tagged with: writing

A 1993 survey conducted by polling firm Bruskin-Goldring showed that fear of public speaking consistently ranks as the number 1 one fear in America. Yet, as writers, we are told that one of the best ways to promote ourselves and our books is through speaking engagements. This week I interviewed my friend and critique partner Glenda Mathes to get her take on what is involved in being a writer/speaker and what advice she can give to fellow writers.

Glenda Mathes

Glenda Mathes

Glenda has authored several books, fiction as well as non-fiction. Her non-fiction works include two devotionals, A Month of Sundays: 31Meditations on Resting in God and Discovering Delight: 31 Meditations on Loving God’s Law. Another nonfiction book, Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss, offers biblical hope for the pain of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility (a form of infant loss). Not My Own: Discovering God’s Comfort in the Heidelberg Catechism is the first workbook in the Life in Christ catechism. Glenda is currently collaborating on a memoir with Uriah Courtney, a man who was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for over eight years before being exonerated. They anticipate this powerful story will be titled Exoneree.

Glenda has six grandsons, and wrote The Matthew in the Middle series of three novels: Matthew Muddles Through, Matthew Makes Strides, and Matthew Moves Ahead with boys in mind, but girls and entire families enjoy it as well.

 

Questions:

1. Did you always want to become a speaker, or did you just slip gradually into it?

Although I was involved with speech activities in junior and senior high, I never longed to be a speaker. It’s stressful! But because writers are encouraged to build their platform through speaking, I try to embrace the opportunities God sends. I may attempt to schedule an engagement when I plan to be in a specific area, but for the most part I haven’t actively sought speaking opportunities. They have come to me gradually, so in that sense I’ve slipped into it.

2. What topics do you speak about in your presentations? Who is your target audience?

I usually speak to women’s groups on topics related to the Christian life and to my written work: experiencing God in the Psalms, resting in God, or delighting in his word. I also teach seminars on becoming discerning readers or excellent writers. I’ve been blessed to teach Christian sisters in prison and a seminar on writing to male inmates. I enjoy sharing about my life as a writer to elementary students on career days. I even managed to engage junior high students. My toughest audience was a high school youth group. I haven’t been asked to return.

3. Do these topics relate in some way to your books?

My speaking topics often relate to my published work, but also to subjects I’ve studied and written or blogged about—like literature and writing. My regular writing for a couple of publications piques my interest in a variety of subjects and allows me to meet—often only virtually, but sometimes in person—people from different backgrounds and countries with fascinating stories. These experiences add depth and authenticity to my speaking presentations.

4. How do you juggle your schedule as a writer with your speaking engagements?

Your verb choice triggers the apt image of juggling. Speaking means adding another ball to the family and work obligations I’m already spinning. Before accepting a speaking engagement, I carefully consider if I can fit it into my scheduled deadlines and family commitments. I pray about it, and I discuss it with my husband. Scheduling includes more than simply setting aside time for travel and speaking. Adequate time must be allowed for writing a speech and possibly crafting a PowerPoint presentation. How much time is adequate? I always have less time than I’d like.
An instructor at a recent writing conference asked, “How long does it take you to prepare a speech?” I answered, “Forever.” That’s how it usually feels.

5. Can you cite two memorable experiences from your speaking?
When I presented a writing seminar to male inmates participating in a seminary program, they kept me on my teaching toes. They fired questions like bullets, and I had to think extremely fast. It was exhilarating and exhausting.
For a recent trip to speak to women inmates, I prepared two speeches. But I ended up speaking five times on five different topics. Because I like to prepare far ahead of time and write out my entire speech, speaking with little preparation and only a bare-bones outline forced me to depend on the Lord like never before. But God demonstrated that it’s not about me, it’s all about him and how he equips even a weak vessel for his glory.

6. How can someone overcome the fear of public speaking?

I can’t give a step-by-step plan to overcome this fear. Before I speak, I get so nervous I can’t eat. Afterward, I’m starving. But while I’m speaking, God enables me to relax and enjoy it. He expands my mind to work on different levels: I’m concentrating on what I want to convey, focusing on engaging the audience, paying attention to the time, and communing on a deep level with God. If that sounds something like an out-of-body experience, it kind of is.
Perhaps your fears decrease the more often you speak, so the best solution may simply be to do it. And keep doing it. Many books and websites offer practical advice such as video-taping yourself or speaking in front of a mirror, but I find the less I think about myself and the more I depend on God, the better he equips me.

