How to Write a Novella by Suzanne D. Williams

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I have made my writing career on novellas and short stories. By definition, this is any book less than 40,000 words. To date, I have seventy in publication written in a four year time span. So to say I know how to write one is putting it mildly.

I recently read the words of another author who prefers to write novellas. This author described the antipathy in modern publishing companies toward anything of less than 60,000 words and also the destruction of his story when he tried to make it longer when it really should be. I’ve experienced both mindsets. Most promo sites require a book to be full length. Many readers leave negative reviews based strictly on story size and not quality of writing.

But the one thing from the article that stuck with me the most was this – the author said the appeal for him was starting the book at the beginning of a flight and ending it when you landed. I’ve only flown a few times, but I like that idea, that, as a reader, I can dip into my imagination and leave satisfied in such a short period of time.

As an author, I also like knowing there isn’t far to go from the beginning to the end in writing. However, to make a novella truly worthwhile, there are a few tips I can offer to writing one successfully.

A. Start with action, preferably mid-story.

Don’t work up to the action. Begin with it. The main character has the gun is about to fire it. The girl meets the boy by tripping over his shoes. In a novella, that first chapter should start at a key moment and end at a key moment. You have no time to dawdle.

You’re not writing an entire epic of the character’s life, but a single moment in it. Think of a personal story, say the office Christmas party. If you were telling that to a friend, you wouldn’t start with your earliest childhood memory, but perhaps walking in the door. You’d end it at a satisfying point in the evening as well. Pick a good ending and forget what might happen to the character once he goes home.

This isn’t to say you don’t need to tie up all your loose ends. You do. But the reader must assume there was life before that story and life after it.

B. Avoid mindless descriptions and backstory. Avoid lengthy dialogue.

Make your words count. You can’t run on and on about the size of the estate, the style of dress, or have pages and pages of dialogue not related to the plot. Ask yourself what matters the most and cut away the frills and the lace.

For instance: John notices April’s dress because it’s too short. There’s no need to have April’s thoughts on why she picked out the dress, that her mother gave it to her on her sixteenth birthday, that she picked it over another dress she liked better. None of that matters unless the dress is the point of the story. If I want the reader to know what he thinks about the dress, then I have him notice the dress and move on to the main point of the scene.

This idea also works with dialogue. Write well. Put thought into what the characters say, but don’t use needless space discussing things that don’t advance the plot. Which brings me to point C.

C. Write ONLY the scenes that advance the plot.

There are no visits to Mom’s house for cake unless something important happens with the cake or Mom is going to give some important word of advice while they eat the cake. Just to include a scene to add word count will detract from the story itself.

My biggest pet peeve with longer books are scenes that are there as filler. The importance of the story, the impact, should always be that it’s well written, not how long or short it is. I’ve read long books that were awesome and short stories that blew me away. LENGTH IS NEVER A DETERMINING FACTOR AS TO QUALITY … unless the length is incorrect for the story itself.

A well-written novella will cover everything the plot needs to satisfy the reader without adding too much in or taking too much away.

D. Limit the number of characters to four or five (max), but two or three is better.

Having fewer characters is almost a must. I usually have the two main characters (John and April), a best friend, and maybe a parental figure. That’s it. Everyone else either isn’t named (the grocer, the boss, a woman in the store) or has only a first name, usually something generic and forgettable.

And I introduce them in separate scenes, never all at once, and in the order of importance in the story. For instance, the best friend is going to be in more scenes than any other supporting character, then she is introduced first. If Mom only gets one scene, she can come in later.

In conclusion.

Novellas are a GREAT way to get started writing and, for someone not used to writing them, a good way to challenge yourself. I admit, marketing requires thick skin and determination. Long-standing prejudices tend to pop up regularly. But there IS a faithful readership for them.

Don’t let anyone tell you they won’t sell. I am proof positive that’s not true.

Now available!

99 cents.

http://amzn.to/1UP6OMB

Nate's Healing

*This is a short story of 15,000 words. It can be read as a standalone.

