Friday, July 14, 2017

Guideposts for the Writing Journey by Carla Gade

Carla Gade
As writers, we’re always looking for ways to do what we do better—in writing, marketing, and even keeping balance in our lives. Author Carla Gade shares four things we can do in our journey that will help us keep on track, and I think each one is equally important. Well . . . actually, the last is most important. 
~ Dawn

Guideposts for the Writing Journey

In my novel, Love’s Compass, by all appearances, my hero and heroine come from vastly different worlds. Eliana is a young white woman in the mid-1870’s living under her father’s protection in western Colorado as his photography assistant. Yiska is a half Navajo trail guide, with aspirations of journalism, trying to earn a respectable living in a white man’s world. As the story progresses and they come to know each other, they realize that they are up against similar odds.

Independently, in their efforts to make their mark on the world, they resort to certain tactics: anonymity, disguise, and false pretense. These tools work for a while as they plow forward in the roles they are trying to achieve. It seems almost necessary for their safety and success, given the circumstances of the historical times and place. You see, if they are not accepted as they are, they must prove themselves otherwise. Once proven, perhaps the masks can come off.

Sound familiar?

A few women writers of yesteryear come to mind. Jane Austen, Mary Ann Evans, the Bronte sisters eventually could put their pseudonyms aside. But for the most part our society allows us to go bold faced into uncharted terrain. Yet we still hide. Though we are compelled to pursue our passion, we still can get caught up with things that can be cumbersome to our writing journey. Here are some guideposts that can help us along the way.

Transparency: For many years before I was published, I would never allow anyone to read my writing. It took a great deal of courage to finally allow others to read what I wrote, and even more to critique and edit my work. Learning to be transparent was a big step for me. I was letting people see me after all and I hoped they would like me. It didn’t mean that there wasn’t room to sharpen my skills, but the affirmation I received that I had a gift wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been willing to share it.

Authenticity: Being authentic is important as well. We all have unique abilities ways of expressing them. Our “voice’ is like no other. We may be drawn to the writing style of a favorite author or a popular literary theme. Guard the genuineness of your own distinct way of writing. Stay true to yourself.

One more for the road. The one that helped my hero and heroine bond.

Relatability: As you tell the stories that are on your heart, be relatable. Your own journey of life sifts into to every article, story, every character your write. Although it’s a different journey than your reader’s journey, choose some guideposts for them, moments or emotions that they can relate to and connect with. It’s the heart of what you write and your sincerity that will show them who you really are as an author. 

Above all, be sure to let the Lord be your compass, in your writing journey.

What guideposts help you stay on course as a writer?


Colorado Territory, 1875 –

Daring Eliana Van Horn aims to make her mark by joining her father as his photography assistant—disguised as a young man--on a survey expedition to the remote Four Corners. Living in the shadows of his native heritage, trail guide Yiska Wilcox is thrown off course when the shadow catcher's daughter opens up the uncharted territory of his heart. As they travel through dangerous terrain in the mountains and deserts of Colorado and New Mexico, Eliana and Yiska must learn to overcome the barriers of culture, faith, and ideals to discover common ground. Though they are worlds apart, will they stake a chance on love?

New Englander Carla Gade writes from her Victorian home in central Maine. With ten books in print she enjoys bringing her tales to life with historically authentic settings and characters. An avid reader, amateur genealogist, photographer, and house plan hobbyist, Carla’s great love (next to her family) is historical research. Though you might find her tromping around an abandoned homestead, an old fort, or interviewing a docent at an historical museum, it’s easier to connect with her online.