Three Aids to Successful Writing

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By Stephanie Prichard Ten years ago, my husband asked if I’d like to write a novel with him. Mind you, this is a man who rarely reads anything other than the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, he loves fiction—but only in the format of movies. What did he know about writing books? I snorted and told him to go ahead …

Making It Real

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Friends of ACFW, Plots, tips, writing 4 Comments

by Kathy Harris In a plot twist few had fathomed––although Dean Koontz predicted something eerily similar in his 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness—a tiny organism too small to see without a microscope has turned our lives, and our livelihoods, upside down, setting off a giant conflict in the story we call day-to-day life. Although this real life “inciting incident” …

How Can YOU Reach a Broader Audience?

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By Mesu Andrews When I was choosing dates to write for the ACFW blog, I noticed that today, May 21st, is Ascension Day. Now, I’m a theological mutt. Mom’s charismatic. Dad was Quaker. My grandparents were Pilgrim Holiness ordained ministers—both grandpa AND grandma even way back when. Since my spiritual heritage is Evangelical, I don’t know much about Ascension Day. …

Chapter Endings: Keep your Readers on her Toes, not her Heels

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By Suzanne Woods Fisher A while ago, I read an interview in my local newspaper featuring a woman who had just turned one hundred years old. The reporter wanted to know this centenarian’s inner motivation. What had given her that “oomph factor” to live so long? “I want to know,” she said, “what happens next.” That comment hit me like …

The Freedom of a Path in the Woods

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By James R. Hannibal Long ago, while attending the US Air Force Academy and working as a summer survival instructor, I wandered away from a campsite looking for firewood. Our search took us deep into the unmarked woods of the Rocky Mountains’ front range, where the sun sets quickly. The light dimmed. The air grew colder. One of my students—we’ll …

Christmases that Rock Your Characters’ World

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By Susan A.J. Lyttek When I signed up to write this Christmas blog post, I had dozens of ideas on what I would write about. I knew, somehow, the star of my post would be my seasonal mystery Plundered Christmas. It still will be, just not in any of the directions I had originally considered. For instance, I had notes …

Springing into the Next Story

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by Jan Drexler Spring is here, and it’s time to start my next book! With this new beginning, I’ve already spent hours of preparation. I’ve cultivated the bed of ideas, throwing out stones and stray roots. I’ve poured over research materials as if they were seed catalogs, each with their own versions of the standard offerings. I’ve studied maps, terrain, …

Tips for Fighting the Dreaded Writer’s Block

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By Amy Clipston Through the years I’ve found that my book projects fall into two categories—they either write themselves or writing them feels like having my teeth drilled. In other words, the characters either tell me the story or I push them through the story as if they were dead weight. My book Room on the Porch Swing, which releases …

Characters or Story: What Drives Your Writing?

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by Glynn Young I was having an email exchange with a writer and poet who had just published a novel. Specifically, we were discussing how each of us wrote fiction. She had trouble, she said, with multi-viewpoint novels. Her stories tended to be character-driven, and especially lead character-driven. She said she found multi-viewpoint novels confusing. Multi-viewpoint novels are what I …