7. What advice would you give an aspiring writer/speaker?

If you want to get into speaking, start small. Perhaps you could offer to lead devotions for a women’s group at your church. Maybe you have something valuable to share with a local parenting group. Look at your church and community for small opportunities to gain speaking experience. You don’t always have to be paid for speaking, especially if you’re a beginner. Even if you’ve published books, you may simply accept whatever honorarium or love offering the group chooses to give you. But be sure to ask for a table where you can display, sell, and sign your books.
Once you have secured a speaking engagement, pray and prepare. Ask God to soften the hearts of the people who will hear your speech—and the heart of the speaker! Seek his direction on what to say and how to say it. Find friends who will pray for you while you write and give the speech.
Don’t be afraid. It’s the most frequent command in the Bible, and it applies to so much of life, particularly speaking. Unfortunately, not fearing is easy to say and difficult to do. My best advice is to lean on the Lord. Don’t try to impress people with your brilliance or beauty or poise. Don’t speak only to sell books or build platform (although that may be the hoped-for corollary). Do it for God and his glory.

Great advice from a writer who has taken the plunge and done what she needs to do not just to get her book into the hands of readers, but also to encourage and inspire others. Updates on this and Glenda’s other projects can be found on her website here.

Are you a writer/speaker, or do you aspire to become one? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Most professionals are required to attend at least two conferences a year. By doing this, they gain new information in their field, get to network with other members, and acquire tools that help them advance in their career. It’s the same for writers. You can read all the books on writing and meet regularly with your writers’ group, but one of the best ways to develop as a writer is by attending writer’s conferences. Maybe you  already know this and are planning to attend a conference this year or the next. In order to get the most for your money, here are some things you should know.

1. First decide what you want out of the conference. Conferences offer a lot of sessions on different aspects of writing. Depending on the type of conference, there may be workshops on everything from fiction as well as non-fiction writing, social media networking, website design and, of course, opportunities for pitching to agents/editors. Some conferences also offer critiquing and mentoring. What do you want? Maybe you are a fiction writer with a manuscript you would like to pitch, and you’re also interested in social media. Zero in on the one that’s more important – you may not have time for both – then prepare accordingly.

2. Register early. The early bird catches the fattest worm doesn’t only apply to hungry birds. If you want to get the most benefit for your money, you should register early. Reason is, workshops, especially those that are most in demand, fill up quickly. Also, if you are looking to pitch your manuscript, by registering early you are more likely to get the appointments you want.

3. Do your research. After you register, you should receive a packet with a list of presenters, editors and agents who will be at the conference. A well-organized conference will indicate the learning level of the workshops. You don’t want to waste precious dollars sitting in a session that is beneath your knowledge level. Also, and this is very important, if you plan to pitch to an agent/editor, study their bios listed on the conference website so you know what they are looking for. Don’t pick a fantasy editor if you are a romance author.  When you have found some you’re interested in, visit their websites or Facebook pages to see what kinds of books they deal with.

4. Prepare for your appointments. Once you have selected the people you want to pitch to, get your manuscript(s) ready. Most agents don’t want a whole manuscript at the conference – not even a proposal – but they will look at your one-sheet or outline and if they’re interested, they would request a proposal. However, what I found at the last conference I attended is that after I’d pitched my story, they all asked to see the first five pages of my manuscript, which they read before giving it back to me. So, if you’re having multiple appointments, make sure you walk with several copies of your one-sheet and either the first five pages or the first chapter of your manuscript.

5. Practice your pitch. Katherine Sands in her book Making The Perfect Pitch says when practicing your pitch you should interview yourself. What would you say if you were on Oprah? What would you want your viewers and readers to know, not just about your book, but about you. I remember an agent’s first question to me at a conference was, “What kind of books do you like to read?” Now, that’s a loaded question. If you are a writer, you should love to read, and you should be reading some books – not all –  in the genre you write. Fortunately, I love to read, so I was able to answer that question comfortably, but I hadn’t prepared for it. Practice your pitch in front of the mirror and with someone until it sounds perfect.  Remember you only have five minutes to impress the agent or editor.

6. Dress professionally. At the conference you want to impress others, but a writer’s conference is not the place for your stilettos and low-cut blouses. Leave those for the gala night. Most conference brochures will emphasize business casual as the dress code. Why is this important? The people you meet with will be forming their own impression of you. Do you look like someone they would want to do business with in the future? By dressing professionally, you will demonstrate that you are serious about your work and can be taken seriously.

