Using Setting as a Spiritual Takeaway

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By Sally Jo Pitts Last night while watching this sunset with my grandson and daughter-in-law, she commented, “God created amazing scenery for us to enjoy.” God’s first setting was the Garden of Eden—the environment intended for us … until the fall of man. But did you know there are places in the world in which people have low rates of …

When Your Setting Takes on Character

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By Norma Gail Setting that takes on character brings our stories to life in the minds of our readers. When the author knows the setting well, small details can enhance what our characters experience. In a recent review by Connie Porter Saunders, she wrote, “You know an author is talented when they can convince readers that a country is one …

Springing into the Next Story

ACFW Authors and writing, Brainstorming, Characters, Friends of ACFW, Outlines, Plots, Setting, Story Structure, tips, writing 1 Comment

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, …

Choose a Setting You Love

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By H.L. Wegley Thirty-eight years ago, my wife and I and our three kids boxed up enough supplies for a week and headed for Lake Chelan in Central Washington, a glacier-fed lake, fifty-five miles long, nestled snugly between Cascade Mountain peaks. We rode the big boat, Lady of the Lake, and planned to camp in the wilderness, free from the …

Honor the Craft

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By Henry McLaughlin James Scott Bell posted a blog called Don’t Ever Mail It In where he wrote about the attitude that we’ve reached a certain point in our writing where we don’t have to improve. What struck me most is his definition of a real writer. It’s someone who honors the craft and never settles. In this blog, I’m …

Vacation, aka Book Marketing Research

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By Glynn Young My wife and I have been to England several times for vacation, but this time it was vacation with a book twist. Shortly before we left, I had finished a manuscript and turned it over to the publisher. The story is set in Britain and mostly London. But it was with a huge feeling of relief that …

Beyond Sense of Place

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by Gail Gaymer Martin Setting should be more than sense of place. It can add deeper meaning to your story by reflecting the theme or mood. It can enhance the plot with situations built into the setting that can foreshadow situations or problems. It can influence the character’s emotions and actions. When you begin your novel, ask yourself these questions: …

When the Reader Tastes the Salty Sea Spray

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By Leslie DeVooght Readers want to be transported and experience your characters’ world. Your setting should elicit an emotional response from your readers. To achieve this kind of intimacy with the place, a writer must visit the place. Setting isn’t just a location. In our first meeting, my fantastic writing coach Lindsey Bracket said, “you must evoke the island.” This …

Creating a World

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By Susan A.J. Lyttek One thing I love about writing speculative fiction is the opportunity to imitate my God and create worlds. There are entire books written about how to design your universe. Obviously, I cannot going that far in a blog post. Even so, I will include some basic pointers on the process. Anchor it in reality. Unlike our …

How Real Life Places can Help your Writing

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by Rose Allen McCauley It seems like God almost had to hit me over the head with the idea for my latest novella, Hidden Courage, in The Courageous Brides Collection by Barbour. I received the submission request from my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, but had not written anything historical for several years, so didn’t pay much attention. Then that fall …