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Easton_Livingston

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About Easton_Livingston

  • Birthday September 24

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  1. Eliminating Writer's Block

    The Bible says that we should redeem the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 4) That being said, we should manage our time wisely because we are stewards over that just like everything else that we've been given in existence. Nicholas it right. You can write a 50k novel in a month but then you have to figure rewrites, edits, packaging, and other marketing efforts for your book launch. Yes, you can do that when you're not writing in that month. I wrote a 50k novel in about 15 days (wasn't the whole novel. However, my daily word goal when I write is about 4000 words. In terms of writer's block, I don't have a problem with it because I outline my novels. Doesn't exist for me. Every single chapter gets a paragraph or two, or three in what happens in it. In addition, I run my characters through a Meyers-Briggs personality test or the motivational spiritual gift test if they are a Christian. I use the book by Dan and Katie Fortune Discovering Your God-Given Gifts. It's basically a personality test. Then there's the issue of if you're actually called to write. I believe the first thing you need in a calling is perseverance. Yeah. It's not gifting. There are many gifted writers out there who never persevered and got better, never completed a novel, never worked it because they felt it was what God had called them to do. Your calling may be reflected in your gifting but whether or not you have the perseverance to work through that calling is the question. Without the perseverance, you don't have a calling. You have talent. You may even have a desire. But you don't have a calling. This is important to understand. Some are called to be writers of different things and in different ways. Some are called to write novels. Some nonfiction, Some screenplays. Some as playwrights. Some are called to write just one or two. Some are called to do it for the rest of their lives. You have to pray and discern God's calling and then don't give excuses for why you can't fulfill it but order your life around the divine mission that God has for you in this. The writing is not for us. It's for God. It's the station where He's placed us. So how well and how committed will we be to that. It's that simple.
  2. Question For The Group

    If someone is asking for a critique of their work then it is wholly appropriate to point out the punctuation and grammar errors. If you're speaking of that same thing within a comment or a post then that would be something that I don't think we need to be concerned with so much unless someone asks (which would be weird). But in the context of a critique, completely legitimate.
  3. What Did/do You Like To Read?

    Do not assume. The vast majority of people saying they are Christians do NOT read the Bible regularly or even like to read it. So never assume in this.
  4. Can Christians Learn Anything From Non Christian Literature?

    If you're talking about in the creative arts, we can but be careful. Very careful. As Nicholas has pointed out, the VAST majority of the material is not for consumption. I'm mad picky about the things I consume because: a.) God says to be (2 Corinthians 6:17), b.) we should be simple concerning evil (1 Corinthians 14:20), and c.) everything is not good for us (1 Corinthians 10:23). We don't need to get all up in the details of worldliness to find something good. Looking in the wrong place. We should be pursuing those things which will edify and strengthen. Run everything through the filter of Scripture. Philippians 4:8 and Galatians 5:22-23 is where we start. Things that give us a godly or goodly outlook and promotes biblical thinking. I'm pickier than the average. Mad picky and you have to be. I just got done reading a Justice League book which was great. The book before that was another superhero novel. Not so great. Apathetic, heroes weren't really heroes, bad writing, on it goes. Even the classics. I read Frankenstein. Good grief. Just not good. The message was but the writing was not. What makes it doubly hard in literature is that books is the ONLY medium without a rating system. Games have it, television has it, film has it, even comic books have it. No go for books. So you have to read samples, download freebies, do the research on the author, and take your chances. If an author holds a non-biblical stance on something, you best believe that's cropping up in their fiction. Let me give you an example. I read a book by Terry Goodkind a while back called The Sword of Truth. I was enjoying it for the most part but there were CLEAR influences of feminism. Then there was this whole S&M, dominatrix thing about 3/4s of the way through. Wait…in a fantasy book? Come to find out that Mr. Goodkind is heavily influenced by Ayn Rand. There ya go. Suffice it to say, I threw that novel in the trash. Film and television, I don't even bother with 95% of it, especially if it has an MA rating because that's just the equivalent of rated R with nudity, copious profanity, and the like. Just will not waste my time. I'll play Yahtzee with my wife, thank you very much. All that to say you can, but more than likely it will be a waste of time and you won't. Do your due diligence because it's needed. For your soul's sake.
  5. Book - What Have You Read That's Helped You?

    Whoops. Forgot to give books that compliment the word. Got on a little tangent there. Here are books I say are must reads for every Christian: 1. Holiness - J.C. Ryle 2. Sovereignty of God - A.W. Pink 3. The Pursuit of God - A.W. Tozer 4. Spiritual Leadership - J. Oswald Sanders These are the kinds of books you want to read over and over again. I also suggest the following: The Holiness of God - R.C. Sproul Knowing God - J.I. Packer Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life - Donald S. Whitney On the Mortification of Sin - John Owen These will deepen your understanding of God and strengthen your walk exponentially. God bless.
  6. Book - What Have You Read That's Helped You?