7. Give them something to remember you by.  Every writer should have business cards. You can either make them yourself, or have them made very inexpensively from Vistaprint in a color that matches your website or one-sheet. A word about one-sheets. In case you don’t know, a one-sheet is literally one sheet. It gives the hook and a brief description of your novel, along with your bio, a professional-looking headshot of yourself, and a photo that depicts the essence of your book. Most agents will keep this so when you send your proposal, they will remember who it came from.


Keep your business card in a neat little case so you don’t have to hunt for it when you need to give a card to someone.

8. Take notes. Obviously, you will take notes during your workshop sessions. Don’t depend on the outlines the presenters hand out because by the time you get home, you may have forgotten everything else. Also, take notes at your appointments. Each agent may request something different. One may ask for a query, synopsis and the first chapter; another may want a full-scale proposal. Make sure you understand and give them what they require.

9. Network, network, network. At one conference I attended, we actually had a workshop on networking. We were made to work the room with our business card in hand and talk to as many people as possible. To some attendees, it was no big deal, but to the more introverted ones like myself, it was intimidating at first. However, once I got the hang of it, I had fun doing it, and made quite a few friends. So when you go to that conference, don’t sit at the same table for every meal. And if possible, try to sit at the agents’ table at least once. They always leave a few extra seats for attendees. You never know, your next contract may come from an informal meeting such as this and not from your appointment.

10. Follow up. After the conference, be sure to email the contacts you made and let them know you enjoyed meeting them. Get your queries or proposals ready and send them off to the agents who requested them during the timeframe they stipulated. Attach a cover letter stating that you met them at the conference, state date and place, and you are sending your query per their request. If you had an appointment with someone and were not able to keep it, send your query and explain what happened. Also, if your agent suggested changes, be sure to make those changes for that particular query.

Attending conferences is one of the things I enjoy about being a writer. I get to visit a strange place, most of the time, and meet other writers. Most of all, I increase my knowledge about the craft of writing, and return home energized to keep on writing. What has been your experience at writer’s conferences? Please leave a comment in the box below, and if you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my blog.

 

English: Jordan Sonnenblick doing a book-signi...

English: Jordan Sonnenblick doing a book-signing at the Eldersburg Library in Eldersburg, MD. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think it might be true to say that for most of us our desire to become writers grew out of our love for reading. And that love for reading grew out of our visits to the library. For many of us, those book-lined buildings were like a second home. Now as authors, we still treasure our local libraries and visit them often (I hope) either to satisfy our hunger for good quality reading material, or to do research. But did you know that your local library holds other benefits to you as an author?

 
Below are some ways we can benefit from our library:

 

1. Submit your book. As an author, one of the best ways to gain exposure is to have your book included in the library system. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for indie authors to get in because of the overwhelming number of indie titles being churned out in the US alone every year. But now there is hope. If you have written an ebook for which you hold the rights, you can submit it to SELF-e, a library curation process open to ebooks written in the English language. Your book has to undergo a vetting process by the Library Journal’s evaluators, and if selected, it will be made available to librarians nationwide. You can get more information  here

 

2. Hold a book signing or library reading. If you have a print version of your book, holding a book signing or library reading is a great way to get the word out. After I self-published my book Women For All Seasons, I plucked up my courage and approached my local library to do a book signing. To my surprise, the librarian was very pleasant and helpful. She gave me all the information I needed and even made a large poster for me with my photo and the title of my book and placed it at the library entrance on the day of the event. I felt like I was a famous author. Read about it here.

 

3. Participate in group discussions. Writers’ groups, book clubs and other community groups hold regular meetings in the library. Getting involved in these events not only helps you get known, but it may help you establish valuable contacts. Readers also love to see the face behind the wonderful book you have written.

 

4. The ideal environment. Above my desk, I have rows of bookshelves. Whenever I look up from my computer screen, I see books, and even though I’ve had most of them for a long time, they still inspire me and help to keep me anchored. If you are not blessed with the right environment for writing, what better place to go than your library? It’s usually quieter than a coffee shop or bookstore and has all the books you may need for research right at hand.

