New Covenant Testaments from Faithful Women

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By M.D. House Someday we’ll see the countless testimonies recorded on scroll, tablet, or plate by the women who helped lead and nurture the early Christian church. All of it has been recorded in heaven, and can therefore be reproduced when the time comes. Mary the Mother of Jesus Gabriel, the angel who first visited Mary, called her “highly favored” …

The Power of Body Language

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By Tara Johnson One of my favorite shows is The Behavior Panel on Youtube. Four body language experts who are psychologists, served in law enforcement, or worked in the military analyze the body language of celebrities, politicians, and criminals. Some of their notable observations revolve around people like Scott Peterson, Meghan Markle, Michael Jackson, Amanda Knox and more. What I …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …

Are Your Characters Overeating?

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By Patti Jo Moore At the beginning of each new year, many of us set goals that we hope to achieve during the upcoming year. One of the most common goals relates to health—losing weight. I’ve heard many writers lament that sitting at their keyboards for long stretches of time hasn’t helped their weight or health in general. If you’re …

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 …

Do your characters talk to you?

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By Glynn Young The news report made quite a splash. Researchers at Durham University in the U.K. teamed up with The Guardian newspaper and the Edinburgh Book Festival to do a study of authors. And the study reported that two-thirds of authors hear their characters speak while they’re writing. My first thought was, this is news? The study was more …

Those Important First Pages

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by Jamie Chavez Sometimes you set out to do a thing for one reason only to find it was so much more than you ever imagined. More than you could have actually planned. In this case, I learned just how much value can be wrung out of focusing on the first chapter and how it relates to the rest of …