“I don’t care if you never eat another potato I’ve cooked or if you lay there in bed and turn into one, but I’ll wear white at a funeral before I’ll be associated in any manner with Arthur Willowby. He may have legs, but they’re fat ones. I’d just as soon snuggle up with a goat.”

She whirled and stomped off, not looking back, but heard his laughter as she rounded the corner again.

—–

Nate Sawyer has a good life as a bachelor and no immediate interest in forming a permanent relationship. One day, he’ll find the girl of his dreams. Until then, he has a loving family and a job he enjoys. He’s in no hurry to settle down.

Georgianna Smith headed south after the death of her papa and a failed attempt to find love. A new start in a new place seems like her best choice, especially when she learns she’s expecting a child. No one there will know what poor decisions she’s made and judge her for it.

Nate’s sudden bout of crippling illness shortens the distance between their neighboring houses. She’s his promise of a happy, normal life, and he’s the man she should have waited for, a loving man, a perfect would-be father … if their inward personal struggles don’t tear them apart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit http://www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SDWAuthor.

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Recipe for a Southern Barbeque by BJ Robinson

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I’m from the South and my husband is from the North, so I was used to Southern barbeques. What he called barbeque was simply plain grilled to me, so I was disappointed to find that when he said barbecue, it was plain grilling. To me, barbeque means with barbeque sauce. I love to smell it cooking.

He grills his with no sauce, and I use Kraft honey barbeque sauce or hickory smoke on mine. He enjoys steaks and burgers. I enjoy those, but I also enjoy hot dogs and chicken legs as well as boneless lemon-pepper chicken breasts, which he doesn’t like. I like to make homemade potato salad, but he doesn’t eat it. He opts for a baked potato. That’s okay. I have leftover potato salad, and the flavor goes through it, and it’s even better the next day.

In the South, we use barbeque sauce. The northern one is easy. Just put it on the grill plain.

In my books, you will often find characters enjoying a barbeque. Since the Fourth of July will soon be here, and many families will barbecue, here is a way to experience barbecued or just plain grilled for your tastes. Have a safe family day this federal holiday that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. When Old Glory ripples with the wind, enjoy the time with your family and thank those who have kept freedom waving.

Step 1: Grill the meat until lightly browned and sauce. Some put sauce on it while it is raw. I do. He waits. It works either way. I like mine not burnt, but dark and a little black won’t hurt me.

You can also barbeque fish or shrimp. Love them both.

Step 2: The Potato Salad:

Peel, wash, and clean about three pounds of potatoes or use a five-pound bag if you have someone else to help you eat the salad. Boil potatoes and three eggs. Peel eggs and chop. Dice pickles, olives, green onions, and use about one teaspoon mustard, if you like it. Leave out the onions if you don’t care for them. Some people do not use the mustard in the potato salad and use only mayo. I like both. If you like, you can use spicy mustard. I usually use the yellow.

Mix and include the mayo to taste. Season with salt, pepper, or seasonings you enjoy. Tip: If you refrigerate the potato salad and let it get cold, and you have used the green onions, you will find the flavor goes through it more. You will need to refrigerate it regardless to keep it from spoiling, but some people like to eat it while it’s fresh and hot. I enjoy mine cold.

To me, a barbeque is not one without potato salad. I have discovered I also enjoy the Amish potato salad and if I don’t have time to make my own, I will buy a container of it from Publix, but I still like my homemade the best.

The neat thing is you can make the potato salad to suit your tastes by putting in or leaving out what you please. If you’ve never tried a southern barbeque, you might find you like it. However, my husband still doesn’t eat potato salad and will put no sauce on his meat. He wants it just plain grilled. We used to enjoy this potato-salad recipe for family gatherings of any type. It goes well with many dishes besides barbecue. Fried chicken and potato salad is a given. It goes well with beef stew. For the Fourth of July, we always had barbeque and potato salad. Enjoy.

You might enjoy a little historical romance as you savor those flavors and scents cooking with the breeze sending them through the air. Below you will find a small blurb about my latest two novels.

Lexie thought she’d never love again until Reese Armstrong made her want to live. Readers who’ve read this one can’t wait for the sequel, and it’s here!

