Writing From Life’s Lessons

By Stephanie Jaye We’ve all heard the phrase “write what you know”. And while some debate the legitimacy of that idea, I’ve found in writing that reaching beyond that simple concept into something a bit more heartfelt can make for a passionate work of fiction. No one likes trials (can I get an amen?). Yet,Continue reading “Writing From Life’s Lessons”

A Publisher’s Thoughts on Writing

Image courtesy of bigstock By Ferrel D. Moore I am often asked by writers, what is the one thing that they can do to improve their stories.  Can they make more interesting plots?  Did their plots fail because they failed to exploit the character’s strengths and show their weaknesses?  Are their plots not intricate enough,Continue reading “A Publisher’s Thoughts on Writing”

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)”

Give Your Audience What They Want

There’s a reason why every standard cake as certain basic ingredients. PHOTO CREDIT: DepositPhotos By Milla Holt Somewhere in the world there may be people who would love to eat a peanut butter, egg salad and jellied eel sandwich. Perhaps this is your favorite lunch, and you know you can make the best peanut butter,Continue reading “Give Your Audience What They Want”

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?”