Savoring the Tasty Morsels of a Teacher


Lauraine Snelling, offering some friendly tips to aspiring authors

Lauraine Snelling, offering some friendly tips to aspiring authors

By Mikie

“Marketing: suck it up and do it,” exclaims prolific author, Lauraine Snelling.

In last week’s Blog post, Shawny Lou wrote about the helpful tidbits Lauraine fed local artists at a recent meeting of Tehachapi Christian Artists Fellowship that Shawny Lou and I attended.

I’ll add some additional tasty morsels I ingested from Lauraine’s talk.


“Marketing is critical”, declares Lauraine.

Currently, Shawny Lou and I are building our “platform” using social media, primarily Facebook, to get the word out about our collaborative project “Unsung Lyrics”. Lauraine suggested adding Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Blogging to our promotion stage. Last month, Shawny Lou launched her personal Blog “Writing in a Raindrop”, and I will be developing mine soon.

So, although I create screenplays, I found book author Lauraine’s advice also applicable to script writing.


“If you’re going to write fiction, read widely”, Lauraine insists. She says she’s always surprised when writers tell her that they don’t read much.Mikie Library

I was fortunate to be raised by a mother who loved to read, and who regularly took my brother and I to the local library where we checked out the maximum number of books allowed. A couple of years ago, I visited Jervis Public Library in my birthplace, Rome, New York, and I asked my husband to take a picture of me standing in the children’s section, because hanging out there among all those paper pathways into other worlds was such a significant and defining memory of my childhood.

Along with reading books, I also read screenplays, in particular the Oscar-nominated scripts for best original, and best adaptation. I like to see what industry professionals and card-carrying Writers Guild of America members recommend. I also watch movies and analyze (often times to my family’s annoyance) the film’s story line. I sometimes even announce: “end of act one” or “midpoint” or “crisis” or “plot turn”, but usually only in the privacy of a living room viewing, and not too loudly.

Since my next screenplay project is adapting Shawny Lou’s book “Unsung Lyrics”, I’m currently reading books that have been adapted into screenplays and produced into movies. I just finished reading “Labor Day” by Joyce Maynard. The film, available April 29th on Netflix, is in my queue. It’ll be interesting to see what the script writer chose to show as the important “beats” of the story.


In Shawny Lou’s post she mentioned the three things Lauraine says a writer needs to know about their characters. I’ll repeat them again, because they help simplify or demystify the task of “plotting” or outlining. They are:

What do they (characters) want?

Why do they want it?

What gets in the way of what they want?

Goal, motivation, conflict.

The reader, or the movie viewer, follows the character, the protagonist living her life. It’s the character that changes the reader’s life, says Lauraine.


Lauraine says the goal of the story-teller is to entertain, not to preach to people.

“Let the Holy Spirit do that work,” she says.

When Lauraine is reading a book, and the author starts to preach, she stops reading. Likewise, when I’m watching a movie that takes a cheesy didactic route, and starts sermonizing, whether it be about religion, or environmentalism, or politics, or etc., I stop following, if I ever did, the character’s journey.

Market, read, develop characters, entertain: All great tips from accomplished writer Lauraine Snelling. Now … if I can just remember to “suck it up” and do them all!



4 thoughts on “Savoring the Tasty Morsels of a Teacher

  1. I’m excited about what you’re doing! I also needed to read these things. Some similar things keep coming up, so I feel like God is speaking to me through words like yours. Keep sending these out!!!


    • Hi Christy,

      Mikie is on vacation and doesn’t have a lot of access to internet right now. I hope you don’t mind that I respond!

      Thank you for comment. I believe I can speak for Mikie when I say how grateful we both are to know that God is working in our lives, our writing, and the lives of other Christians.

      I’m amazed at how the Lord ensures that His children know He’s looking out for them, as they push forward to accomplish the work He has laid upon them.

      Be blessed,
      Shawny Lou


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