Saturday, October 24, 2015

New Release by Daniel Kuehn

We occasionally share new releases by Christian authors here on Word Painters. We were approached by author Daniel Kuehn, author of the newly-released Futurity. I (Alicia) have not read it, but if Christian super hero stories are your thing, be sure to check this out! There was a lot of work and time that went into the making! Enjoy!
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"Sixteen year old, Jason Sorn is as ordinary as they come. But his normal life is shattered the moment he’s taken to the hospital.

Now, he’s on the run. The FBI, Police, and a group of terrorists called ANO are hunting him. He has nowhere to go, limited resources, and no one to trust.

But that all changes when he meets the mysterious man named Leon Weston. Leon wants to help but doesn’t say why. And Jason must decide if he should believe him, even if he knows Leon is hiding something.

The days tick by, and ANO has never been so close to finding him. But Jason begins to exhibit supernatural abilities and struggles to stay incognito.

World War III is around the corner. And no one is ready for what is coming, from the future—or the past."

Discover On:

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Daniel has been creating stories since even before he could remember. He's a college student with big dreams. He finished the rough draft of his first manuscript, FUTURITY, when he was fifteen years old. 

Join him on his journey, by reading his debut work FUTURITY, following him on Facebook, Twitter, and his Blog.

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Short Story Contest!

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!—When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
– Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice



I am a Jane Austen fan. Are you? If I was not already working on my own Jane Austen-themed project, I would jump at this! Re-tellings are so much fun. This promises to provide a lot of unique options for a great story! Click here for more information.

To conclude for today, a piece of writing advice from this favorite classic author (I’ve found it to work):

“I am not at all in a humour for writing; I must write on till I am.”
– Jane Austen, letter to Cassandra Austen, Oct. 26, 1813

Kelsey Bryant is an author, blogger, and copy editor who loves the Lord. She revels in many things: the beauty of God's Word, the music of English, the wonder of nature, the joy of creativity, the freedom of motion, the richness of literature, the intrigue of history ... and much more. To learn more about her, visit her website or blog

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"Men of Grit" Christian Fiction Series Now Available on Kindle


http://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Arms-Treasure-Treachery-Christian-ebook/dp/B016TRKTZS/

Greetings all, John J. Horn here.

I'm excited to announce that I have released my three "Men of Grit" books on Kindle.

Over the last couple of months I've learned how to turn my print files into Kindle ebooks, create a Kindle Direct Publisher's account, and finally make my books available again for purchase.

To celebrate the re-launch I'm offering Brothers at Arms for free for just three days.

Click here to download the free ebook now!

John J. Horn is a Christian author from San Antonio, Texas. Purchase his Men of Grit series from Amazon here and sign up for his newsletter at johnjhornbooks.com.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Element-ary Education



Happy fall! I hope you’re getting to enjoy all the pleasant things autumn brings. Maybe it’s even inspiring your writing project…something about autumn’s mood tends to touch the imagination.

Inspiration is always welcome, but particularly when your story doesn’t seem to be working in one way or another. Every writer has something he or she especially struggles with, since one person can’t be natural at everything. Sometimes that is just the writer’s style—such as when someone isn’t overly descriptive, because his story is action-packed, or when someone can’t write novels shorter than 100,000 words, because she’s gifted at spinning long works. The opposite of a struggle is sometimes the writer’s strength.

Simultaneously, however, we have a duty as writers to write as well-rounded and balanced a novel as we reasonably can, for our readers’ sakes. Certain elements of a story are essential to get right, such as character, plot, dialogue, setting, pacing, description, and theme.

Because there are elements I struggle with (I’m not the only one, right??), I find it helpful to run a checklist or questionnaire in my mind as I write or edit. Something like this might work for you as you mull over your story:

  • Is my main character likeable and interesting? Are all my characters interesting and contributive? Do they always act consistently?
  • Is my plot intriguing? Even if it’s not fast-paced, does it have enough tension and conflict to keep people reading to the end? Is it boringly predictable?
  • Is my dialogue realistic? Does it flow off the tongue, or does it sound stilted? Do the characters speak in character?
  • Are there enough details about my setting for readers to see the story? Do I show how it is distinct, and why it fits the story?
  • Is my pacing too slow or too fast? Do I gloss over important scenes or give too much attention to trivial ones? Do I vary the speed of the narrative?
  • Is my description of anything too heavy-handed or too sparse? Is it uniquely done? Have I described all the important things—most signifcant characters, objects, emotions, et cetera?
  • Is my theme clear? Do readers come away from my book knowing what I was trying to say? Am I too preachy?

I think every good novel has nailed these elements, albeit in the writer’s unique style and within the book’s genre and purpose. We don’t expect L. M. Montgomery to make our hearts race with a suspenseful plot, and we don’t expect Jane Austen to regale our senses with scenery description. But each author has made deliberate choices about how he or she has told the story, and it forms a beautiful work of art that inspires and delights thousands of readers.

Once you evaluate your work, note what you do well and what you don’t quite reach par on. Beta-readers can help out there. Rejoice if you shine in something and polish it up even more—it’s something that defines you as a writer, and you should make it outstanding. (Note: it doesn’t have to be one of those indespensable elements; it could be humor, suspense, mystery, etc.) For those things that you have trouble on, really, really work on those. Scrub them until they’re clean. Get advice from writers who are good at them, or read books or website articles devoted to explaining them. Don’t leave a single part of your writing behind!

