Wildfires and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season for me. A reminder of closeness in dependable friends and dear family. This year the wildfires raging in the mountains of North Carolina and South Carolina have given my family new perspective on gratitude as the clean air we take for granted filled with smoke. Is it […]

wildfires-and-thanksgiving

Dealing with immorality when writing fiction

During contract negotiations some years ago my fantasy novel Swords of the Six went before a Christian publishing house’s committee and a couple of editors raised objection with the violence in the story. I remember the acquisitions editor asked for a good response to their concerns. Back then I felt in my soul what I […]

Focusing on reaching Christian readers

Thank you to all who participated in my 2016 Reader Survey! I learned some valuable things that have helped me make some important decisions for moving forward with my website and writing. Finally I have enough data to move forward knowing who is being blessed and responding best to my writing. Before I get into […]

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Pondering: futility of godless stories

Ponder with me the shallowness of stories that omit any divine purpose. Any intervention or God-given purpose. As writers creating fictional realms we have the opportunity to omit God… or do we? A story I moderately enjoy centers around a Buddhist monk who is on a quest to find the equivalent of the chosen one. The […]

futility of godless stories

Materialism: the writer’s enemy

Recently I took my wife and kids to the mall. It is only about twenty-five minutes from our house but I had never been. In fact, it had been a long while since I had been in any mall. Firstly, I am not a big shopper and second, I find malls are filled with clothing […]

materialism writers enemy

Unspoken laws of fantasy fiction

While fiction is itself an exploration of human imagination (and some might add an exploration of ingenuity as well) it must remain bound by laws if it is to impact the reader’s thinking in a positive way. The writer’s philosophies, persuasions, convictions, all of these things create the laws that bind their fiction. And this […]

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The importance of message in story

While it is important that a fiction piece not “preach” a message to its readers, it is of even greater importance that the story does communicate a message. A lot of stories written today seem to focus on action and romance, or something similar. But the real power in storytelling is to reinforce cultural values, […]

importance of message in story

Divinity and accountability in Fiction

When writing I have often pondered the futility of leaving God out of the story. His presence, whether embodied or as a distant spirit-being, omnipresent and omniscient, is necessary even in fiction. Without an ultimate accountability characters lose their punch. All stories need a level of good versus evil. Characters make choices between right and wrong. […]

Divinity and accountability in fiction

The bad and good of Portraying Violence in Fiction

When writing my fantasy novels it is frequent to encounter (you guessed it) violence. Targeting my books to the middle grade and young adult readers this is of great concern to me. I don’t want to wash over the violence but I don’t want to glorify it in the eyes of the reader either. Consider […]

Portraying violence in ficiton

Magic in Fantasy Fiction: Powers of God and powers of the Devil

There are many ways that various writers have dealt with the subject of magic in their stories, but most pitch a “good” wizard or witch against an “evil” wizard or witch. What is acceptable when creating a fantasy story from a Christian worldview? We know that God condemned wizards, witches, sorcerers, mediums, and the like. […]

Gandalf and Balrog