Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Hello from Crystal Bowman!

I have been writing books for children for over 20 years and have learned a few things along the way. Writing for children is much harder than most people realize. The challenge is to write an engaging, creative story using limited vocabulary and word count. Another thing to consider is naming your characters. The characters in a book may be animals or humans, but either way, they need names—and choosing the right name is important! Read More →

Stories, Parables & Movie Scripts

Ted Baehr

Ted Baehr

Basic screenplay writing excerpted from HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL)

Part III

For Better or for Worse

Communicating effectively requires learning and applying the basic principles of language, grammar, rhetoric, technique, and general rules that govern each genre and medium. There are three levels of such principles: general principles (which apply to most communications), genre specific principles, and media specific principles.

There are also several steps involved in producing powerful communications, including movies and television programs. Here is a brief outline of the most important foundational steps in preparing your communication. Each genre and medium will modify this outline by adding or subtracting steps or substeps. However, this outline is your basic guide to the steps required to communicate effectively.


12 Basic Foundational Steps to Communicating Effectively:

  1. In light of who you are, why you want to communicate and well thought out research and ascertainment, make a brief note of what you want to say, your idea, conviction, or your key thought. This idea, thought, or statement must be something that you believe and want to communicate through a movie or television program.
  2. Ask and answer the appropriate ascertainment questions to target your audience, determine your genre and medium, and plan the execution of your communication.
  3. Rephrase your idea or key thought into an active premise that you can prove in your communication, taking into consideration your answers to the pertinent ascertainment questions.
  4. Identify the elements needed to prove your premise, most of which are inherent within your premise. In drama, these elements are your characters, conflict, climax, and resolution.
  5. Structure these elements taking into consideration your audience, genre, medium of choice and your answers to the ascertainment questions which are appropriate for your communication.
  6. Write out, plan, or script your communication, punctuating it with technical, dramatic, or literary effects to capture and retain audience interest.
  7. Prepare, storyboard, and/or rehearse your communication.
  8. Produce, polish, or otherwise finish your communication.
  9. Edit, review and revise your communication.
  10. Deliver, distribute or broadcast your communication.
  11. Survey your audience to find out how effective your communication was and how it can be improved.
  12. Review and revise your communication to improve it if possible.

Half of this process is preparation. Many people fail to prepare or dash off a script and believe that they will perfect it when the right person buys it. However, you never have a second chance to make a first impression, so you need to perfect your script right from the beginning, even if you need to change it later.

Remember that the average movie takes nine years from start to finish. The Passion of the Christ took ten years. Evita took twenty–three years. Batman took seventeen years.

How To Succeed in Hollywood Without Losing Your Soul by Ted Baehr

How To Succeed in Hollywood Without Losing Your Soul by Ted Baehr

There are several reasons why it takes so long. First, there are 300,000 scripts submitted every year to the Writers Guild of America and many more are written that are never submitted, aside from the flood of novels every year, but less than three hundred movies open in theaters every year. Thus, most scripts never make it into production. Second, Hollywood movies cost over $104 million to produce and distribute in 2010, and it takes a long, long time to get all the elements together so that some distributor or investor will want to put up this kind of money. Third, most people take years to get the script right. The Los Angeles Times interviewed a woman who was trying for twenty years to sell her script. She said that in all those years she had not had the time to take a scriptwriting course or read a book on scriptwriting. The Los Angeles Times and all of us should be perplexed: What was she doing all that time that she could not take a moment to learn her chosen craft?

To be continued…

C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

Grace and Peace from Hot, Muggy, Sticky, “No, you don’t want to move down here and retire” Florida! Really. If we get too many more people, the peninsula will break off and float out into the Atlantic. I hear North Carolina’s nice this time of year… They have golf up there, too. 🙂


It’s Marketing Wednesday. Since I am not a marketing genius, I always feel a little inadequate trying to help those of you in the writing business who are much further along in the “selling” aspect of the biz than I am.

I’m old school. Call me a fuddy-duddy. Call me old-fashioned. Call me crazy, even. I am a firm believer that good writing will sell books…eventually. It’s just a matter of time. God’s timing. All the tricks and gizmos and slants and talking points one can muster are all well and good, provided they are backed up with the ultimate test: Does the reader want to read on? Complete you’re the next chapter? Complete the book? Complete the series? Look for your next work? Tell others about you? If the writing isn’t good, they won’t be back.

So, the way I figure it, whenever I run across an article, a book, or a method that can help some of you take your writing to the next phase of what God has in store, then Praise Him!

SEO button

SEO button

Jayson DeMers is a regular contributor for Forbes. He “demystifies SEO and online marketing for business owners.” Well, that’s his claim. I guess I’m not a business owner, because some of the content he produces still mystifies me.

However, many of the things he covers, not only in this article, The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014, but in other articles he’s written, have information that can help a writer. Much of it probably applies more to a non-fiction writer than a fiction author, but there are still some principles fiction people can take away and use. There are also several links embedded in the article you may also want to check out.

Number 1 on the list probably applies more to the non-fiction crowd. Two, Three, and Four really apply to us all. Number 5 more for non-fiction. Six and Seven, everybody.

Hope this helps! Have a great writing day!


KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister, and his published works include not only numerous articles in a varied allotment of magazines and newspapers, but also two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (OakTara, 2012; winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge – A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1 (OakTara 2013) – another award winner! You can find Kevin at the following locations online:


Blogs:      &

Facebook:       C. Kevin Thompson – Author Page

Twitter:          @CKevinThompson

Goodreads:    C. Kevin Thompson


*Pictures courtesy of

Janet Perez Eckles

Janet Perez Eckles

Hola from Janet Perez Eckles…Igniting Your Passion to Overcome

What happened?

Remember years past? We had new opportunities, more book contracts, more invitations to speak, and best-selling status was attainable.

What happened? Without warning, the economy turned. Competition became fierce, and because of that, at times restlessness made our creativity fade.

Read More →

Sharon K. Souza
Marti Pieper

Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper in lovely Mount Dora, Florida, where the temperatures seem unduly warm after my nine-day sojourn in Estes Park, Colorado teaching and serving on staff at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. I took my husband along this year, and the final day, we went from snow to sweltering in less than twelve hours’ time. But I trust that no matter how warm you are, the following interview with author Sharon K. Souza will blow into your day like a refreshing breeze. Although I don’t know Sharon personally, she and I met online several years ago through the popular (now retired) Novel Matters blog, where she served as a contributing author. I enjoyed her posts there, and I know you’ll enjoy her words of wisdom here as well.

Welcome once again to the CAN blog, Sharon! How many books do you have published, and what are a few of your latest titles? 

Sharon K. Souza

Sharon K. Souza

I have five books published. My two latest titles are The Color of Sorrow Isn’t Blue and Unraveled.

Those both sound intriguing. You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2012. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?

As every author knows, the writing life is a solitary life, and I think that’s okay with most writers. We tend to be better able to handle the solitude, which is not to say we aren’t social, but the nature of our work means we have to spend hours at our computer working away at our word count when we’d probably prefer to do things that are more fun. Read More →