I could tell you tales of the writing elements I’ve had to work on! Stiff dialogue, plot bunnies that go nowhere, unnecessary description…. Do you care to share something you’d like to improve on? 

Kelsey Bryant is an author, blogger, and copy editor who loves the Lord. She revels in many things: the beauty of God's Word, the music of English, the wonder of nature, the joy of creativity, the freedom of motion, the richness of literature, the intrigue of history...and much more. To learn more about her, visit her website or blog 
 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hailing the Holidays


Hailing the Holidays
From spooky signs to phony gravestones for Halloween, the holiday messages reach us in all forms and types.  Designed by creative minds and hands.
 Now, I realize that most of us probably don’t do the Halloween thing.  We still find ourselves involved in writing something for the Holidays: either disclaimers on Facebook or in texts, emails, and letters explaining why we do not do a specific holiday; or pieces talking about what we love most about the holidays.
                                                  Which is it for you and when does it start?  
I gave up explaining to people why I do not participate in Halloween festivities.  I simply say, “God wants me to celebrate living souls and help keep them from being part of those restricted to one day of a freedom a year.”   I get looks, laughed, then that follow up of realization at how profound that thought really is.
BUT we do celebrate seasons, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  
My family does a newsletter in our Christmas cards.  With each newsletter, I like to add short piece on the history of one of Christmas’s symbols. (At least something seasonal.)   Then for friends or family that are new on the cards list, I include a special tidbit.
Every third year, the family does homemade gifts for the Christmas list. That includes cards.  Everything has to be hand made and personally executed.   The cards can be designed in the computer and printed off at home, but the message must be original. 
Out of seven Christmas’s doing it that way; we’ve yet to duplicate anything we’ve done in the past.  And people on the receiving end seem to like it.  I was asked last year when it would cycle around to the homemade Christmas again.  
With the kids grown and on their own now, I don’t know how successful such an effort would be.  But, because they are grown, I’ve started something new.  It’s a daily greeting in text.
I know you’re thinking by now; “What does this have to do with writing projects?”  The realistic answer is: It is a type of writing project. 
                                                          Start with a few questions:
1.      When do you start sending out Christmas cards?
2.      Why do you send Christmas cards?
3.      How many do you send, and how do you decide who gets one?
4.      What is the REAL message in your card?
Two years ago, I reviewed my Christmas cards list.  It seemed that almost everyone on it was also on my Facebook or in my phone’s contacts list.  I can send each and every one of those people a greeting any day of the year.  The others on my list only ever hear from me once a year; when they get my card and the newsletter.   Half of them don’t ever send me anything to let me know how things are in their world.
So, I created a series of groups in my cell phone and on my Facebook page.  Every now and again, I pick a theme or a reason and I type up a salutation and send it out.  Then there’s the everyday statuses that I post which are equivalent to novels. 
Last year, I posted a status; and sent out a note in messaging; a request for updated addresses for everyone that would like to continue to receive cards from me at Christmas.  Of the 40 people on my list, only 15 answered back.  And they only want original works; not the regular market cards that they are going to buy and send out themselves.  The reason: “We like the intermittent greetings you send all year long.  It’s much better than a card once a year.”
General consensus was this:  If you write it, it’s worth reading.  We know that you mean it and we’re not just on a list when it comes from your creativity.   Have you ever thought that way about something you’ve received? 
This is now the season when everyone in the church expects to see seasonal decorations and bulletin board messages, and calendar updates tracking Holiday events.  All of that is inspired by the Scriptures, and brought to life through some intense creativity.   I will never dare to re-write Scriptures, but my imagination must really get with the theme of the board if I’m going to demonstrate the Scriptures properly. 
So, as I work my way through the season, I have found that each literary and art project works with another to get things done.  As I write a bulletin board theme, messages, and captions; something in it may lend to a part of the annual newsletter.  Or part of the newsletter might lend to an idea and some captions for the bulletin board.  The artwork, scenery of the season, themes, and Scriptures of those projects give life to ideas for greeting cards, and highlights for the newsletter. 
Which holidays do you celebrate and highlight? 
The answer to that question will greatly affect when you set about getting your literary accomplishments for the season started and finished.  Is Halloween going to take some of your time?  Or do you like Autumn and want to develop projects that embrace the season but not its most commonly celebrated holiday?   {Sadly enough; Halloween IS more celebrated than harvest or Thanksgiving.}
It isn’t that hard to work Autumn without fitting Halloween in.  It’s based upon the same principal of political correctness that gets applied to Christmas. What everyone else avoids because of the Biblical content and connotation; examine it and use what is appropriate.  In other words; what secular society is rejecting is foundational material. But always study and examine ALL of the content; including potential innuendo a reader or viewer can draw from the work.
Then, pick a different word than the ones that offend.  Dress up the participants in attire opposite what is expected.  Describe the attributes of the season in your pieces; not the activities of the season.  Use identifying words that will draw attention to feelings, sounds, and aromas of the season versus the sights of the season .  Instead of Jack-O-Lantern; describe the happy pumpkin or the angry one if you are talking about decorations you’ve seen.  Although I’m not a fan of political correctness, we do have the means of turning it to an advantage in our projects.
Be strong in the responsibility of being a writer.  Let your words flow from the mind to the paper.  From the paper, they can become a form reality, as you share them.   Properly worked, those same words can become the season’s greetings that family and friends just can’t wait to receive in the mail, in the email, in a Facebook message, or through text.

                                So, as Autumn continues to float through, I will say: Seasons Greetings.