How Much Research is Enough?

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash By Lana Christian Sooner or later, novelists ask, “How much research is enough?” Good question. That begs a more basic question: why do research? We research so we can write plausible, realistic stories that exceed the limits of our experience. That applies equally to historical and contemporary novels. ResearchContinue reading “How Much Research is Enough?”

Writer’s Block: Fact or Fiction? … And What to do About It

By Elizabeth Jacobson If you go to a search engine and type in something along the lines of “tips for beating writer’s block,” you are going to find something you may not have expected. Mainly, you will find a lot of people saying that writer’s block is a myth. Or, even more inflammatorily, that writer’sContinue reading “Writer’s Block: Fact or Fiction? … And What to do About It”

Why Selecting the Right Beta Readers is Important

By Elizabeth Jacobson When I first started writing, it seemed like every person in the online-universe-of-writing was saying that your beta readers should not be friends or family members. Now, off the bat, this seems strange. So you’re saying I need strangers to critique my writing? And honestly, this is what it sounded like toContinue reading “Why Selecting the Right Beta Readers is Important”

Warning: Even Your Umpteenth Draft May Stink (i.e. Why you need beta readers)

By Elizabeth Jacobson Warning: You might stink. No, not you the author. I’m talking to your draft. “What?!” you shriek. Perhaps you’re clutching your pearls. “My draft?? My baby?! Yes, your draft. Your third, fourth, nineteenth draft. Yes, your baby that you have worked on for approximately 1,528,996 hours. To be fair, it’s not yourContinue reading “Warning: Even Your Umpteenth Draft May Stink (i.e. Why you need beta readers)”

When You Doubt Your Calling as a Writer

By Claire Tucker “Is it right for a Christian to write fiction?” “Well, yes,” I would answer. “But …” But maybe it isn’t right for me. Maybe that isn’t what God wants me to do with my life. It’s right for other people, like C. S. Lewis and Francine Rivers and every other really greatContinue reading “When You Doubt Your Calling as a Writer”

I’ve written a book. Now what?

By Tim Riordan I remember that thought going through my mind like it was yesterday. I dreamed of writing books since I was a teenager, but I never considered that there was more to do as an author than just write—a lot more. I have had the privilege of working with authors in a consultingContinue reading “I’ve written a book. Now what?”

Bringing Your World to Life – Avoiding the Dreaded Storytelling Infodump

By Elizabeth Jacobson Infodump [ in-foh-duhmp ] noun. The part of the story where the author plops all the backstory on the page at once. Often found in an otherwise extraneous prologue or first chapter. verb. The act of providing the reader with an overly detailed backstory behind a narrative, in one fell swoop. Here’s theContinue reading “Bringing Your World to Life – Avoiding the Dreaded Storytelling Infodump”

How much of a Christian message is “appropriate” in Christian fiction?

By Lana Christian This question plagues many authors. To answer this, let’s consider two respected authors. Both were atheists who became Christians. Both eschewed denominational labels. “Christian enough” debunked Madelaine L’Engle, author of the Time Quintet series, caught flak from Christians for not having a “Christian enough” message in her books. Christian bookstores refused toContinue reading “How much of a Christian message is “appropriate” in Christian fiction?”

Research for Writing: Avoiding the Proverbial Rabbit Hole

By Claire Tucker I’m terrible with dictionaries. Don’t get me wrong — I love dictionaries, with all the different, wonderful and new words for me to discover. The problem is that when I grab a dictionary to look up one word, I get distracted. By other words. Ten new words later, I remind myself ofContinue reading “Research for Writing: Avoiding the Proverbial Rabbit Hole”

To The Person Writing My Story

By Stephanie Jaye Are you a plotter or a panster? I feel like that’s a question every writer gets asked at least once in their writing journey, and one that we may even ask ourselves at one point. Some people are strict plotters, while others just write and see where their characters take them. SomeContinue reading “To The Person Writing My Story”