Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Let's Have a Revival!

Hey Friends!

I'm going to revive this blog and specify its use.

Wanting to keep my other blog ( as more of my personal and spiritual journey oriented blog, I'm reviving this one for the other stuff I did on the other blog.

This blog will be for readers seeking that new book release.

This blog will be for those fellow writers out there who want some insights from this acquiring editor and hopefully other writers who will share their expertise.

The archives of this blog might still be of use to writers. They contain writing instruction and prompts to stimulate your creativity. I'll still try to throw more of that in here too.

Please join me for an Open House and help me revive this blog. I'll be sharing more later about this. But to make sure you get all the info on the Open House and even a chance at some "door prizes," please take a moment and subscribe if you haven't already. You simply put your email into the little subscribe box to the right and you'll get any posts delivered right to your email inbox.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Qualities to Embody

Micah 6:8 says, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

The prophet is relaying the qualities God would require of His children.

As a Christian writer we need look no further for what qualities might make up a Godly man or Godly hero. In Micah 3:8 there are three qualities that the Lord requires: act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Contemplate how you might have a character prove these qualities within a story.

 Act justly – Is there a wrong to be righted? Is someone being treated wrongly and needs defending?

Love mercy – Does someone need compassion? Is forgiveness the better road than pointing a finger?

Walk humbly – Will the hero deflect praise away from himself? Are there ways to act behind the scenes instead of making a scene and taking credit? Will the hero redirect praise to God?

Now, we don’t want a perfect hero because there is no such person. Therefore, your hero might have to struggle to obtain some of the above qualities.

Simply by answering the questions posed above, you could create a character as well as the premise for a whole story. Try answering the questions. Really consider how you would show these qualities in your character.

What about you? Are you following these qualities as a Christian writer? Ask these questions of yourself:

Do you act justly in your writing? Do you act justly with other writers?

Do you love mercy? Do you show mercy through your writing as well as to other writers and readers?

Do you walk humbly with God? Do you try to take all of the credit for your success? Do you flaunt your success in from of other writers? Do you thank the true Author? 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Look Out! He's a Runner!

The book of Jonah is well-known even among non-Christians. Jonah ran from God and what God had called him to do. He didn’t turn to a life of crime, but he didn’t follow God’s orders.
Christian writers might write a story with a similar character in mind. A main character might be running from God or his calling. Like Jonah, this character just may not want to do the task God has called him to do. He may rationalize and get involved in other “good” things to make up for his disobedience.

Make a list of possible callings God might place on a character’s life. These could range from becoming a vocational minister to going to a foreign country to serve as a missionary or even more simple like becoming a doctor to serve in a small town.

Now, beside each of the callings you listed write a short reason why a character might balk at wanting to follow through with that calling.

Choose one calling and its accompanying reason from your list. Create a short biographical sketch of a character who has been given the calling you chose and then explain the reasons he or she doesn’t want to follow this plan.

Add an alternative route your character is going to take instead of following the calling.

Will you character eventually make a turnaround? What will your character have to experience before he/she realizes it’s time to follow God’s call?

Think about yourself as a Christian writer. Are you fully following the calling God has placed upon you? There are various ways you could “run the other way.”

God may have called you to publish your work, but because it is too hard, you settle for writing for yourself. Maybe you have taken that rejection as a sign that you need to quit instead of a sign to keep learning and trying.
Write out what you feel you are called to do. If you aren’t sure, pray and ask God to show you. If you are doing what you feel is your calling but feeling discouraged, ask God to give you affirmation to spur you on.

Don’t forget -–if God has called you to it, He will help you do it. Work with Him by moving in the right direction! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hard Messages

This blog has been on a long hiatus, but I am hoping to get back to sharing more creative spark-inducing writing for you, the Christian writer. Here's a brand new post. Try it out. Share personal experiences in the comments for everyone.

Obadiah is a short book in the Old Testament by the prophet by the same name. The prophets of the Old Testament had hard messages to deliver from God. However, God chose these prophets specifically for this task.

Sometimes the message God has for us as Christian writers might be hard to write.
Make a list of some subjects that might be hard for you to write about.

Has God called you to tackle a hard or delicate subject you would rather leave alone? Explain.

Just as God called the prophets but didn’t leave them alone, if God calls you to share a hard message, He will help you deliver it.

Choose one of the hard subjects you listed. Us a concordance to locate supporting Bible verses for this subject.

Brainstorm and jot down some ideas for stories to illustrate this message.

Remember, if you are called to write something specific, you are the only person that can write it because of the experiences God has brought into your life and His specific gifting upon you.

