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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/21/2018 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Gosh I love this....and even though I, like Lynn don't write fiction..it sure makes me want to get my Memoir published immediately!!! Cant wait to share with the world what The Lord did for this sinner.
  2. 4 points
    In my lifetime I have climbed mountains (not spiritual mountains, real mountains, although I've climbed both) Scuba dived, rode motorcyles, until last year when I got too old to ride, sailed the ocean and wrote fiction. Fiction doesn't seem to break bones or kill you outright, so at least its safer than say clinging to a rock wall with your finger tips and a wart for a toe hold. We are explorers by nature, so does God frown on it? I don't know. Does all the things we do glorify him? Probably not, but one thing does glorify him, and thats too acknowledge him, and love him in life. Does my writing make me love him less? Heck no, its made me wonder at his love for such as me. Too allow me to do that!! Just wow! So evil temptation? Probably not.
  3. 3 points
    Is it me or are we being plagued by really bad writing advice lately? I recently read an article by someone who believes firmly only in writing with no planning - and he undertook to writing an article where he criticizes people who plan. Someone else who's never had writer's block basically dismissed it in a recent email as saying writers are lazy. I've read a number of articles where someone took a bad story fragment, applied advice, and suddenly the bad fragment is worse! People say write chapters with no more than 4000 words - but Tolkien write an average of 5,000 words. An article arguing writers shouldn't blog because it steals time from your writing and exercises the wrong skills. (in other words, they con't want the competition). Write what you know, not what you interest you. Show, don't tell. Tell, don't show. Put it in the dialogue. Show exposition only through conflict - unless it's a flashback scene. Wow, I'm reading a LOT of advice lately where I'm saying, "That's terrible advice!" One well known author tries to give you advice on how to find your writer's voice. He says "think of the moment that meant the most to you. That's your writer's voice." I suddenly got an eye twitch in both eyes. "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!!!!" The best way to get your writers voice is.... write! by your fourth novel, you'll have a writers' voice!
  4. 3 points
  5. 3 points
    Okay. To me, fulfilling God's plan is just that: fulfilling it. Continuous motion. Continuous obedience. Continuous walking out His plan until He says otherwise. There is no end unless He says so.
  6. 3 points
    I'm by no means an expert but here are some things that I suggest. 1. Pray - Now I know you may be saying, “Well, duh.” But I say this as a reminder because what can normally happen is that we lose ourselves in the bustle and hubbub of writing and we don't spend quiet time placing everything before the Lord, meditating and getting that daily gut check every day. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6) 2. Be Patient - This stuff doesn't come overnight. You don't have to learn everything at once. You do this in steps. Concentrate on one thing then move on to the next. Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Ecclesiastes 7:8) 3. Work Hard - I mean, work really hard. It is tough and will be because of the curse. We're not coming out of this unscathed so expect thorns and thistles, obstacles and problems, struggles and disappointment. However, expect God to be there as well. Work hard because work is worship. Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. (Ephesians 6:8) Now, on a more practical note, the things that most successful indie authors do that are almost unanimous across the board are: Build a Mailing List – This is crucial. This is essential. Hands down. There's an old saying in marketing that says, “The money is in the list.” This is true. You need to start building a mailing list. Yesterday. There are a couple different ways to do this. First is to choose an email marketing service. The two I recommend starting out are MailChimp and MailerLite. Both are free up to a certain point. MailChimp gives you up to 2000 subscribers and 12000 emails a month. MailerLite gives you up to 1000 but the emails are unlimited. Write More Books – This is a given but the more books you have, the more visible you are. Some people write fast. Others write slow. If you write a series, you need to come out with a book every three months minimum. Build a Mailing List - Yeah. I know. I said this already. Just wanted to make it clear the importance of this one. Have a Marketing Plan – this can be a written in summary form or be as detailed as you want but you need to have one and refer to it occasionally and adjust as needed. It needs to outline what methods and services you will use, how often, and the budget for each. You should have at least ten different ways to market your book. Here's a list of promo sites that you may want to check out: Promo Sites for Your Book Research – You'll need to do some market research on a regular basis and keep up with the publishing side of things. I use SimilarWeb for my research. Awesome site. There are also publishing news sites you may want to bookmark and read regularly to see the trends. Build a Mailing List – Can never say this enough. If you need any help with any of these things. Let me know. I check back here every couple of days. Or you can go to my website and contact me there. God bless.