 

5. Donate your print book. In #1 I stated that it’s difficult for indie authors to get their books in the library. Difficult, but not impossible. Marlene Harris, a librarian with 15 years experience, advises that you call or email the person in charge of Collection Development or Acquisitions. He/she may request two copies, but Marlene warns there are always exceptions – textbooks, fill-in-the-blanks books and books with spiral or comb bindings may not make the cut. You can also check to see if your library’s website has a blog. They may be happy to help you promote your book there. But, say Marlene and a librarian I spoke to, the best way to get your book noticed by libraries is to have it reviewed by a reputable reviewer like Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and others. Get more information here.

 
So, the next time you visit that revered building to return or check out books, look at it with a new pair of eyes. Think of ways you can use your library to promote yourself and your writing. Best of all, make friends with your librarian. Let them know you are a local author and what you write. You never know what unexpected benefits may come your way.

 

With January just half-way through, you may still be trying to refine your resolutions, craft new ones or just reflect on what file0001428273405improvements you can make to your life this year. I haven’t made any resolutions. I simply prefer to reexamine my values and set my goals  based on those values.  And one of my values as a writer, and I daresay, that of most writers, whether you are a veteran or a newbie, is to grow and improve. How you translate that depends on what stage you are in in your writing life.

I have been writing for as long as I can remember, and have been fortunate to have some short stories and articles published. However, I still have not realized my dream of having my novel Coming Out Of Egypt published. And it’s not for want of trying. I have queried agents and publishers, attended conferences, pitched to agents and editors, obtained paid critiques as well as having my work  critiqued by my writers’ group. Most of the feedback I received has been positive, but still no contracts.

So this year I’ve decided to take the plunge and self-publish.  I know, most people say it’s always too soon to give up. I am not giving up. I am simply using a viable option available to me in this brave new world of publishing. I think my book is as good as, or even better than, some of the traditionally- published ones, and I expect it to do well in the marketplace. Meanwhile, I’ll be editing and pitching the second book in the series, In The Wilderness. So please follow me on my novel journey. Maybe you’ll pick up a few tips, and if you see me going the wrong way, please advise me to make a U turn.

Why not share your novel journey with us in the comments box below?

 

 

Today, I am pleased to publish this guest post by Dr. Jay D. Roberts, a medical doctor and author of  Break The Chains, a memoir.  If you have ever read any of my blog posts, you know that I’m always encouraging writers, and myself, never to give up on your dreams. Here, Dr. Roberts shows us how he eventually overcame his fears and moved past rejection to achieve his dream.

Enjoy!

It started two decades ago in Palm Springs with my some of my friends – Harold Robbins knew some of my story and told me to write a book. I didn’t. A few years later, Sonny Bono told me I needed to tell my story. I didn’t. That same year, Sidney Sheldon echoed their sentiments. I still didn’t.

How could I? I can’t write. English was my least favorite subject in school.

Years later, for some strange reason I thought of my friends years ago encouraging me to write. I’d like to think they were screaming at me from heaven.

So I wrote, a memoir. It was awful. Read like an emotionless scientific paper.

So I stopped.

A couple of years later I thought about writing again. But this time a light bulb had gone off in my head- to become a doctor I had studied hard. To write I needed to do the same.

So I bought books on the craft of writing, lots of them, and read each one, several times.

I wrote and dug deep for the core of my story, as I had learned from my studying.

What I unburied was too painful. So I stopped writing for several months, maybe a year.

I prayed and began to attend writing conferences. At The Taos Summer Writing Conference, God sent me my first writing angel, Minrose. He knew I needed more help, so he blessed me with Julie. I listened to my mentors and applied myself. Wrote and re-wrote. I had entered the world of revisions.

I read a diverse collection of books to see how other authors had applied the art of writing in their stories.

I traveled, went back to the Philippines for forty days and nights (no intent to relate to Moses), to revitalize my senses and enrich my story.

More revisions followed- oh, the torture and necessity of revisions! But nothing compared to the rejections of my queries.

I became numb to being told- “Great story, but not a fit for us at this time.”

But I did not expect two cruel rejections.

One was from a senior editor at a major publishing house in NYC who had asked me to bring my manuscript. I can still remember her words, “I will not even touch your manuscript. Even if you could write, which you can’t because you are a doctor, nobody will buy your book because you are a nobody.”

The other was from an agent at a Christian Writing Conference who wanted to represent me. Her words ripped into my heart. “I’m sorry. I really love your story, but I can’t represent you. I didn’t realize that you were Catholic. The publishers I deal with will not work with Catholics.”

God wasn’t through yet. He sent me my third angel, Joan.

More revisions.

