Amy Drown | The Write Stuff
Freelance Editor, Writer, and Photographer
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The Write Stuff

My Life as a Writer and Editor... with All Its Bumps in the Road
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Writing vs. the Day Job

How do we protect that precious boundary between our calling as writers and the daily grind that keeps food on the table? ...

Trust Me

As writers, we need to beware of the promises we're making in our stories—consciously or inadvertently—that the reader will expect to pay off in the end....

Is Christian Fiction Unrealistic?

Christian fiction readers—like me are REAL. We're right here among you, our quiet, seemingly-boring lives testaments to God's amazing faithfulness....

Don’t “Friend” Me!

Your social media numbers are not going to land you an agent, or a publisher, or a big fat book contract....

More Than Words

Regardless of my final word count, I already am a winner...

NaNoWriMo Guest: Carol Moncado

The camaraderie found with thousands of other writers, all working toward the same goal…finishing the book. It’s indescribable....

The Contemporary Roots of Historical Fiction

This is the kind of post that would appear on Saturday Night Live in the old "Deep Thoughts" skit.  You see, I write both Contemporary and Historical Fiction, and while the two genres have never seemed incongruous to me, I could never have given you a reason why . . . until now.   Because now it hit me: what drives most of us into writing Historical Fiction is, in fact, Contemporary Fiction.   Think about it. We Historical writers long to escape into the worlds of Regency romance, 19th Century London, and more, and to lead our readers there with us. We love watching period dramas...

A Pre-Conference Mix & Mingle!

Thanks to Laurie Tomlinson for getting this ball started! As the ACFW National Conference in Indianapolis approaches, I'm joining my fellow writers in an online mix & mingle! It's a few questions designed to help people put names with faces, get to know a little bit about their writing, and break the ice before Indianapolis. I mean, writers? Talk about ourselves and our work? What's NOT to love! Here's what to do: - Fill out your own answers (you don't have to answer all of them!) in a post on your own website and paste the URL to that post (not your home page)...

Historical Research, Part 2: Get Help!

Last time we talked about primary sources for historical research that are easily accessible from your computer. But what if you still don't find what you're looking for? Or (gasp!) the answers you find only raise more questions? I think we can all remember those childhood school days when we were afraid to raise a hand in class to ask a question. It wasn't cool. It was embarrassing to reveal to our peers that we needed help, and it can still be embarrassing as grown-up writers to admit we don't have all the answers. But what your teacher said then is more true...

The Writing Life: Back in Gear

I awoke yesterday morning after a very poor, very restless night's sleep. The cat waited impatiently to be fed. The snooze button went off for the 14th time. I had to be at work in less than an hour, and I thought very seriously about calling in sick. I didn't want to get out of bed. Didn't want to do anything but spend the day moping. NOT your typical reaction to the great news that you have just been named a semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest. But after all my hard work to rewrite and polish my Historical Fiction entry, all...

The Writing Life: Knocked into Neutral

I read Contemporary and Historical Fiction, and I've always wanted to write both. My first full-length manuscript was for a Contemporary story idea that had been percolating in my brain for, oh, the last twenty years or so, and it's a story I LOVE. But history has always been my forté. And when I started my second manuscript--this time an Historical novel--it was obvious to me, my family, my crit partners, my readers, even total strangers, that Historical Fiction was my true niche. But as an unpublished author, I can't immediately launch a writing career in two completely different genres. (Not unless I...

Historical Research, Part 1: Get to the Source!

I write 20th Century Historical Fiction. Specifically, Pre-Depression Western America. Ever read that Writer’s Guide to Daily Life In…? Yeah, I didn’t think so. It was a startling discovery to make, I admit, but a Writer’s Guide to Daily Life in 1900-1929 doesn’t exist. In fact, not one useful “Historical-Era-Summary-for-Writers” guide exists for the era I write. And that’s just fine with me. You see, as a trained historian who is now writing historical fiction, I agree with Mr. Ed -- I'd much rather "go right to the source and ask the horse!" Or in this case, delve directly into what we...

The Writing Life: Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Single

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful." Remember that commercial? Well, I have a slightly different version for you today. "Don't hate me because I'm single." You see, I am an apparent anomaly in the world of Christian Fiction today. I am a single girl. Almost all of my writer friends are married and raising families. I've attended writers conferences, read authors' blogs, trolled Facebook fan pages, and seen the refrain repeated over and over...