Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I believe God called me to write Christian fiction. The calling is as strong as His calling on my life in ministry. (We pastor a church and spiritually care for people's souls.) I can pinpoint the time He called me to ministry, and I can pinpoint the time He called me to write. In my writing, I want to please Him while "touching hearts with love and laughter." The Three E's: entertain, encourage, and enlighten, is what I want to do for people as they read my fiction.

I desire so much. I desire to write long novels. I desire to see the many stories in my heart on the printed page. In a previous blog, I told about a providential meeting with best-selling novelist T. Davis Bunn at Florida Christian Writers Conference. What did he tell me to do in my writing?

Several things. First, he told me to identify the weaknesses in my writing. What are they? he asked. Then he told me to identify my strengths and then work on my weaknesses. When he spoke at the conference, he told how years ago, he was weak in dialogue. So he carried a tape recorder around and taped conversations and then studied them to make his dialogue stronger. I said, "You know, I help writers with their weaknesses and strengths." I told him how I'd done that very thing at this conference numerous times. But I said, "I have no one to do this for me." Then I remembered some comments from editors in rejections. I told him these areas. He gave me good advice for working on them. One, however, was a strength, he said. That was a confirming comment since it's part of me and my voice. He went on to say I'd learned the craft--was even teaching it--and it was now between me and God (to see my destiny fulfilled).

He also told me to study current bestselling novels in the genres I write in--for flow and cadence and structure, etc. I've done that for years, but will do so even more. In fact, that goes along with an illustration I love to give in my teaching: As a merchant marine, Thomas Wolfe laboriously copied every word of James Joyce's novel Ulysses, taking months and months. Then he threw it overboard. "Why?" his shipmates asked. "Now I know how to write a book," he replied.

Then he said, "I don't think you've found your voice yet." That's an exciting thought, because it opens up all sorts of new possibilities. So I have determined to continue to learn and grow in my fiction. Instead of being discouraged, I am very encouraged. I can't wait to see what God brings about in the future of my writing.

I hope these thoughts encourage you who are struggling to get published and stay published. Keep writing, keep learning, keep growing, and let God do the rest!

Amazingly, after I talked with T. Davis Bunn, "God woke me up at 4 a.m." and I wrote the opening of a new novel as if it had been dictated to me. The paragraphs exploded from my fingertips, as Tom Clancy said.


At 8:12 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I can see that you are called to be a writer!! Your book Reunited in the anthology wedded bliss? really touched and spoke to me. It's become one of my favorite books that I plan to read again from time to time.

You have such a gift and talent, I know God is going to bless you in your writing.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

oops I meant to say your novella wedded bliss?


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