Prayers blanketed me from family and friends.

Then one miraculous day, Joan found my book a home with Tate Publishing.

God bless Dr. Richard Tate for believing in my story and all of the staff at Tate for their help in making my book a reality.

I am now learning the necessity of patience during the production process.

I look forward to the day this year that my book will be set out into the world. I pray that all can be set free.

So, here’s to all the “nobody writers.” Keep your dreams alive, write, rewrite, submit and resubmit. Let no one dowse your flame. Believe and you shall receive!

 Break the Chains can be purchased at

 

AMAZON / B&N / TATE PUBLISHING

 

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If you answered ‘yes’ to the above, you may want to watch this video first. What he shows in this video is funny, but so realistic. After you write The End, you have only just begun. You have to go through the blood, sweat and tears of EDITING!

Watch and enjoy!

 

As I continue to research agents to query for Coming Out Of Egypt, I sometimes stop to read that agent’s blog to see what he/she might be looking for or what his/her pet peeve might be. It never ceases to amaze me that most of the agents make the same comments about why they reject someone’s query.

Some of the comments I see are:

1. Query addressed to the wrong agent. Now you might think that the agent could pass it on to the right person, but if they are very busy and harried they may not be able to do this. Also, it shows that the author did not take the time to research the agency properly to see who accepts what.

2. Misspelling the agent’s name. This is a no-no! How would you like it if someone misspelled your name, or called you by the wrong name. The agent probably thinks, if she misspelled my name she may misspell other things too.

3. Not following the guidelines. If they ask for a one-page synopsis, then please don’t send two pages, thinking more is better. If they only accept 75, 000 word manuscripts, don’t send them 80, 000. If they ask for the first three chapters, don’t leave them out. These may seem like nitpicking, but they are not, when you consider that agents receive hundreds of submissions a day. As great as your query may be, they won’t have the time to call you up and ask you for the missing pages.

4. Poorly-written queries. This may not be your fault. You may simply not know the first thing about crafting a query. Then learn. Attend writer’s conferences; take a course; join a critique group; read the agents’ blogs. Many of them mention that writers confuse the query with the synopsis. Consider your query your elevator pitch, what your book is about. This should not be more than three or four lines, according to one agent whose webinar I attended and who later requested my partial. Your synopsis is where you get to reveal the entire plot to the agent. When I say the entire plot, I mean the main plot, including how the story ends, not every little twist and turn. Then make sure you proofread your script, or better yet have another pair of eyes look at it for typos or grammatical errors.

Poorly-written opening page.
One agent puts it this way. “Please, for the love of books, do not use a mirror in the opening pages to have your character describe what they look like.” Try to hook your reader/agent from the opening sentence. Another turn off for agents is beginning by describing scenery or the person waking up or starting with backstory.

Leaving out your contact information. This could be an oversight, but it can cost you dearly if your query showed promise and the agent wants to contact you. If you submit by email, make sure you use your primary email so the agent can reach you. If you sent it by snail mail, be sure to include your SASE.

Before you submit your query to an agent/publisher, you should first see yourself as a salesperson taking a sample of your product to a manager or purchaser. You should 1) Know that the company sells the kind of product you are marketing. 2) Make sure your sample is the best it can be. No smudges, parts missing, or not working right. 3) Make sure you explain as succinctly as possible what your product can do for that company. If you bear these points in mind when preparing your query, you should have a winner.

I recently returned from a fourteen-day cruise to the Adriatic where I visited historical sites in Athens, Greece, Ephesus, Turkey, Dubrovnik, Croatia and Venice, Italy to name a few. On all of these trips, we revisited pages and pages of history in one or two hours of walking tours. Needless to say, I took hundreds of pictures and made some jottings in my little notebook, but when I returned home something very strange happened. In looking at some of the pictures, I couldn’t remember where they were taken. I asked my friend who accompanied me on the trip, “Do you remember where Achilleon’s palace is?”

She shook her head. “No.”

Here I am in front of one of the gates of the Acropolis in Athens

“Do you think it could be in Corfu?”

She knitted her brow. “It could very well be, but I don’t remember what we did in Corfu.”
Neither could I. We burst out laughing. The only reason I could ascribe to that senior moment we seemed to have had, was Corfu was the last place we visited, and by then our brains must have reached saturation point with all the material we were fed over the past two weeks.