    You're not understanding something my dear and you're making it harder than what it is. First, the word of God is the voice of God. Read that over and over until that becomes seared into your brain and a part of your soul. The voice of God is not some mystical thing that we're trying to grab a hold of that He's hiding. That doesn't even make any sense. The voice of God is the word of God. Now, understanding that, understand this: the will of God is the word of God. Read it again. This is the problem in the body of Christ (and I'm not getting on you specifically but making an overall observation of the truth). They are trying their best to get some kind of mystical feeling to hear from God when Christ never did that. Never. This is proliferated by the plethora of bad teaching that masquerades as Christianity and it isn't. Christ in the wilderness temptation used the word of God which was the Old Testament. Christ when debating with the Pharisees went to the word of God which was the Old Testament. The apostles used the word of God, the Scripture, to spread the truth on the day of Pentecost and beyond. Paul uses the Scriptures constantly in the Old Testament. The examples go on and on. Your problem, my dear, is not that you can't hear the voice of God. Your problem is that you're ignoring the voice that's screaming at you. Your problem is that you're looking for a sign when the sign has been given: the word of God. Christ and Him crucified. Be careful because the Bible is clear that a wicked and adulterous generation seeks for a sign (Matthew 12:39). You have everything you need that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Be joyful and relish in that. Use that. Answer this question: have you ever read the whole Bible? All of it? If the answer is 'Yes.' then answer this: do you understand all of it fully? Do you remember all of it completely? If at any time during this evaluation you answer, 'No', why in the world are you looking for something outside the word of the Living God when you haven't grasped everything in the word of God? His word is enough and it barely scratches the surface on the issue. Hear God's voice by being intimate with His word. It's that simple. No additives. No preservatives. Just the unadulterated power of God in His word. Get acquainted with that and you'll never have to be concerned whether you're hearing from God again.
  7. What Did/do You Like To Read?

    I read quite a bit. Honestly—and I'm not trying to be cliche— the number one thing I like to read is the word of God which I can't get enough of. Along with that, I like to read Christian nonfiction in the area of doctrine and theology because this is where the church is woefully deficient. Books like Holiness by J.C. Ryle (you MUST read this book as a Christian. Essential) and the Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink (another MUST read). My church is going through Screwtape Letters together on Sunday nights by C.S. Lewis. As far as fiction goes, I like to read superheroic novels as well as fantasy. I'm not talking about YA material which for some odd reason is where everyone's brain goes when it comes to the genre. I simply want to slap folks and say “Stop it! That's not the genre.” I'm talking adult material like Daredevil's Predator's Smile by Christopher Golden or Wolverine's Election Day by Peter David. My collection of just superhero novels is a little over 120 books. Yes. I love me some superheroes. Also, I like supernatural/urban fantasy material when it is presented with a biblical worldview which is rare. I write more of that than I read. There is some contemporary fiction that I read like at the moment where I'm reading the book by Michael Crichton called Sphere. I do not watch television during the week. Saturday's and Sunday's only and that is if there's something to watch. I read daily. Nonfiction spiritual material in the morning and fiction at night. As a writer, it is ESSENTIAL to read and be reading always. It's like James Patterson said: “Be careful of, 'Oh, I got it figured out. I don't want to read anymore.' That is death.” He's one hundred percent correct. On the nonfiction side in terms of looking at writing as a ministry (and it is), John Wesley's advice was curter: “Read or get out of the ministry.” Yeah. It's kinda like that. Though he was speaking about those called in a direct way, this applies to writers since many people in the ministry write and therefore should be reading. If you're going to be communicating anything, you need to be reading to become a better communicator. Yeah. I'm just a tad passionate about it.
  8. New Member Intro - Easton Livingston

    Thank you, folks. You are quite kind.
  9. Hi New Member Here

    Welcome aboard Robert. Let people know if you have any questions. God bless.
  10. Hello Faith Family!

    Welcome aboard Josh. Good to have you. Blessings.
  11. Writers Blocks Writing Software

    Scrivener. Period. It's a defacto standard, reasonable, and makes you way productive. I swear by it as many others have. I've used others in the past but Scrivener by far is the one that surpassed them all.
  12. Writing Interrupted

    No, since I am a recent full-time writer. I still have a side job but I spend the majority of my time building my self-publishing business.
  13. 17,000 Words

    Like Lynn pointed out, you don't have a novel. You have a novelette/novella. If it's a series, it may be a better deal to self-publish and stagger them in six-week intervals to give them maximum exposure on Amazon's algorithm who is the big daddy on the block when it comes to those things.
  14. Italics

    Whenever anyone says there is a definite rule for something that has not been established as one in the antiquity of grammar and writing in general, I'm suspect right away. The reader will decide whether it's intrusive by either buying the next book that you have knowing that how you write or they won't. The story is always king and these little things are not things to sweat over. Do what you what you like because it's subjective.
  15. Aliens As Aliens Or Aliens As Spiritual Intruders

    I have a book that is at the top of my list for have a Christian worldview on this that I recommend to people by Hugh Ross, Kenneth Samples, and Mark Clark called Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men. I read it over a decade ago and I suggest it to people because it promotes biblical thinking on a topic that makes all kinds of logical sense. So this has been around for quite a long time and the fact that you haven't heard anything about it, or many Christians for that matter, let's me know that it's something that needs to be written about. I actually have a book that presents this truth that I will be writing later called Small Town USA. This is not science-fiction. It's science fact and spiritual reality in connection with it. Whether or not you should change your story to line up with it is another story. It depends on what the ultimate goal is of what you're writing because every writer has an agenda. Every single one. If it fits in line with what your goal is, it's something to consider. If it doesn't, then don't. Ultimately, all writing from any Christian should glorify God. Myriad ways to do that and your mileage may vary. The best thing to do is to take that story and lay it out before the Lord like Hezekiah and see what He says. Can't go wrong there. God bless.

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