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A Novel Idea: Everything You Need to Know about Writing Inspirational Fiction

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Best-selling Christian fiction writers have teamed together to contribute articles on the craft of writing. A Novel Idea contains tips on brainstorming ideas and crafting and marketing a novel. It explains what makes a Christian novel Christian and offers tips on how to approach tough topics. Contributors include Jerry B. Jenkins, Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers, and many Best-selling Christian fiction writers have teamed together to contribute articles on the craft of writing. A Novel Idea contains tips on brainstorming ideas and crafting and marketing a novel. It explains what makes a Christian novel Christian and offers tips on how to approach tough topics. Contributors include Jerry B. Jenkins, Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers, and many other beloved authors. All proceeds will benefit MAI, an organization that teaches writing internationally to help provide literature that is culturally relevant.


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Best-selling Christian fiction writers have teamed together to contribute articles on the craft of writing. A Novel Idea contains tips on brainstorming ideas and crafting and marketing a novel. It explains what makes a Christian novel Christian and offers tips on how to approach tough topics. Contributors include Jerry B. Jenkins, Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers, and many Best-selling Christian fiction writers have teamed together to contribute articles on the craft of writing. A Novel Idea contains tips on brainstorming ideas and crafting and marketing a novel. It explains what makes a Christian novel Christian and offers tips on how to approach tough topics. Contributors include Jerry B. Jenkins, Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers, and many other beloved authors. All proceeds will benefit MAI, an organization that teaches writing internationally to help provide literature that is culturally relevant.

30 review for A Novel Idea: Everything You Need to Know about Writing Inspirational Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Chind

    This is such a fabulous resource. I must confess, as I think many book bloggers secretly has a deep desire to one day write a book of their own. This book is divided into perfect chapters that really have the best advice on writing inspiration fiction from authors with writing that I know and trust. From the initial idea of plot all the way into the issues of marketing this book really contains the best introduction for wanna-bees like me as well as those who are already started well into the pr This is such a fabulous resource. I must confess, as I think many book bloggers secretly has a deep desire to one day write a book of their own. This book is divided into perfect chapters that really have the best advice on writing inspiration fiction from authors with writing that I know and trust. From the initial idea of plot all the way into the issues of marketing this book really contains the best introduction for wanna-bees like me as well as those who are already started well into the process. I'm sure this is a book I'll return to time after time. The best part about it all in my opinion is through out all of the processes they keep the most important focus on how God fits in it and that just makes me smile to have such a great resource. I highly recommend this great tool.

  2. 5 out of 5

    C.J. Darlington

    I've read scores of books on the craft of writing, and I've learned from them all. But even though Christian fiction is one of the fastest growing segments in the market today, there have been few exhaustive manuals on writing in this genre. A Novel Idea, written by dozens of best-selling authors, is a timely and much-needed handbook. 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 I've read scores of books on the craft of writing, and I've learned from them all. But even though Christian fiction is one of the fastest growing segments in the market today, there have been few exhaustive manuals on writing in this genre. A Novel Idea, written by dozens of best-selling authors, is a timely and much-needed handbook. 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. In "Doing a Fast First Draft" Linda Ford casts aside the myth that writing a novel has to take months or even years. James Scott Bell effectively teaches on "Dialogue in Action" with examples from films like On the Waterfront and Casablanca. But some of the best nuggets can be found in the impressive sidebars. These pearls of wisdom from the likes of Randy Alcorn, Jerry B. Jenkins, Karen Kingsbury (her poem "To Write" is worthy of framing), Terri Blackstock, and many others grab your attention and are easily digested. Worthy of its own mention is the interview with Francine Rivers printed in several parts throughout. She answers questions about calling, the gritty subjects she's covered in her books (a number of publishers actually turned down her book A Voice in the Wind because they didn't believe she was a Christian), and how reading affects what she writes. In talking about "voice" she says, "That's been a struggle for me, to remember that I have my own voice and not to try to be another voice. Each of us has a unique way of expressing ourselves. I think it damages us when we do too much comparing, too much admiring of others' work." A Novel Idea is an inspiring book to be picked up over and over again at each stage of your writing development. Whether you're just setting pen to paper or writing your tenth novel, you'll find encouragement and a deeper knowledge in these 300 pages.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I just reread this book street a few years and I was struck again with so many things. I love the set up. Each chapter is a topic (settings, prewriting, etc) and then the chapter is broken into essay length reads from various authors. There are also sidebar articles and interviews. As a busy mom, I love being able to turn to the chapter I want to focus on for my current WIP, read a few pages, and learn great information that's going to help me with my writing today. It also offers encouragement I just reread this book street a few years and I was struck again with so many things. I love the set up. Each chapter is a topic (settings, prewriting, etc) and then the chapter is broken into essay length reads from various authors. There are also sidebar articles and interviews. As a busy mom, I love being able to turn to the chapter I want to focus on for my current WIP, read a few pages, and learn great information that's going to help me with my writing today. It also offers encouragement on rejection and waiting until the time is right. This is for Christian authors especially. Some of the tips, ideas will transition over to secular works but some essays and points are specifically for people writing for the Christian market. And I liked that! This was one of the first 'craft' books I received and read when I first prayed and made the plunge into writing novels. I learned and was reminded of things the second time around and it's a book well loved and highlighted. Highly recommend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michaela Bush

