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A Novel Idea: Best Advice on Writing Inspirational Fiction Paperback – November 1, 2009
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More About the Author
Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with Jon's work, the Dobson family has finally settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to travel and hike in both the mountains and the cliffs above the Pacific. When Melanie isn't writing, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, line dancing, and reading stories with her kids.
More information about Melanie and her books is available at:
Top Customer Reviews
A Novel Idea is a collection of advice from "Top Selling, Inspirational Authors" including Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Randy Alcorn, Terri Blackstock, Robin Jones Gunn, Jerry Jenkins, and Angela Hunt. There are other Christian fiction writers that I wish had been included in this book based on their quality of writing, but I digress.
Part one of the book covers the "Fundamentals of Fiction" with chapters on plot, characters, dialogue, point of view, pacing, setting, and descriptions.
Part two covers, "Developing Your Craft" with chapters on preparation, the discipline of writing, finding your voice, writing with expression, and handling rejection.
The third section specifically covers the areas of discerning your calling and the distinctives of Christian fiction.Read more ›
The techniques of writing dialogue, creating suspense, and plotting stories are the same across genres, but some don't realize Christian fiction is not just fiction minus swear words and sex scenes. In her essay "Writing to Change Lives" Karen Kingsbury says, "For me, Christ is the story. He is not a patch to add into my plot, or a marketing ploy. The world can write about the physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects of people. So can we. Ah, but we also can tell about the spiritual--and the story is nothing without that piece. We are the most blessed of all writers because we are called to tell the whole story."
Subjects like how writing can be a ministry and a profession as well as what makes Christian fiction Christian aren't found in A Novel Idea's secular counterparts. And sometimes when reading general market writing books, it can feel like searching for a diamond in a dung hill as you wade through dirty examples and four letter words. It's refreshing to read articles that unashamedly share Scripture alongside the poignant advice, as well as tried and true techniques.
From the fundamentals of description, characters, setting, and point of view to more in depth subjects like writing proposals and synopses, A Novel Idea guides us through the winding streets of the writing journey. Noteworthy stops include Angela Hunt's "Plot Skeleton" which shares in detail her technique for building a book from the bones up.Read more ›
Opinions are often different, methods often vary, and even the answer to what makes a Christian book Christian differs. And this is exactly what I love about this book. There is so much to learn from different authors. One method may not fit your personal style, another may. One tip may leave you scratching your head but the next has you nodding your head and frantically underlining and taking notes.
Topics include pre-writing, outlining, character development, writing plot twists, great settings, dialogue, etc.- pretty much every topic you can think of that pertains to fiction writing. One of my favorite chapters was written by an author whose book I had read previously and found to be just so-so. After reading her excellent advice, I am wanting to try another book of hers and see if the last was just a fluke.
After sharing general writing tips, the sections move into writing disciplines, finding your "voice", handling rejection, etc. and then various perspectives on fiction and Christianity. It winds up by discussing publishing, networking, and marketing.
A Novel Idea is a gold mine of information and perspectives and I highly recommend it to Christian authors or wanna-be Christian authors like myself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the book that made me start writing. After reading the first chapter I started mapping out my story. A great book for the beginning writer like me.Published 4 months ago by Martin
Generally it is worth the read. It is oriented toward writers of Christian fiction,Published 10 months ago by Jack E. Wetherbee
This a great resource for authors who aspire to write Christian fiction. It is loaded with amazing advice that will help out in every aspect.Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
A great collection of advice on writing Christian fiction and novels in general.Published 16 months ago by August
This 'how-to' type book is filled with lots of good information and tips from successful authors. It covers the basic fundamentals any author needs to incorporate into fiction... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mrs. L
Remarkably well written book to guide God-centered authors with their writing craft. Very practical and actionable. Loved reading it, highlighting it, and learning from it.Published on August 3, 2013 by Sandi Garcia
This book should be in the hands of every Christian fiction writer. It has helped me tremendously with my third novel. David R. Nicholas, (Rev)Published on April 6, 2013 by Rev
A very encouraging read for beginners. Useful information, insights, and ideas. Other resources are also mentioned in the book. Read morePublished on April 1, 2013 by Audrey B. Jackson
This book was sooooooo great! Some of my favorite authors took part in it. So far, it's the best book on writing I have yet to read. Read morePublished on August 2, 2012 by Belac