  7. 3 points
    I sometimes hear the words, "You're being watched." My response is, "But there's nothing to see. A video recording of my typical day would be a good treatment for insomnia."
  8. 3 points
    This is from SF/F author Jim Butcher. https://www.facebook.com/thejimbutcherauthor/posts/10155450570352124
  9. 3 points
  10. 3 points
    "Curious if anyone's seen, or had, any discussion on this topic. is the ability or urge to write fiction a calling, or a temptation? Do you write to tell a story, for the attention from others, or to glorify God and Christ? When is it time to walk away from writing? If you become addicted to fictional story-telling, is that good, or bad?" When Jesus offered parables, was he telling truth or fiction that proves a truth? Was the Prodical Son a real person or a fictious story about many people? Were the seeds planted real or fictious to explain a truth? To me story writing has to have its hook, or truth behind the story. Fiction is an idea often about something that isn't real. That's it. If you have to include foul language, graphic sexual encounters, graphic mass murder, I would ignore the story. You don't need to draw those out to make your story good. Of course someone being a bad person finding salvation is acceptable. There is a reason people call themselves Christian writers. That's because they don't write like the world.
  11. 3 points
    It doesn't take too much time to call to mind many redemptive stories in both Old and New Testaments.
  12. 3 points
    With all due respect, I think this is well-meaning but inaccurate advice. but I think I understand where you're coming from. Furthermore, I think it might explain why you can't figure out what to write. Fiction is predicated on conflict, and life is full of conflict. If we only write in a way that is Godly and righteous, I think it may be harder to find the conflict. Even the apostle Paul wrestled with his own impulses while trying to serve God. I find this humanizes him. Instead of saying that whatever we write should be written in a way this is Godly and righteous, I would say the end result of our writing should be to glorify God. I personally think we should allow for unGodly characters and unrighteous acts in our writing to show the conflict we have as sinners in God's perfect creation. We have written at length about how you can write explicitly Christian fiction or how you can write fiction from a Christian worldview for a secular audience. One of my favorite examples of the latter is from the film PULP FICTION. This is neither a Godly film nor are they righteous characters. However, this simply makes my point - because the characters are SO venal we can easily see why, When what appears to be a miracle spares two hardened killers, they are each presented with a crossroads. One of the characters, Vincent Vega (played by John Travolta) dismisses the miracle out of hand and he ultimately dies a senseless death, a violent man who dies a violent death. However, the other, Jules Winnefield, played by Samuel L. Jackson, recognizes that the bullets which should have killed them (and which inexplicably didn't) represent a lone chance to start over, to change his life, to do something different. Jules does not meet Jesus in this movie, but I believe he's very close. In the final scene of the movie (which isn't the last scene as the film's story is told out of order) Jules is minding his own business having breakfast at a diner when two amateurs rob the place and try to force him to give up a suitcase he's retrieved earlier in the film. It's a scene of both humor and great tension. Watching Ringo and Honey Bunny try to rob Jules is akin to watching a rabbit try to intimidate a wolf - it's precious until the natural predator stops toying with the natural prey. It only takes a moment for Jules to turn the tables on the would-be robbers and he forces Ringo to sit down in front of him and then he gives one of the greatest speeches in all cinema. "There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.” Now… I been sayin’ that **** for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ***. You’d be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a ********** before I popped a cap in his ***. But I saw some **** this mornin’ made me think twice. See, now I’m thinking: maybe it means you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. 