Invest in Others… Deep in the Trenches

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by Kimberley Woodhouse An author’s life can be very lonely. And the longer you’re at this business, it could easily get lonelier when there are deadlines stacked on top of deadlines in addition to regular family/church life. That’s why it’s so important to invest in other writers. ACFW is a beautiful picture of that. That’s why we’re here, right? More …

Creating Characters that Readers Can Love

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by Ann H. Gabhart Why do we love picking up fiction books to read? Great settings can add to a story, like the Appalachian Mountains setting I used for Along a Storied Trail. Interesting history makes me dive into a story. A plot that keeps me turning pages is a big plus. All those definitely contribute to a good novel, …

Microsoft Word: Trusted Friend or Bucking Bronc?

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by Rhonda Dragomir Hunched over my keyboard, lights dimmed so as not to keep my husband awake, I type feverishly on my manuscript. It’s due tomorrow. Though it’s past midnight, I push ahead. If I finish, I’ll sleep better. There. Perfect. One more review and I’ll let it rest until morning. But wait . . . where on earth did …

The Faith to Finish

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by Laurel Blount I’ve heard that 97% of aspiring writers fail for one specific reason. They don’t finish their books. It’s a staggering statistic—but after talking with many hopeful writers, I believe it. Even after they’ve pitched the book at a conference and been invited to submit, even when they’ve had an encouraging ‘revise and resubmit’ from an editor, their …

Getting Unstuck after 2020

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by Kristi Holl I was sick twice during the pandemic, we lost two family members, plus I had a month-long severe reaction to my second Covid shot. When I resurfaced, practically comatose, I was behind on one book deadline and a book proposal (set in 1850s England.) None of my decades-old “get started” techniques worked, which induced a near panic. …

The Juggling Act: Working Full-time and Writing

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By Amy Clipston People often ask me, “How do you work a full-time job and write books?” I resist the urge to roll my eyes, and instead reply, “I just make it work.” Unlike some authors, I work full-time for a local government, in addition to writing four or more books per year for HarperCollins Christian Publishing. In fact, in …

A New Novelist’s Journey to Publication

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By Frank DiBianca Believing we all learn from our fellow travelers’ writing experiences, I thought I’d outline mine in hopes that they may be useful to other new fiction writers. I remember publishing in my school’s fourth-grade “newspaper” a flash sci-fi story, The Unknown Element, about a new atomic element with mysterious properties. When the teachers said they didn’t understand …

Resurrecting Righteousness

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By Christine Sunderland Angel Mountain is a resurrection story, so I was pleased the novel was released shortly after Easter last year by Wipf and Stock Publishers. One of my main characters is Abram Levin, a Jewish refugee who converts to Christianity in his later years. He spends his last days in a sandstone cave as a hermit, singing, praying, …