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Writing Lessons from Luke

Writing Lessons from Luke
by Moses Solanke (theburningbushboy Solanke)

Though a physician (Col. 4:14), Luke is one good Christian writer I’ve had to look upon again and again. Reading only a few lines of his first book, The Gospel According to Luke, provided me enough guidancew for my writing ministry.

I, hereby, itemize the lessons I learned reading through the first four verses of Luke Chapter 1.

Lesson 1: Luke knew that no matter how good his writing would turn out to be, his could not stand aloof of others.

“Several biographies of Christ have already been written…,” he says in Luke 1:1 of the Living Bible edition.

It is good to acknowledge (it actually makes you humble) that someone’s writing, action or idea sparked your inspiration to write. Nobody receives inspirations from the blue.

Your idea is just a follow-up or a modified version of an existing idea. Just as you got inspired from reading others, another will be inspired to write from reading your work.

Hence, we have a chain or network of inspirations. Your writing must have either a forward or backward connection. It cannot stand aloof. Continue Reading…

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Page Turner: Deadline is SUNDAY!

Can you believe we are already to the end of September? Here in the States, fall is upon us, winter is around the corner, and it’s nearly time to snuggle up in blankets and read a good book. OR  – maybe write one. And if writing a book is your thing, there is STILL time to enter your first chapter in FaithWriters’ premier contest – but you only have a few days to do it!

The 12th Annual Page Turner Contest, sponsored by Faithwriters and Breath of Fresh Air Press, closes on September 30. If you are a FaithWriters Platinum member, you are invited to enter this very special contest created just for you. If you are not yet a Platinum member, this may be the perfect reason to upgrade. The feedback on your manuscript, alone, makes it an outstanding value.

Maybe you’ve got a half-written manuscript gathering dust in the bottom of your wardrobe. Perhaps it’s something you wrote during NaNoWriMo last year. It could even be an idea that’s been brewing in the back of your mind for years. Whatever the stage of your manuscript, this Christian writing contest is the spur you need to write, polish, and submit it-and we will give you until September 30 to do so – which is THIS SUNDAY!

Sound good? Well, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Upgrade to a Platinum member (if you haven’t already done so).
  2. Write, edit, and polish at least one chapter of your manuscript. You may seek professional editing input to polish your chapter.
  3. Prepare a book proposal (suggestions for the proposal are included on the Platinum member Page Turner Christian writing contest information page).
  4. When you have a book proposal and a polished first chapter, combine the two as one Word or RTF document (book proposal first, followed by the chapter), and you’re all set to enter the 2018 Page Turner Christian writing contest.

Continue Reading…

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Page Turner Deadline Less than a Month Away!

You Could Be Our 12th Page Turner Winner!
Page Turner Deadline 9-30-18 – HERE

FaithWriters.com and Breath of Fresh Air Press are pleased to announce the twelfth annual Page Turner Christian writing contest. If you are a FaithWriters Platinum member, you are invited to enter this very special contest created just for you. If you are not yet a Platinum member, this may be the perfect reason to upgrade. The feedback on your manuscript, alone, makes it an outstanding value.

Maybe you’ve got a half-written manuscript gathering dust in the bottom of your wardrobe. Perhaps it’s something you wrote during NaNoWriMo last year. It could even be an idea that’s been brewing in the back of your mind for years. Whatever the stage of your manuscript, this Christian writing contest is the spur you need to write, polish, and submit it-and we will give you until the end of September to get your entry ready- which, you should realize, is THIS MONTH!

Sound good? Well, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Upgrade to a Platinum member (if you haven’t already done so).
  2. Write, edit, and polish at least one chapter of your manuscript. You may seek professional editing input to polish your chapter.
  3. Prepare a book proposal (suggestions for the proposal are included on the Platinum member Page Turner Christian writing contest information page).
  4. When you have a book proposal and a polished first chapter, combine the two as one Word or RTF document (book proposal first, followed by the chapter), and you’re all set to enter the 2018 Page Turner Christian writing contest.
There will be one Page Turner contest champion-the highest rated entry overall, chosen from either the Fiction or Nonfiction categories. This one champion will win:

Continue Reading…

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Meet 2018 3rd Place Best of the Best Lucy Steel

See the interview with first place Best of the Best Jan Ackerson here, and second place Kate Mackereth here.

Lucy Steel has been entering the FaithWriters Writing Challenge for a couple years off and on. And this time, her teen entry Orange is the Colour of Friendship was recognized as the third place winner in FaithWriters’ Annual Best of the Best.  Read on to learn more about this Aussie’s love of the outdoors, her winning piece, what “namesake” author inspired her to write, and more.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on your third place win! What was your reaction when you found out you were chosen as third place in Best of the Best?