Make a list of the themes or messages God has led you to share through your writing. Write a prayer of thanksgiving for God using you as his prophet to share His specific message. Add in a plea for Him to help you to be faithful to deliver His messages.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Common But Extraordinary

Amos was another prophet God used to try to get His message across to the people. But, Amos wasn’t a well-learned man. He was a shepherd from Tekoa. To the people who would have read or heard about Amos back in Biblical times this would have been like saying he was just a farmer from an out of the way obscure town. But, God chose Amos.

The Bible is full of common, ordinary people being used by God and most of the time these people end up doing extraordinary things. Of course, God knows by choosing a common person and having him or her accomplish big things, people take notice. By trying to decide how the person was able to do such big feats, they might just discover the God who put the extra to the ordinary.
As Christian writers, we want to create relatable characters. Think of popular fairy tales and love stories. The main character is just plain and common or maybe even of lower status. We tend to cheer at the end when that ordinary character wins the happily ever after. Why?
Let’s face it. Many readers like to think they might just be able to have a happy ending like the latest book they read.

Your story doesn’t have to have superstars. Start with a common person who has a goal or an obstacle to overcome. Show your reader the character’s unique personality and qualities and gifts. Then show your reader how God shapes that character into something more than could have been possible alone.  

Think about yourself as a writer. God has gifted you with your own spiritual gifts and abilities. If He calls you to tell a certain story or relate a specific message, step up because He will give you the “extra” to make the ordinary become extraordinary for His glory.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Theme of Returning

Joel 2:12 says, “’Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart with fasting and weeping and mourning.’ The Lord was using his prophet, Joel, to again bring forth the message of returning to Him. Such a vicious cycle would take place. The people would turn from God, follow other gods, slip into ruin, cry out to God, and He would extend the call to return to Him.
A return to God is a common theme in Christian literature. Very often the main characters find themselves involved in worldly things that have taken their focus off  the one true God. Throughout the storyline, the character or characters must have a realization and a returning to God.

Brainstorm a character who has fallen away from his or her relationship with God. What kinds of situations have occurred to pull that character away? List some possibilities.

Now that you have an idea of how that character could be pulled away, list some ways that God might reveal Himself anew to the character. Consider not only positive occurrences but maybe even problems or calamities that might get the character’s attention.

What might be the character’s reaction to the circumstances leading to the return? Will he or she ignore at first? Will he or she have to fall further to understand the need to return to God?

What will happen in that scene where the character returns to God? Will there be fasting, weeping, or mourning?

This theme of returning to God is common because many Christians can relate to falling victim to this very circumstance. Some like reading this type of story to show the hope that a person can return to God. Other readers might find encouragement in dealing with a strayed family member or friend.

As Christian writers, we might stray away from God or even His true purpose for our writing. It is easy to be swept by what is popular or what will sell to a publisher. But, if God has called you to write a particular story, there must be a reason. Some stories may be only for the writer’s benefit. Some stories may be for the benefit of a certain person or group of persons.

Now is the time to return to Him with all your heart.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tough Subjects

The book of Hosea deals with a tough subject. God instructs Hosea to take as his wife a prostitute. She also turns out to commit adultery within the marriage relationship. God uses this tumultuous marriage to illustrate the relationship between God and his people. God wanted the people to see that their lack of commitment to Him was like committing adultery and it hurt His heart in the same way a loving husband would be hurt.

As Christian writers we deal with tough subjects in our stories. Writing only about perfect people in a perfect world doing perfect actions is not realistic. Novelists write fiction but realism must be present for the reader to delve into the story. Even fantasy has to include enough explanation for the reader to accept it and continue reading.
Make a list of tough subjects. Here’s a few to get you started: divorce, abortion, and adultery.

Now skim your list. Underline the topics you have included in stories you have written or are currently writing. Of the topics not underlined, circle one.

Write your circled topic on a sheet of paper. Now brainstorm ideas for ways to include that in a story.

As a Christian writer, you want to make sure that you know and can convey God’s truths on your topic. Locate a concordance and/or commentary. Use the concordance to locate verses in the Bible on your topic. Read the verses and also read about those verses in a commentary.

Look back at your notes on ways to include this tough subject into your story. How could your story illustrate what the verses said about that topic?

Don’t steer away from those tough subjects. These are the things of life that real people are dealing with.

Have you dealt with one of your listed tough subjects in your own life? If so, you can incorporate your personal feelings and experience into your character. This will cause your story to be much more realistic.

As a Christian author, we never know how God might use these tough situations we include in our stories to touch a reader and possibly bring healing or understanding.