9 mm here… he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous *** in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. And I like that. But that **** ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the weak, and I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd." Jules talks Ringo (and Honey-bunny) down, gives Ringo all the money out of his wallet, and sends them on their way, giving them their own miracle, their own second chance to change their ways and be redeemed. He says he's going to walk the earth and even makes the Kung Fu joke. I take this to mean he's looking for something that he doesn't yet know and it resonates with two scriptures - the first where Paul shows the Greeks that the Unknown God is the God he serves, and the other Matthew 7:7-8: "7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." In my mind, Jules Winnfield is poised for an encounter with Jesus, an encounter made even more potent not because he was a good and Godly man, but because he was a very bad character who turned from his evil ways. The characters and situations in PULP FICTION resonate with me. They show people as they are, they don't engage in wish fulfillment, and they don't make their points with deception. It is not a 'Christian film' but it tells relatable stories of wickedness, a moment of clarity, and redemption. This film rings true to me. And while it is not a story told in a Godly way, it does depict the lifechange which we believe only Jesus can enact. Furthermore, it is CHOCK full of conflict and that, as we know, drives fiction. Finally, the story does glorify God (I believe) in the end without preaching. I believe miracles only come from God and this miracle was no exception. So you have a story which depicts sinful people in need of a savior, and then depicts the consequences for two killers, one who learns from the miracle and the other who doesn't. Jules has the opportunity to kill Ringo and Honey Bunny but instead lets them walk away chastened but alive (with the inference that they, too, have received their own miracle and the suggestion that they, too, will have to decide what to do about it). In the meantime, during this scene, Jules transforms from a hardened killer to someone whose life was changed and he testifies to that change and demonstrates the turning of a new leaf by giving away all the money he'd just earned and taking his first step as a new man. This, I think, is the beauty of redemptive storytelling. I need stories which glorify God, and sometimes that means showing sinful people just as they are (to borrow a phrase). Furthermore, I think showing people changing is more interesting than preaching change (at least in fiction).
  13. 3 points
    Tons of interesting charts and graphs and observations here. http://authorearnings.com/sfwa2018/
  14. 3 points
    I'm pretty sure that's been preached many times from the pulpit. Another message we all need to hear. Thank you, Phy, for sharing this
  15. 3 points
    I had utter faith in @Rebecca - we've been down this road before. I appreciate the effort to try to do the upgrade, and I appreciate the utility of a good backup. (Backups are a beautiful thing.)
  16. 3 points
    Good article. Now for some smart alec! Skydiving! We own the internet!!! I want all the pizza!
  17. 2 points
    It's like the really bad advice people gave me as a homeschooling parent. Teach them this, in this way, or teach them that in that way. The best advice I ever got was to stop listing to the people that say things like this. It's not an all my way or nothing. I can tailor my homeschooling to my children needs just as I can tailor the way I write to my needs. I plot, but when I get to a scene where there needs to be an emotional scene, I write mushy scene. Why because I know if I lay out what needs to happen in a personal connection (I write romance) it will sound like robots. If I let it flow out without a plotting what will happen it works well for me. However, plotting a battle helps me stay focused on what I am doing, and where/what the characters need to fight/move. That's what works for me. I know a lot of people on here would never do this because it does not work for them. I say gether the advice of other. Use what works for you, and throw out what does not. Unless it is bad advice, like only writing your story out by hand with your non-dominant hand using only purple ink. Just throw that advice away.
