Friday, May 25, 2012

The Importance of a "Ping-Moment" with Katie Ganshert

Casey here: I'm so thrilled to host Katie today on our blog! A fantastic writer, avid blogger and all-around super woman to many who know her, Katie has completely impressed me with her amazing and stunning debut novel and her ability to connect with people through her blog on a heart level. Be sure and leave a comment at the end of the  post, answering Katie's question and you'll be entered to win a copy of Wildflowers from Winter in celebration of this, it's debut release month! Here is Katie...

The other day, I was reading this devotional my church published. It was about generosity. Super good stuff. And I came across something simple, yet profound.

It was a story of a girl who used to play Monopoly with her grandma. They’d have fun trying to get the best properties and lots of money so they could buy hotels and houses to put on those properties.

Every time when the game ended, this girl’s grandmother would look at her and say, “Remember, honey. At the end of the game, it all goes back in the box.”

Such a valuable life lesson, isn’t it?

Of course, my writer brain kicked in. It’s impossible for me to let a lesson just be a lesson. I’m constantly applying my lessons to my writing life.

And this particular got me wondering….

Am I putting those golden nuggets of wisdom in my novels?

Am I giving at least one person something profound to say? Something that won’t just be revolutionary to my main character, but to my readers too.

You know, that little ping that makes a person stop and think.

Am I giving my readers that ping?

Here’s the thing about the ping (oh boy, that rhymes)

Keep it Simple
Oftentimes, the more understated something is, the more powerful it can be. So when we’re giving a character something profound to say, I think it’s wise to ask if we can have them say it simply.

Not a lecture. Not a grandiose speech. Nothing eloquent or flowery. Keep it short and sweet and impactful.

Make it Interesting
I’m not talking about the words, here. I’m talking about the who.

Sure, I could give Grandma the wise words. Or the pastor. Or the mentor. But how original is that?

How much more fun is it if we give those golden nuggets to somebody altogether unexpected? Like a little kid or the quirky neighbor or here’s a stretch: the bad guy.

Let’s Talk: Are you putting ping-moments in your novels?

Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels. She and her husband are in the process of adopting from the Congo. You can find her online at her blog and on Facebook.  

About the novel...

Bethany Quinn was happy to leave her small town ten years ago to create a new, successful life. But when tragedies strike at home, she is forced to return and face the pain of her childhood. Out of options, Bethany tries to find a place where love and faith make sense again.

Don't forget! Leave a comment to be entered to win this stunning debut by Katie! Not to be missed!


Jessica R. Patch said...

Well, I'm glad I read this because I just realized I need to simplify something in the WIP.And I might be able to use someone else. Great tips!

Joanne Sher said...

Super tips, Katie! Will use this - probably TODAY! - in my WI{ (and enter me for the book please.)

Jeanne T said...

Katie, what a great post, and wonderful thoughts. I'm close to finishing my first draft of my book. My truth tellers have lots of words of wisdom. I need to figure out how to simplify their wise thoughts on my next pass through the story. Thanks for sharing this today! LOVED IT.

Katie Ganshert said...

Hey everyone! So glad to be a guest on the Writer's Alley today!

So glad this post was helpful to you three lovely ladies!

Linda said...

These are great writing tips even for bloggers. As I read them, I wondered is I applied some of the things I read to my own life. Thank you!

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Casey said...

JESSICA, isn't it great how things like that just hit us out of the blue? Right when we need them. :)

JOANNE, I love it when you find a concept that can be applied right away. :)

JEANNE, congrats on almost finishing that first draft!

Gail Owens said...

Thanks for your words of wisdom. Often the most profound and concise 'bits' are the ones easiest to remember and pass along to others. Thanks for the post.

Casey said...

KATIE, thanks so much for gracing the Alley today!

LINDA, I'm so glad you stopped by! Welcome to the Alley. :-))

Casey said...

GAIL, very true. It's the little things that often make the biggest impacts.

Lindsay Harrel said...

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that PING...doowop, doowop.


Great tips, Katie! Love it!

Mary Vee Writer said...

ping - I like that. Hadn't heard it before. But I have read words of wisdom embedded in books. Ping says it all - short, to the point.
I'll remember to add ping to my WIP

Casey said...

LINDSAY, who knew that was how to spell that sound. ;-)

MARY, me too. Me too. :)

Becky Doughty said...

Lindsay - that was spot on!

I LOVE ping moments but never knew what to call them before! I actually collect quotes to use in my stories.

Now I'm going to be singing that song all day...........

Five Bees in the Triangle said...

This advice is very timely. One of the more senior characters in my WIP was about to spout flowery words of wisdom. I will find a way to bring out the PING via another character.

Casey said...

BECKY, it seems sometimes those moments come out of the blue, don't they? It's fun when we find ourselves without effort, adding them to our fiction. :)

BEES, I love how everyone is putting the word PING in their comments. Makes me want to use it. PING. ;-)

Great word choice, Katie!! :)

Angie Dicken said...

Oh man! I wish I could enter the contest...this is on my to-read list!! Such great advice, Katie! Thanks so much for sharing. I love ping moments when I read...need to remember to include them when I write!!

Pam K. said...

As a reader, those "ping moments" make me stop and think. I even copy the best ones into a book of quotes I keep for my own encouragement. They really help the book become more meaningful, not just a good story, but something that can help me in my life.


Casey said...

ANGIE, the book is sooo good! Seriously, a great work of fiction.

PAM, they make the joy of a reader that much more poignant, don't they? I love that you copy them and save them!

Katie Ganshert said...

Really enjoyed reading all of these comments! So glad the post was helpful!! Happy Memorial Day weekend!

V. Gingerich said...

ping-mom-ment noun
1. those bits I highlight on my Kindle