This one has been called the best yet by early readers and reviewers. Bestseller Historical romance. Cover beautiful Houmas House Plantation near New Orleans. When Reese Armstrong met Lexie, he knew he’d met one of a kind, but could he win her heart?

The way they met wouldn’t help change her mind. He never thought he’d fall for a belle. A young widow has to learn to let go of the past to claim a future. http://www.amazon.com/Siege-Azalea-Plantation-Book-ebook/dp/B018JOIFRI

Azalea Plantation is here! Book 2 in the Azalea Plantation Series.

Azalea Plantation

Reese Armstrong recently married Alexis, but he must leave her after a short honeymoon.

Lexie’s heart breaks when he decides she’d be safer at his uncle’s plantation near New Orleans, and she must leave her beloved home. Warned on the Natchez on the way to the city, trouble strikes in New Orleans and leaves her to wonder if she’s made the right decision. Will she ever see little Reese, her husband, or her beloved home again? http://www.amazon.com/Azalea-Plantation-Siege-Book-ebook/dp/B01CSOTHQS/

About the Author:

B. J. RobinsonB. J. Robinson pens historical romance from her home in Florida as three dogs keep her company. She has five children and thirteen grandchildren. Visit her Amazon Author Page for a selection of books in various genres and to discover more historical romance. http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1458650137&sr=8-2-ent

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Stay Among The Living by Rebekah Beene

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Among the old photos we received, there was a picture of Danny’s grandmother Pearl with a man named Elvis. Elvis of all things! We know he must be kinfolks, but none of us have ever heard of a cousin or brother or uncle named Elvis. I even when to a great sight online called Find-A-Grave to look for him but that was a wash. Amazingly many graves in cemeteries all over the country are recorded on this sight. You just have to have time to go through the graveyards to find someone. Searching among the dead for answers sounds wrong doesn’t it? 
 
Oh beloved, God wants you to know this morning that He doesn’t expect you to search among the dead to find your answers. The world, as far as spiritual living, is dead. It holds no real answers. It carries no living epistles. Even though your ancestry may be found among the dead, your life, your hope and your future is found among the risen – the Living Christ! He is not in the grave; He is alive and interceding for you and me with the Father in heaven. God’s Word is alive and sharper than any two edged sword – it will help you pierce through the dead lies and find living proof and lively answers! 
 
Now it is time to rise above tradition and cultivate a living relationship with Christ! This is your strength for living! This is your truth for life! God loves you but He is a living Lord, so it’s not some distant someday kind of love. No, beloved, it’s the kind of love that’s based on His value of you as a living, breathing, born again human walking this life for His glory! Know too, that because you are living in Christ you can speak to the dry bones you see and call them to life! Lost family will come forth alive! Dead works will vaporize and be replaced with resurrection living! You no longer look to what you see for your truth, you look to the truth for your sight! Speak the truth over everything and everyone for your power is in the living faith of Christ! 
 
God loves you and He’s for you! Cultivate this life of faith and rejoice as you live fully alive in Spirit filled harmony and agreement with the Lord of Heaven and Earth! 
 
Luke 20:38 Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him. 
 
I Peter 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God 
 
2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
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Gems From Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, but to you goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.

We are not as careful as we should be about accepting the praise and adoration of others. We like the attention and sometimes let it go to our heads. We get the idea that we deserve it. We accept praise because of our hard work and talents. We somehow get the idea we are worthy of the attention lavished on us. We soak it up and before you know it, we become arrogant and proud of who we are and what we have done.

We are sinners by nature and it is the natural thing for us to do. It takes determination and a right relationship with God for us to resist the temptation. We must constantly be reminded of the fact that only God deserves the praise, honor, and glory others try to bestow on us. We dare not forget that who we are and what we become is all because of God’s mercy and grace. It is God who enables us to become who we are. God alone deserves the credit.

If our heart is right with God, we will want to give him the glory for all things. We will understand that it is because of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness towards us that we are who we are. We will understand that we deserve nothing from God but His wrath, but instead He has given us His mercy and favor.

