts on “Great Lakes Get Away – 5 Take Aways

  1. dtopliff says:

    Beautiful & helpful summary, Michelle. Thanks for all you did!

  2. Great post, Michelle! I’ve found several books lately on blogs. If one sounds interesting, I check it out at Amazon, read the first few pages and decide if I want to buy it.

  3. Michelle Lim says:

    Thanks, Pat! Lots of great resources out there for writers, but sometimes it takes a bit of time to sort through the Great from the good.

  4. Gabrielle Meyer says:

    I heard about this retreat (I live in central Minnesota) and I hope to go on it one day soon! I loved this post and all the tips and ideas. Thank you, Michelle!!

  5. Michelle Lim says:

    We would love to have you there, Gabrielle! Usually it is in July in Duluth. Hope you can make it next year!

  6. Yay! Thanks for sharing these goodies! I use SCRIVNER and love it because I can move my scenes around easily and I use the cork board so I can see my novel at a glance. But I’ve never heard of the Getty Images or the Baby Book. Cool! I have the Hero’s Journey on DVD and sometimes if I’m stuck I watch it and it helps me plot. I recommend using it for every novel. The “discovering authors” part–I’m trying to be social and “meet” them online. It takes a chunk of time but I’ve made some awesome friends–like you! Thanks again for sharing this. I’m keeping it in my EVERNOTE file to resource.
    Thanks again,

  7. Teresa says:

    A catchy title and premise while browsing Amazon will grab me every time.

  8. Amy Hahn says:

    The weekend wouldn’t have been half as successful without the careful planning by you, Michelle, and the MN NICE board! I loved the getaway and chance to breathe and concentrate on my future as a writer! Thanks for making it a wonderful weekend!

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