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Realm Makers 2016


I learned SO much this year at Realm Makers 2016. It was the best Realm Makers yet! I’m going to start off by listing, in point form, some of the things I’ve learned from the different speakers at Realm Makers 2016. Then I’ll end by sharing what I’m going to intentionally hold on to and apply to my own life from what I’ve learned at Realm Makers 2016.

Davis Bunn
(Thomas Locke)

  • God is calling us to something great and eternal.
  • To make writing your profession write every day and give voice to your characters.
  • Make a discipline around your creative clock. Figure out when you’re most productive and write then every day.
  • Step away from your project every 5 days to work on something else.
  • When you get writer’s block take a break.
  • Don’t edit/re-read as you go along.
  • Make the discipline of writing space. Isolation – separate yourself from distraction.
  • Have a desk and computer (no internet!) that is only for writing.
  • Use the space and time that IS available. Write.
  • Make a writing discipline that is adaptable to the outside world.
  • Use certain triggers to cue you up to get into the writing zone. Like read a certain song or certain type of book.
  • Make a discipline around your creative process. Separate your 1st draft. Confidence must fuel 1st draft. You are the right person to write this!
  • Revision drafts must be filled by doubt. Separate emotionally from the story before revising.
  • Start the next book before editing. That way you are free emotionally of that story before revising.
  • Once the 1st draft is complete you must emotionally separate from your story and view it as a product.
  • Make the discipline of the creative distance. Accept the divide between God’s call and the market’s response. Just because your writing is not well-received doesn’t mean that God isn’t calling you to it.
  • If you have an awesome dream, when you wake up, write about it. Write at least 30 pages on a new idea so you’ll remember.
  • Sometimes we wonder, How could God lead me to write a project and then it not seem to have success? Seek the joy regardless of the outcome.
  • Carry your prayer life into your creative process.
  • What prep do you need to do to make your story as powerful as possible? AND How can you do the needed prep for your story without losing your passion for the idea?
  • Voice is developed through first drafting.
  • One of the most important/defining traits for characters are their dialogue patterns.
  • Work in the way that is most powerful for you and works with your story.
  • There’s nothing harder than the empty page.
  • Don’t expect to write your scenes in order.
  • There needs to be a parallel between the internal and the external conflicts in your story.
  • The Major Dramatic Question (MDQ) – there is a question that is asked in the opening scene that is answered with a yes or no in the climax. The answer to the MDQ can be yes and no which is often the most powerful answer.
  • Emotions are everything in a story. More important than actions.
  • To get your book made into a movie it needs to sell at least 100 thousand copies and it needs to be a high concept.
  • Stand-alone books in a series are the newish trend. It’s a series where you don’t have to read the books in order.
  • The first chapter serves as an open door to a party that’s already in swing.
  • The only things that should be on the page are things that develop the character and lead to the climax.
  • Problems in the story cannot be resolved until the climax.
  • When describing the room you’re not describing the room. You’re conveying the emotions of the person viewing the room.
  • In many cases when a scene is not working it is because the emotion is not deep enough.
  • Reward yourself often and well for achievement.
  • Powerful dialogue is revealing of the person speaking.
  • Your passion is part of your spiritual gift and you need to protect it.
  • Where possible adapt to the outside world, in terms of recent trends in writing/publishing.
  • The goal is not to do everything you learn at a conference. Pick 1 thing that will help you with what is holding you back.
  • God is not going to send us out with half a gift. Talent is not the issue.

How to Write an Awesome Overview

  • The goal  of an overview is to sell the story in 1 page.
  • Writing the overview is a gradual process.
  • To write an overview: identify the characters the story can’t do without and the crucial action moment.
  • The overview must be 1 page long and it must be excellent. It can be written before, during or after a story is finished.
  • The overview begins with the hook and ends with the climax. Use 2 log lines. 1 at the beginning and 1 at the end.
  • In the overview there needs to be a sense of time pressure.
  • Even in the overview get the emotional bond right away, then introduce the plot.
  • The Overview doesn’t have to be an exact outline of your book. It is to convey the main idea of your book and to SELL the book. For the big publishing companies, the people who sign your contract almost never read your book.
  • Your overview doesn’t need to include the resolution of the climax. It is to sell the story not to tell the story.


Tosca Lee

  • Even antagonists have values. We might not agree with them but they do have values.
  • What hope, fear or question drives your character?
  • What is something weird or unique about your character?
  • If you fail to engage your readers emotionally, you fail as a writer.
  • We get to know our characters by getting to know ourselves.
  • When you take the time to write a story it’s like you’re paying a chunk of you life for it.
  • Fiction is the lie that tells the truth.
  • #1 rule of writing: write like no one will ever read this.

What do Best-Selling Authors Do?

  • Best-selling authors put in thousands of hours.
  • Writing takes time and practice. Read a lot. Have people read your writing.
  • Accept that some things you write are just for practice.
  • Best-sellers actually write AND finish projects.
  • Best-sellers know when and how they can work best.
  • Do it now.
  • Best-selling writers pay attention to their longings.
  • Give yourself permission to write something bad.
  • Best-selling authors know their strengths and manage their weaknesses.
  • Take the way you’re wired and apply it to writing.
  • Take time to really think about how you’re wired and capitalize on that.
  • If you invest time in the things you’re weak at you will become moderately competent.
  • If you invest time in the things you’re good at you will become world-class.
  • You will get a much greater return on time investment by working on your strengths.
  • To overcome weakness get a partner or use strengths to get around them.
  • Best-selling writers don’t go it alone.
  • Best-selling writers have a philosophy about rejection. (It’s just not for them.)
  • Best-selling writers continue to learn.
  • Best-selling writers market in meaningful ways.
  • Find out who your audience is.
  • Best-selling writers keep their writing and life in perspective. Writing is what you do, not who you are.


Thom Black

  • The way we get in trouble is doing what we were designed to do but at the wrong time.
  • The greatest enemy of your soul is noise.
  • Engage in life. Live your story out!


What I’m Going to Apply to my Life From
Realm Makers 2016

On the way home I was telling my husband about some of the fabulous things that I had learned and what I was going to do to apply that to my life. He stopped me and asked, “Have you documented this somewhere?”

“Yes, I have it all in point form in the Tweets I did during the sessions.”

“Wait…You have ALL of what you just told me in TWEETS?”

“Well no but…”

“I feel like I should tell you that you should document this so that you won’t forget.”

So I pulled out my phone and hit record. Here’s the audio about how I’m going to apply what I learned at Realm Makers 2016 to my own life.

Thanks for visiting my website! What did you learn at Realm Makers 2016 that you’re going to apply to your life? I’d love to hear from you => comment below!

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