  18. 2 points
    I do not call myself a Christian writer. I do that on purpose. I'm a Christian that a writes. There's a difference. This question really is not about just fiction. It's about everything. 1 Corinthians 10:31 nails that down. If that is not something that your whole life is not predicated on, then you probably need to take a step back and reevaluate. I write for everyone as a fiction author. I do not just write for Christians which is what the phrase “Christian writer” implies. I'm a Christian that's a writer meaning that Jesus is a part of the equation at all times. Not just in my writing. Everything. More and more glory for Christ. His glory is paramount and that doesn't mean that I have to write nonfiction for that to happen. This is why the Christian fiction market is broken, narrow, and stifling. But I digress. There's this apprehension of writing fiction or almost a disdain for fiction writers as if their story is not important. It's just as important as nonfiction. Sometimes, it's more important. Your blanket definition of fiction is erroneous my friend. Dare I say it's plain old wrong, my brother. That's not what fiction is. Fiction is a story that expresses an overarching theme. Every writer is a preacher. Every. One. We may be crafting a story with characters and a world that doesn't exist, but the truth behind the theme of the story is very real. Love. Sacrifice. Pain. Sin. Hope. Courage. Perseverance. The list is too long to go on but you get the gist. The theme should drive us. I agree that profanity, graphic sex, and gratuitous, pointless violence for violence sake is not worth our time, We should shun that like the plague. There is a thing called holiness that we should be cultivating. I also disagree with Phy as Pulp Fiction being some kind of good movie. I think it's horrid and a bad example. I pretty much abhor anything Quentin Tarantino makes. Not worth my time. I can fill my mind and heart which much better. To each his own. That being said, I respectfully disagree that the only time a story is good is when a sinner is saved. That's not reality. Everyone doesn't get saved. For many, hell is imminent. Fiction that touches on the unvarnished reality brings us back to the sober truth of sin and may make a mind reflect about their own condition. That's well worth the read if the story is told well. Also, in terms of violence, I'm not sure what you do with the myriad passages of Scripture that describe some violent things in graphic detail. This is to point out the heinous nature of sin and human depravity. We should do the same in our fiction without getting stupid with it. Self-control and adhering to the principles of Philippians 4:8 is a good place to start. Some of you may have seen the cover of my next novel posted here called Blackson's Revenge. I finished it last week. I read the last section of the climax to my wife who doesn't read fiction but likes it when we listen to our audio Bible or when I read to her. After I finished reading it to her, her exact words were, “That was dark.” Absolutely correct. This first book is dark because revenge is always dark. The wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God. I recently read something that I think applies to us Christians who write fiction. It says this: We expect the world untouched by the fall. When we do that, we are insisting on our own version of what the world ought to be, rather than trusting God in the world that is. The difference between expectations that line up with God's and those that don't is in your willingness to submit to God's testimony of what your life is: plagued and difficulty for now in order to sharpen your desire for the world to come. The grief of realizing the world is broken can be a platform to worship the God who even now is preparing an unbroken world. Writing good fiction is writing about that brokenness in all its ugliness. It's doesn't mean we disobey God by telling it in a way that He doesn't want it told, that doesn't line up with His word. But we shouldn't be afraid to address it either. As a matter of fact, if we're really called to do this, it's our duty to do so.
  19. 2 points
    Love the article! However, I found myself yelling; it's God, a lot. It's our job to tell the story, (with God's help, and lots of prayers) its God's job to do the rest.
  20. 2 points
    Dystopia sci-fi plot warning! Dystopia sci-fi plot warning!
  21. 2 points
    Thanks for your patience, guys. I have no idea what went wrong with the upgrade. I think most of us were seeing the site correctly, but others couldn't even log in. Tech support wasn't able to figure it out before the long weekend either. I figured we'd just roll it back for now and try the upgrade again, later.
  22. 2 points
    Bill The Cat briefly was tech support for Christian Writers. That's the real answer.
  23. 2 points
    I actually consider having the different formats different income streams. If you can come out with an ebook, audiobook, and print book of your novel, those are technically three income streams. Add to that licensing for things like movies and television and you have a few more streams. Then if you decide to get it translated into a different language...well...let's just say it's on like Donkey Kong.
  24. 2 points
    I read my Bible before I go to work.
  25. 2 points
    Every morning, I either read my chapter online or listen to the audio with coffee at elbow. Sometimes I do studies at odd times during the day if something is troubling me.
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