If our heart is right with God, we will be careful to not hoard the praise of others. Instead, we will give it to the Lord who alone deserves it. We will not take ourselves seriously. We will always understand who we are before Him. We will always strive to please and honor Him in all things. We will understand that whatever we may be able to become or achieve is because of God’s gracious work in us. And, we will understand that all of it can be taken away from us in a moment if we let sin creep in and take away from the Lord the glory due his holy name.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Can We Not Know We Are Serving Christ? by Mary C. Findley

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In Matthew 25:31 ff Jesus speaks about sheep and goats. They will be separated in the end times and the goats will be condemned. The sheep, on His right, will be praised in this manner:

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

Did you notice something odd about this passage? The sheep — the blessed of the Father, express surprise that they were “caught serving” Christ. They didn’t know they were doing it. How can that be? Don’t some of us work hard to “work the works of Christ”? Don’t we want to be known for serving Him? But these people … they are just going about their lives, doing what comes to mind, and earning Christ’s praise because it turns out they are serving and meeting needs for food, clothing, drink, shelter, all the way down to prison visits. Yet they react with surprise. They’re not working to earn a reward. They’re not looking for Jesus as they meet needs and show love. But there He is, and He’s blessing them and rewarding them.

I want to stop working so hard to please God. I want it to be natural and automatic to show love that pleases God. I want to be surprised when Jesus says, “You did these things, and they were for me.”

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In or Out? by Staci Stallings

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If you’re a Christian, you’ve surely heard the story of Peter out there in the boat on the wind and waves. Then out from the waves there comes a figure–walking. At first Peter and his friends think it’s a ghost, and they freak out.

Through the wind, they hear a voice call out: “Don’t be afraid!”

Okay. I’m a scaredy cat. Truly and honestly. In fact, me and fear go way back. So I can tell you if a ghost came toward me, walking on the water, and said, “Don’t be afraid!” I would probably veer toward afraid even more!

But Peter didn’t.

Why?

Because Peter knew that voice. It was the voice he had heard many, many times. It was the voice of his best friend, Jesus Christ.

Have you ever heard that voice? Maybe it was a whisper in your heart. Maybe it was someone talking about a dream that’s been on your heart, but you’ve not really listened because it seemed so very unattainable.

Then out there from the waves, the voice calls to you, and you think you recognize it just like Peter did. So Peter tested the voice (ever done that?). “Lord, if it is You, tell me to get out of the boat.”

And Jesus says, “Come.”

Come.

Oh, it sounds so simple! Right?

At our church we’ve done this scene in VBS a couple of times, and when Peter starts to get out of the boat, the other disciples FREAK OUT! “Peter! What are you doing?! You’ll drown! Don’t Peter! NO! Don’t go!”

Have you ever been there? Wanting to strike out and follow what God’s put on your heart with your family and your friends trying everything and every way they know how to talk you out of it? In fact, maybe you are even good at talking yourself out of things.

“I don’t have the money.” “What will other people think?” “Well, it probably won’t even work.”

You know Nike’s slogan… Just Do It?

Clearly you are not alone in this indecision because that campaign slogan is one of the most successful in all of advertising.

Peter made the decision. Just do it. Just get out of the boat. Listen to Jesus. Don’t listen to all these people who are not Jesus.

And now we come to the pivotal moment that trips so many of us up… getting out of the boat.

I’m sure the first touch of his tooties on that water made Peter seriously question his own sanity. “Wow! Is that water cold! Maybe this isn’t a good idea. Maybe being in the boat would be better. At least there, I’m safe.”

Have you ever been there? Half in, half out? Have you ever wanted to get out of that boat so badly you could feel your heart dragging you, and yet…

And yet…

Here is a spiritual nugget of wisdom. The most dangerous moment of all for Peter was being half-in, half-out of that boat. With the wind and waves picking the boat up and dropping it, he very likely nearly capsized the whole thing.

What happens a lot is, we as Christians get to this moment and freeze. Our decision become indecision. Our faith becomes doubt. And we stop, clinging there. Half-in, half-out.

I want to encourage you today not to stay there. Do not let analysis-paralysis set in because it’s a cancer that kills dreams. Your dreams. And God’s dreams for you.