    This is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in writing Christian fiction, especially the beginner author. I couldn't put it down because it was so compelling, and usually, "how-to" books aren't my forte. It also included information on how to approach agents and publishing houses, preparing a manuscript for submission; even marketing and blogging. Definitely money well-spent for this book! This is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in writing Christian fiction, especially the beginner author. I couldn't put it down because it was so compelling, and usually, "how-to" books aren't my forte. It also included information on how to approach agents and publishing houses, preparing a manuscript for submission; even marketing and blogging. Definitely money well-spent for this book!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Angela Suzanne

    I found this book very insightful and full of good ideas. As an aspiring novelist, I liked how every section was written by an already published author in the Christian fiction genre. This book answered some questions I had about the process of writing. I will definitely be using this book as a reference when it comes to my own writing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This book did something for me that a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing 15 years ago didn't... It inspired me. Through my traditional classes, I was told to write and then my writing was critiqued by both my peers and my professors. It was agonizing and ultimately squelched any desire for me to pursue writing as a hobby let alone a career when I walked away. Instead of learning everything I was doing wrong, this book gave great insight into how to break down a story and its components. Having This book did something for me that a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing 15 years ago didn't... It inspired me. Through my traditional classes, I was told to write and then my writing was critiqued by both my peers and my professors. It was agonizing and ultimately squelched any desire for me to pursue writing as a hobby let alone a career when I walked away. Instead of learning everything I was doing wrong, this book gave great insight into how to break down a story and its components. Having chapters written by some of my favorite Christian authors provided fuel for thought because many of them are writing to the same audience I would hope to appeal to. I found the chapter on "The Discipline of Writing" particularly helpful because, as Elizabeth White pointed out, "struggles with focus are endemic to the creative personality." So true, so true. The chapter on Point of View explained how to select and maintain the appropriate point of view in story telling better than any of my instructors had in college. It clarified why I was seeing "POV" written in some of the margins of my drafts and gave me some ideas to avoid that problem in my future writing. I plan to use this book as a guide as I move forward with my own writing again, to help when I feel stuck or need a little bit of a push to get going. While it was actually an enjoyable leisure read (I don't typically read non-fiction), I believe it will be even more useful as a reference.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christy Trever

    A Novel Idea by ChiLibris is a must read for anyone who wants to write fiction, especially inspirational fiction. Several published authors offer their down to earth advice on everything from plotting to characterization to getting rid of writer's block. The recommendations are realistic and well written (as you'd expect from a bunch of writers) with an occasional touch of humor. As a wannabe author myself, I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of information contained inside. There are sev A Novel Idea by ChiLibris is a must read for anyone who wants to write fiction, especially inspirational fiction. Several published authors offer their down to earth advice on everything from plotting to characterization to getting rid of writer's block. The recommendations are realistic and well written (as you'd expect from a bunch of writers) with an occasional touch of humor. As a wannabe author myself, I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of information contained inside. There are several exercises that I can't wait to try, including the ones about writer's block! This isn't a book to be read once, but for me will become a permanent fixture on my bookshelf that I can refer to often for advice. Always encouraging but grounded, writers will find much to sharpen their skills.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alexxus

