Lessons Along the Road to Publication

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By: JPC Allen Thirty-two years. That’s how long it’s taken me to see my first novel in print. Thirty-two years since I was a freshman in college and recovering from an emergency appendectomy over Christmas break. To ward off boredom, I began writing. I’d written in bits and pieces, fits and starts, since second grade. But, for the first time, …

Step One to Publication: Overcome Your Fear

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By Janette Melson Step one of publishing a novel might seem like a “duh”—write a novel first! You can’t publish something which doesn’t exist. However, you can garner the interest of agents and editors without a completed manuscript, as I did. So, what do I think the first step is? Overcome your fear of failure (or even success). As Wayne …

Loving Righteousness

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By Christine Sunderland My seventh novel, Angel Mountain (Wipf and Stock 2020), opens on Veterans Day, 2018. Hermit Abram awaits, surrounded by icons, in the sandstone caverns of Angel Mountain. Soon he will step into the light outside on his promontory and preach righteousness to the curious in the meadow below. He is fighting for freedom, the freedom to believe, …

How Fiction Humanizes

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By Sarah Sundin We’ve all felt this when we read good books—we become the main characters. We feel their joy and anger and fear. As writers, our job is to produce this effect through our own characters. Not only does this produce a satisfying, cathartic, emotional experience for our readers, but it has a humanizing effect. Haman vs. Esther This …

Resurrecting your Manuscript: Rewrite, Repurpose … but Regardless, Give Grace

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By Lana Christian Most, if not all, authors have at least one manuscript buried in a drawer. Maybe it was the first book you wrote. Secretly, you kept rooting for that underdog, hoping it would see the light of day. Maybe it can. The biblical story of Samson brims with lessons about giftedness, redemption, second chances, and the fact that …

Defining Goals and Redefining Success

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By: Janette Melson As I edited a previous blog before publishing, I realized that I used the word goal a lot. And I concluded that there is a reason for that. According to some of the greatest minds throughout history, goals are a way to keep life exciting, successful, and productive. After all, “If you aim at nothing, you will …

What’s Fiction’s Purpose?

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By Cynthia Herron What’s the real purpose of fiction? Several months ago, I tweeted: Fiction is just that. Fiction. Reading it is (and should be) fun. It is a break from reality. An escape. It doesn’t have to make sense, a point, or a literary statement. It can, but it doesn’t have to. When we distort that, we miss the art …