LUCY STEEL: I was very excited! There are a lot of talented writers on FaithWriters, so I felt honoured that one of my stories was selected. It’s also encouraged me to keep writing – I have a habit of letting ‘life’ take over and not entering the challenge for months – this third place win has given me an extra boost of enthusiasm to keep writing regularly.

JOANNE: Winning DOES have a way of doing that, doesn’t it? Your winning piece, Orange is the Colour of Friendship, feels real to teenage life. Was it based on personal experience? Where did you get the idea for this piece? How did it come together for you? Any particular struggles getting it the way you liked it?

LUCY: The character of Jacqueline was actually loosely based on my friend – who shares the same name. My friend Jacqueline loves the colour orange and jokingly refers to herself as amazing and a supermodel.  Jacqueline told me that if I wrote a story about her it would ‘go places’ – I guess she was right!

While the situation wasn’t based on personal experience, I think that many teenagers have at some point felt lonely and isolated, or felt that they have no friends. I liked the idea of the popular person befriending the loner and enjoyed writing about a slightly ridiculous situation with the fake tan.

I don’t remember any particular struggles when writing the story. I pictured my old high school when writing it, which was still very vivid in my mind – although high school was a long time ago!

JOANNE: I love the way you brought those two folks together! You have been entering the challenge off and on for the past couple years. How did you find FaithWriters, and what made you stick around?

LUCY: A couple of years ago, I joined a writers group and soon after Deb Porter came to speak at it. She talked about FaithWriters and it sounded like just what I needed to begin writing properly and hone my writing skills.  When I began entering the challenge I found that people were so encouraging, but also gave useful feedback. FaithWriters really was the platform I needed to get me writing – and doing well in the challenges helped me to believe in myself as a ‘real’ writer. Continue Reading…

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Meet 2018 2nd Place Best of the Best Kate Mackereth!

Read the interview with Jan Ackerson, first place Best of the Best, here.

Kate Mackereth has loved to write since she was a girl, but only began entering the Challenge a few months ago – and already one of her first entries, the heartwrenching Baby Shrapnel, has placed second in the annual Best of the Best. Read on to learn more about Kate, her winning entry, her striving for perfection, and more.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on your second place win! What was your reaction when you found out you were chosen as second place in Best of the Best?

KATE MACKERETH: Thank you! I was very surprised because I am new to the challenge. It was quite thrilling.

JOANNE: Your winning piece, Baby Shrapnel, is incredibly poignant and heart-wrenching. Reading it made me wonder if it was based on personal experience. Was it?  Where did you get the idea for this piece? How did it come together for you? Any particular struggles getting it the way you liked it?

KATE: It was Anzac day here in Australia when I wrote it, so I had our soldiers and the theme of sacrifice on my mind. As an Army wife, I’ve been through the various emotions of deployment so that bit just flowed. The part about mowing the lawn is completely true, and I enjoyed the shocked expression on my husband’s face when he read it!!

The topic was ‘Amazing’ and I just love how amazing it is that God has claimed us as his, all at a cost to himself. I wanted to make that kind of sacrificial love more personal to readers. I knew a family in one of my old churches who had lost a baby boy named Matthew. They were told he would be born without a brain and not survive but still the mother carried him to term. They loved him through the entire process regardless of the heartbreak and it moved me greatly to hear about it.

I was worried about the way I started my sentences and using the topic word in the piece but I did it anyway and held my breath. It is fun to break some rules and I’m so delighted people were moved by it. Continue Reading…

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Meet 2018 Best of the Best Winner Jan Ackerson

Jan Ackerson is no stranger to the FaithWriters blog, nor recognition for her writing on the site. Because of past writing accolades, she has already had interviews on this blog THREE times. And now, here she is again, as the winner of the 2018 FaithWriters Writing Challenge Best of the Best (awarded to the highest ranking Writing Challenge entry for July 2017-June 2018), for her expertly written Almost Happy. Join me as we learn about how this story came together, Jan’s passions, and more.

JOANNE SHER: Congratulations on winning Best of the Best! What was your reaction when you found out your piece was at the top this year?

JAN ACKERSON: I was more than a little surprised, especially since I hadn’t entered the Writing Challenge in several months. FaithWriters wasn’t really forefront in my thoughts, so seeing that announcement on Facebook was kind of stunning. I actually had to go back and read the story; I’d mostly forgotten it.

