Violence in Christian Fiction

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By: Carol Buchanan I turned to Christian fiction about four years ago when I found the novels of Davis Bunn in my church library. I devoured The Great Divide, Rare Earth and The Patmos Deception, and Maestro. Having written four historical Western novels set in early Montana, I felt that I’d been liberated: Violence can exist in Christian novels. Since …

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 …

Creating Quirky

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By: JPC Allen So much work goes into creating believable characters that writers sometimes forget to have fun with the process. One way I’ve discovered to prevent character development from becoming a chore is creating quirks for characters, fun traits that make my characters seem more likable or real or relatable. One of the reasons for Sherlock Holmes’s enduring popularity is his …

Three Tips for Polishing Your Rough Draft

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By: Katie Powner As an adjective, the word rough means “having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level.” Boards can be rough. The seas can be rough. But how can stories be rough if they don’t have a surface? Well, they do. The surface of a story is the plot. Everything that happens, that you can see in …

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 …

Surprise Characters Can Be Fun

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By Ann H. Gabhart The number one reason people read novels is because of the characters. Books need lots of action orconflict. Fabulous settings or dramatic historical events are good, but without characters to enable readers to vicariously live the story with them, you just have a travel guide, a history book or a news article. We want to love …

Five Hundred and One – Encouragement for Unpublished Authors

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By: SK Derban My long-term goal of becoming a published author was finally realized after more than two decades. It’s hard to remember how many times I thought about quitting, and that was before I started writing my first manuscript. Although I wanted to write directly out of college God had other plans for me. He knew I needed grooming, …

Layers

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By Lisa Loraine Baker Fictional While House speechwriter, Sam Seaborn, sits at his desk writing with feverish intensity. At a point of frustration, he rips the sheet of paper off his tablet, crumples it, and pounds his fists three times on his desk. He chucks the offensive wad into his wastebasket, picks up his pen and starts anew. In a …