Listen to the voice. Make the decision. Breathe and realize that yes, there are going to be challenges. This will not solve everything. But if it’s on your heart to do, God is the One Who put it there. If you believe through the wind and waves, the fear and the doubt, that this really is Jesus calling you out of that boat, then it’s time to Just Do It!

Take a breath. Make the decision. And get out of the boat.

Don’t stay in that most dangerous moment any longer than you absolutely have to because it truly can and will drown your dreams and you just as surely as staying in the boat will.

The boat will not save you. Clinging to the boat with one foot in, one foot out will not save you. The only way to truly be saved, to be truly free, is to be out dancing on the water with Jesus. He’s calling to you. He’s waiting for you. What are you waiting for?

In or out? Which will it be?

Copyright, Staci Stallings, 2013

A Summer Love Story You Will  Never Forget

About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

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Finding Inspiration by Ruth O’Neil

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Inspiration for writing. Where does it come from? In a word – everywhere. It isn’t just one place. For me, ideas for books are definitely conglomerates.

A typical day for me might look similar to this:

  1. My husband tells me I give too much information when I talk. He doesn’t need all the details.
  2. The bagger at the grocery store, who could stand a shower, looks a little like a creeper to me.
  3. An overprotective and worrisome mother. (Not mine.)
  4. A squeaky door this scares the bejeebers out of me while working in my garden.

Add all these ingredients together and voilà! An idea for a new book is stewing in my brain.

Inspiration is different for every writer and probably different for every book a writer creates. Sometimes I get ideas from old journals, news stories, conversations with others, etc. Sometimes I meet an interesting person and they end up in my cast of characters.

Inspiration can come from life experiences. That’s the case with one of my novels. I took life experiences from several people I knew to create my main character, Karen Miller. My friends’ experiences were all meshed and melded together to create unique story.

Inspiration can come from reading. If you want to be a writer, you need to be a reader. Of course, plagiarizing is a huge no-no, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get ideas for something completely different when you read someone else’s work. A writer’s mind often works in rabbit trails. One little scene can produce an entire movie in our heads.

So, if you are thinking about becoming a writer or if you are a writer but are looking for inspiration for new ideas, just look at the world around you. Open your eyes and take note of what you see. Open your ears and concentrate on what you hear. Be aware of what you touch and what you taste and what you smell. Use your senses to find new ideas or to add details to ideas you already have. Write everything down knowing it may not be used. But the details will be there waiting when you go looking for inspiration.

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot)blogspot.com or her website at ruthoneil (dot)weebly.com

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Gems From Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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CrossPs. 111:10 Reverence for the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. The rewards of wisdom come to all who obey him.

Do you want wisdom so that you can live rightly before God? If so, it begins with reverence for the Lord. We must be in awe of who God is. The Lord cannot be contained by our thoughts of Him. He is not limited by what we know of Him. He is much greater than the creation He created. All that exists came into being by the utterance of His word. He said it, it was, and it still is. God is the essence of all things good and holy. He is governed by His holiness and driven by His love. It is the Lord who did the impossible; He set us free from sin’s death grip on us and forever removed our sins from us, to be remembered no more. Wise is he who understands these things and bows before God in worship.

God rewards those who obey Him. If you desire to live within the blessings of God, obey Him. When we obey the Lord we do it without picking and choosing what we will or will not do. We will obey the Lord in all things. Selective obedience is no obedience at all. Whatever the Lord instructs and commands us to do, we strive to do it. Great is the reward of those who have enough reverence and respect for the Lord that they submit to His authority over them and obey Him. Empty are the words of those who declare their ove for the Lord and do not obey Him.

Revere the Lord and you will be find true wisdom. Wise are those who obey the Lord. Great are the rewards of those who find true wisdom.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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What to Consider Before Writing for the General Market by Precarious Yates

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Is it possible to be a Christian author writing for the general market?

Yes, and I would say it’s incredibly necessary. The general market needs books that have a Christian worldview.

This isn’t a simple task. One needs to have thick skin, clear vision and plenty of time in prayer and reading God’s word. Also, it’s very important to hone your skills as both a writer and a storyteller.