JOANNE: This isn’t your first time interviewing with me for a FaithWriters recognition, and I know you are absolutely not someone who likes the attention. But humor me – share one thing that you are fairly certain you haven’t shared here before, and that you think is at least somewhat interesting about yourself.

JAN: Hmmm. Well, I do a bit of freelance work to supplement my retirement income, and my most recent gig taps into both my love of literature and my enjoyment in finding errors and pointing them out. I work together with a fellow who produces award-winning audiobooks, listening to his audio file “rough drafts” and noting where he deviates from the text. Another use for my metaphorical red pencil! Continue Reading…

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Congratuations to the 2018 Best of the Best Winners!

After twelve months of Writing Challenge topics and entries, we had our 30+ contenders for the Best of The Best.

The annual Best of the Best awards are announced July 1 each year, and the awards go to the three highest rated Editors’ Choice winners for the previous twelve months. First place gets $100, second place $50, and third place $25.

Congratulations to our three awesome winners:

1ST PLACE Almost Happy by Jan Ackerson (Back to the Drawing Board Challenge)

2ND PLACE Baby Shrapnel by Kate Mackereth (Amazing Challenge)

3RD PLACE Orange Is the Colour of Friendship by Lucy Steel (Friend Challenge)

Watch for interviews with the winners on the blog soon!

Congratulations, Jan, Kate, and Lucy!

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Just Three Months to Enter Page Turner!

For some, this time of year is busier than any other. For others, it’s just the opposite: extra time to get things done. Whatever your situation, getting the first chapter of your book (fiction or non-fiction) written and “in shape” in three months probably isn’t an impossible goal.

Need more motivation than that? How about an opportunity to get a fabulous cash prize and an offer of traditional publishing? Well, FaithWriters  and Breath of Fresh Air Press are offering just that, in the 12th Annual Page Turner Contest.

If you are a FaithWriters Platinum member, you are invited to enter this very special contest created just for you. If you are not yet a Platinum member, this may be the perfect reason to upgrade. The feedback on your manuscript, alone, makes it an outstanding value.

Maybe you’ve got a half-written manuscript gathering dust in the bottom of your wardrobe. Perhaps it’s something you wrote during NaNoWriMo last year. It could even be an idea that’s been brewing in the back of your mind for years. Whatever the stage of your manuscript, this Christian writing contest is the spur you need to write, polish, and submit it-and we will give you until the end of September to get your entry ready.

Sound good? Well, here’s what you need to do: Continue Reading…

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FW Member Discount on Novel Writing Course!

We at FaithWriters want our members to be the best writers they can be for Jesus. Jerry B. Jenkins, a 21-time New York Times bestselling author, including the Left Behind series, is releasing his new flagship course, Your Novel Blueprint (YNB). In this course, he gives writers a start-to-finish blueprint for writing a great novel: all the way from the book idea to the completed manuscript. This is an in-depth course done online and presented in a very professional video format. The course is filled with great advice, encouragement and tips from Jerry. You will learn from his vast experience (author of over 190 books), including how to avoid the mistakes he made on his road to success. The wise advice in this course will save you years and countless dollars. It’s worth every penny for any serious Christian writer.

Your-Novel-Blueprint@2x

  • Laying the Foundation – 13 modules
  • Starting the Writing – 5 modules
  • Establishing a Writing Routine – 18 modules
  • Finishing Well – 20 modules

Continue Reading…

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Clued in to Writing with Jeopardy

Clued in To Writing with Jeopardy
by Marlene Mesot

Setting up a mystery with proper and fair clues takes skill. It is probably harder for the all-knowing writer, seeing the whole picture, who must take the pieces apart for the reader to find clues and put it back together. The reader is the fresh, unknowing eye upon the puzzle. The reader is not clueless however. Take an example from the quiz show Jeopardy.

If you have at least some idea of the topic of the question, the skilled writers of Jeopardy’s clues have added a subtle hint to the second part of each question to help the contestant, reader, figure it out. Novels are the same way. Skilled writers place subtle clues along the way hinting at the resolution to the story.

I was clued in to one such story because I am an animal lover and have some knowledge of dog’s behavior. Written in Bone by Simon Beckett happened to be the novel where I picked up on the subtle clue. But, I was totally clueless and never saw the surprise ending in The Worst Thing by Aaron Elkins.

God is the Author of the greatest story ever told. Those of us who are believers and have the understanding of the Holy Spirit are clued in to the message of the Bible. Even though God’s message is all around us in nature, the sky, ourselves and our behaviors, unbelievers are clueless, without help.

Marlene Mesot: Christian mystery romance author, only child, legally blind & hearing aid user.
www.marlsmenagerie.com/
 Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com
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