    This is by far the best and most thourough writing-help book EVER. And I'm not over-exaggerating when I say that this should be on the bookshelf of every writer, whether aspiring or expert. "A Novel Idea" gives a very thourough and in-depth review of every aspect of writing. Nothing is left out in this book - it gives tips from getting a story started to getting it out and published. I think one of my favourite things about this book is that instead of just ONE person writing all their tips, this This is by far the best and most thourough writing-help book EVER. And I'm not over-exaggerating when I say that this should be on the bookshelf of every writer, whether aspiring or expert. "A Novel Idea" gives a very thourough and in-depth review of every aspect of writing. Nothing is left out in this book - it gives tips from getting a story started to getting it out and published. I think one of my favourite things about this book is that instead of just ONE person writing all their tips, this book was a collaboration of many different and well-know authors in the Christian fiction world. I gave so much diversity. Overall, I wish I could give this book 10 stars. It was that great. I recommend you pick up a copy as soon as you can. It truly is worth it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    The advice and short articles in this book were helpful and applicable. I'm going to have to go back and highlight my favorites and take some of their strategies to heart. There were good tips and aspects in this novel that could be used for any writer. I'm glad I read this, but it's not something I'm probably going to go back to again and again. I really enjoyed it and I would still recommend it to people who are going to write in this genre. Definitely good to hear some advice from people who' The advice and short articles in this book were helpful and applicable. I'm going to have to go back and highlight my favorites and take some of their strategies to heart. There were good tips and aspects in this novel that could be used for any writer. I'm glad I read this, but it's not something I'm probably going to go back to again and again. I really enjoyed it and I would still recommend it to people who are going to write in this genre. Definitely good to hear some advice from people who've been successful in this field. *Taken from my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2011...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Aspiring Christian fiction authors definitely need to have this book as a resource. The topics range from the basics of writing mechanics, such as character development and point of view, and progress all the way through presenting your book to publishers and marketing it. The advice is clear and concise, and presented by established Christian authors such as Karen Kingsbury, Terri Blackstock, and Randy Alcorn, so you can be confident they know what they are talking about. I enjoyed this book a Aspiring Christian fiction authors definitely need to have this book as a resource. The topics range from the basics of writing mechanics, such as character development and point of view, and progress all the way through presenting your book to publishers and marketing it. The advice is clear and concise, and presented by established Christian authors such as Karen Kingsbury, Terri Blackstock, and Randy Alcorn, so you can be confident they know what they are talking about. I enjoyed this book and will be referring to it often in the future.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emmie

    This book is a very useful resource with great information on writing and publishing a novel. It is broken up into little sections written by different writers so you hear from a variety of people in the industry and it is easy to read. It is geared towards Christian/Inspirational writing, but anyone who is wanting to write and publish a novel could get good information out of this book. I know I will use it and reference it again as I work on editing and writing in the future.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Metz

    This is one of the best books on writing I've read so far. It is well organized and having so many voices allows a balance of ideas. I can tell this is a reference I was not only appreciative as a new writer, but that I will turn to again as time goes by. It was practical, inspirational, encouraging and even entertaining. I'm thankful so many wonderful authors chose to share their knowledge like this. This is one of the best books on writing I've read so far. It is well organized and having so many voices allows a balance of ideas. I can tell this is a reference I was not only appreciative as a new writer, but that I will turn to again as time goes by. It was practical, inspirational, encouraging and even entertaining. I'm thankful so many wonderful authors chose to share their knowledge like this.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jourdan

    Won another thing on a first reads giveaway! How fun is that? I can't wait to read this one :D This was such good advice to aspiring writers. It has my favorite author, Robin Jones Gunn, which made it all the better. I would definately recommend this to anyone wanting to write fiction. It's not just for Inspirational Fiction. It has plenty of good advice for starting any fiction book in general. Won another thing on a first reads giveaway! How fun is that? I can't wait to read this one :D This was such good advice to aspiring writers. It has my favorite author, Robin Jones Gunn, which made it all the better. I would definately recommend this to anyone wanting to write fiction. It's not just for Inspirational Fiction. It has plenty of good advice for starting any fiction book in general.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

    Some of Christian fiction's greatest authors have put together a terrific collection of articles. Sharing their wisdom for writing a terrific Christian novel are: Karen Kingsbury, Jerry Jenkins, James Scott Bell, Deborah Raney, Angela Hunt, and many, many more. If you aspire to write Christian fiction, you don't want to miss this one. Some of Christian fiction's greatest authors have put together a terrific collection of articles. Sharing their wisdom for writing a terrific Christian novel are: Karen Kingsbury, Jerry Jenkins, James Scott Bell, Deborah Raney, Angela Hunt, and many, many more. If you aspire to write Christian fiction, you don't want to miss this one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Autumn

    It was a good book but some of the information didn't really go into enough depth. It was a good book but some of the information didn't really go into enough depth.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Rash

    Perfect book for the Christian writer! Great advice, wonderful encouragement!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Janet Ferguson

    If you are interested in writing fiction, read this book. I've looked at a number of books about the art of writing. This one was highly readable. I read cover to cover. If you are interested in writing fiction, read this book. I've looked at a number of books about the art of writing. This one was highly readable. I read cover to cover.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fida Abbott

    Interesting book for every Christian writers who want to improve their writing skill in Inspirational fiction. Every contributor of this book has shared their writing experiences.

  19. 5 out of 5

    LeAnne

    articles with sidebars by a variety of authors so you get lots of input from different perspectives. This was put together as a fund raiser for Media Associates International and Litt-World.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    By far, this is the best source for Christian Fiction Writers.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    Excellent advice and insight from many voices singly united in teaching writing and inspiring the newbs.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Frye

    Informative and easy to read. I found it inspiring, so much so that I've started plotting a novel from an idea that's been tickling my brain for some time now. Informative and easy to read. I found it inspiring, so much so that I've started plotting a novel from an idea that's been tickling my brain for some time now.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sara Ella

  24. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Raney

  25. 4 out of 5

    CatherineMorland

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Greutman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michaela

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris

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