Achilleon's palace, dedicated to the god Achilles

This brings me to something I have learned about being a writer. You must write things down. As soon as they come to you. Don’t wait until you get in front of your computer. I have worked out plot points, scenery descriptions, even dialog in my mind, only to remember just a fragment of them when I sit down to write. And try as I might, the words never sound as beautiful or as poetic as they did in my mind.

The old Olympic stadium in Ephesus, Turkey.

So now, after my Corfu experience, I’m going to write things down as they occur to me. Those flashes of inspiration don’t hang around forever. You must grab them now, or consign them to the shredder of your mind.

How do you keep track of those bits of genius the muse throws your way? Leave a comment and let me know about it.

Even though the month ended yesterday, I am scratching my head trying to remember what happened in February. Where did the days go? Will March vanish in the same way, with hardly a whisper, leaving no trace of its journey here on earth? Well, I do remember some things. For one, it was my birth month, which meant I’m one year older and have one year less to do the things I want to do. My oldest son also had a birthday in February and my car, which has never given me any trouble in the eleven years I’ve had it, broke down. And after months of talking to a travel agent, my plans to cruise the Mediterranean finally went into high gear.

Also in February I continued to work at my day job as an occupational therapist and at home I plodded away at the second in my Egypt novel series. In addition, I’ve been updating this blog and my Christian devotional blog while posting to my church’s website. I’ve also started writing again for Hubpages and participating in a little social media here and there. And, I almost forgot, I worked on a synopsis for someone. Not bad for someone with an almost full-time job. Now I don’t feel so guilty after all.

So here we are in March. A new month with new opportunities. I’m going to try my best to spice up my blog, work on my About page and make a better effort to get myself on the road to retirement. Oh, I also want to read more. I find that when I read good books my writing flows better. How about you? Have you started on your 2013 goals? Are things going according to plan? Don’t beat yourself up if you find you are not accomplishing things as fast as you would like. Just keep your goals in front of you and keep working on them. You may be slowed by other things, but try to do a little every day. Remember, the race is not for the swiftest, but he who endures to the end. Keep at it!

This week as promised, I’m bringing you the first blog post about my book Coming Out of Egypt. My protagonist, Cicely, is an attractive Christian young woman who has a lot of skeletons in her closet, which she has managed to keep hidden. Cicely thinks her life is well ordered, but when she meets the handsome detective, David, she instinctively knows that the carefully-woven threads of her life are about to become undone. Which they do, despite Cicely’s best efforts to keep them intact.

In the story, I make use of the extended metaphor, meaning that the metaphor appears throughout the story. In fact, the title Coming Out of Egypt is itself a metaphor for the tortuous journey of the major characters out of their separate places of bondage. However, Egypt is more than that. It is an actual place in the story where Cicely first meets one of her pupils whose life is similar to what Cicely once experienced. And even though Cicely literally leaves Egypt, her path and the girl’s converge once more in a startling and unexpected way that disrupts the harmony of Cicely’s life. She is still stuck in Egypt.

But why use metaphors? I believe metaphors are an excellent way to:

1. Enrich the language by providing imagery which may not be as vivid without them . For example, in my book I refer to Cicely’s Egypt closet, which is not a real closet, but a storehouse of memories relating to her troubled past. The title Coming Out of Egypt is based on the story of the Exodus of the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt. It is a story I have loved ever since I was a child, and being a Christian, I’m still blown away by the way God delivered His people from the heavy hand of Pharaoh, the emperor of Egypt. This is the main theme that runs throughout the book.
2. Leave room for interpretation. Readers can explore which of the characters made a transition out of Egypt, i.e. which character(s) showed the most improvement by the end of the story, and which ones did not make it.
3. Express thoughts, feelings, experiences etc. When Cicely finally lets go of her inhibitions and allows herself to fall in love with David, she sees God parting the Red Sea so she can walk to freedom. Later, when her fears become a reality, she thinks that Pharaoh and his armies have won.
4. Prepare the reader for what is to come. In some parts of the story, I use metaphors as a foreshadowing. When Cicely suspects that David may find out about her past, she hears the pounding of Pharaoh’s armies drawing closer.

Metaphors, when correctly used, can add depth and meaning to your story, but according to the experts, writers should be careful not to use metaphors too extensively so that your work sounds like a huge cliché. Neither should you use metaphors employed by other writers, but use your own imagination to create metaphors that will flow seamlessly throughout your work. If you have used metaphors, or have an interest in them, please leave a comment and tell us about it.

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