Why is thick skin necessary? If you find you can’t flush away bad reviews, this may not be the market for you. If you cannot disentangle yourself and your identity from the story, offenses may build up too high as criticism starts pouring in.

In regards to vision, Habakkuk 2:2 says this, “And the LORD answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’” If you feel called to write for the general market, you will need to make your vision plain. Write out what your calling is, what your goals are, etc. Bounce these ideas off of seasoned writers and be open to changing your mind. Do you feel called to evangelize through your writing? That may look very different than you originally think. Do you feel called to encourage? You may need to learn what is encouraging and what isn’t. During this process, your vision may alter slightly. I know mine did. That’s okay.

You will have to bathe yourself both in prayer and in God’s Word so that when you sit to write to a general audience, your worldview is untainted. This is such a delicate thin line to walk, writing for the general market from a Christian worldview. Time in prayer and in God’s Word can make that line thicker. You will have greater clarity when you read through stories of broken lives throughout scripture and the multiple ways God extends His grace and mercy. The Bible emphasizes forgiveness, but forgiveness isn’t present in a great deal of modern literature. This is an area into which a writer from a Christian worldview can speak volumes.

With regards to skill, it’s a futile effort to attempt to write for the general market if you don’t have great skill both as a storyteller and as a writer. What are the differences between these two? I will write more on that next month, but briefly, storytelling involves the plot and pacing while the term ‘writer’ here applies to the flow, cadence and engaging narrative/dialogue of the prose. If you’re a good storyteller but weak as a writer, practice skills such as similes, metaphors, writing dialogue, etc. If you’re like me, great at writing but unskilled at plot and pacing, practice how to plot and how to pace. Read books where this is done well. Map out the plots of your favorite books and movies. The more skilled you are all the way around, the more well received your book will be. As in no fruitless efforts.

You may want to have a pen name to distinguish these books from your Christian fiction. That’s what I’ve done. Anyone who’s interested in that pen name or those books can contact me privately. I keep both pen names very separate for multiple reasons.

Here’s to all the brave warriors and pioneers who feel called to this path! Let’s don our armor and forge on!

God bless you!

Precarious Yates

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

Links:

Facebook Amazon Author Page

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Take Time to Get Away With God by Rebekah Beene

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We traveled to Crystal Springs yesterday. An old CCC built picnic and swimming area on a huge creek is far from the crowds. It takes a good while to get there on a single lane dirt road. We arrived and it is breathtaking and the solitude is wonderful. Before we’d been there long a couple from Dallas arrived. We talked for a minute or two and he told me that they decided to go home via back roads to see the sights that aren’t visible on the interstate. They wanted to slow down and enjoy everything. As they walked off toward the water he exclaimed to his wife, “I want to run!”

God speaks to my heart. Take time to get away with Me. I will show you breathtaking things in the spirit and you will find solitude with Me is not lonely but needful. Make the decision to get off the beaten path and unhook from life draining resources for I AM your resource.

Oh beloved, it’s Monday and most of us are headed to work. But there is a place of quiet rest where we can meet with our Heavenly Father and tap into His beauty. Even with a busy work week and all the pressures of life there is always time to steal away with Him. It’s your living water, precious believer. It will never run dry and you will always have plenty of all that you need when you take time to drink from that Fountain of Resources. God knows your lifestyle, He knows your demands, He knows what everyone expects from you. He also knows what you expect from yourself. If you will take just a little time each day to slow down and receive from the Lord you will find yourself wanting to run in the fields of Faith with Him! He restores worn out lives, He renews discarded vows, He redeems the time. He is your Strength and you need all the strength you can get in these last days. Your destiny is to pursue God and His Kingdom, finding your place at His table and living completely for His glory! Power naps are nothing when compared to Power moments with the Lord! Weariness fades, worry slides away and cares of this life grow dimmer as you power up in the Spirit of God each day!

God loves you and He’s for you! Trust Him and give Him the opportunity to take you off the path of busyness and into His Very Presence! And rejoice as you go forth with a renewed sense of what it means to live fully alive in God’s Power and Love!

Matthew 6:32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Psalm 68:4 Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord— rejoice in his presence!

Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to Me and resting in Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength…

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
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