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  1. DonHug

    Do Authors Really Need To Blog?

    Bad Christian fiction is on the decline and should be. There is a ton of it out there. Will there ever be an end to formulaic Christian romance novels? We can only pray. It is true that "religious stories are overdone." But I hope Christian writers get beyond that phase and instead write transformative fiction based upon a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Christian fiction must escape the romance genre and expand widely into mystery, science fiction, thriller, westerns and all the rest. Christian fiction needs to become edgy. Issues that people care about today can be expressed through fictional stories. .The granddaddy of this type of fiction is In His Steps by Charles Sheldon. It was written at the turn of the 20th century, but people today are still referencing it. That bestseller was about Christian social justice., CS Lewis did not do too shabby of a job with his Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength). Likewise, JRR Tolkien did a good of weaving his Christian worldview into his Lord of the Rings fiction. Today, take a look at authors like Ted Dekker. It's risky to write substantive Christian fiction. In my view, it is not overdone. It is just not well done.
  2. DonHug

    Bad Writing Advice

    I appreciate what you're saying, Nicola. But your link tells writers: "You Shouldn't Listen to Writing Tips Blogs." That's terrible advice. Some sites offer valuable tips. A wholesale condemnation of writing blogs is not helpful to anyone. We Christians need discernment in all things. Writing "best practices" is just one of them.
  3. DonHug

    Bad Writing Advice

    People shouldn't listen to them??? Hmmm. Your link seems to be filled with tips. We should ignore them, right? The fact is, some writing tips are excellent and others are terrible. The wholesale approach of "Don't listen to them" is not helpful. What's the solution? I have been mentoring writers for decades, and I suggest that is the best approach. Fine a PERSON you trust to guide you through the writing, editing and publishing jungle. People take bad "writing tips" because they lack the experience to know what is valuable and what's not helpful. A seasoned mentor saves time, money and frustration.
  4. DonHug

    Bad Writing Advice

    So true. Being a true servant of the Lord is the end game. Everything else is just rearranging the furniture of life. Educated, experienced people always run the risk of being a know-it-all. The only antidote to that poison is insatiable curiosity and a teachable spirit. I count it a lost day if I don't learn something new and valuable. And, at the same time, I try to teach something new and valuable. A true servant is in an endless cycle of giving and receiving just as our Lord does.
  5. DonHug

    Bad Writing Advice

    Ha! A thread close to my heart. When you have been a writer and editor for over three decades like me, the bad advice jumps out at you like a Halloween funhouse ghost. I blame the Internet. Everyone is an instant expert whether they are or not. This same phenomenon exists in theology. All the time in undergraduate, grad school and seminary study doesn't make a difference. There is always a Sunday school student who thinks they know more than anyone. How do I handle the situation in the writing world and in theology? I just let it be. Those with a teachable spirit always seem to emerge from the crowd and I adopt those people as my own.
  6. DonHug

    A Useful Way To Use Twitter

    I get the most interest and value from my YouTube, and FaceBook accounts. My Twitter account is the orphan. This will help me think about some alternative ways to engage with my existing Twitter audience and build on it.
  7. DonHug

    Do Authors Really Need To Blog?

    Ebraten, can you really be a writer (Christian or otherwise) and not share your life? That concept is totally alien to me. We may write about Amish farms or fantastic planets, but they never stand alone. They all emerge from our imagination, emotions, and experiences, all of which are part of our life. Bob Dylan used to tell reporters, "My songs are all made up. I never talk about myself." Yet the scenes in his songs are filled with his most intimate moments. For example, his son Jakob Dylan said the songs on the "Blood on the Tracks" album "are my parents talking." Sharing your life, one way or another, is how you get a Nobel Prize in Literature. Writers may be able to mask themselves in their writing, but the essence of what we say comes from our lives. Sharing our perceptions with the world, in fiction or nonfiction, is what writing is about. In my view, we Christian writers have an obligation to blend our stories with Christ's story. We may fictionalize events, but our faith, our experiences, our emotions and our expression of them remain true.
  8. DonHug

    Do Authors Really Need To Blog?

    DonnieQuest, yes I think you could benefit from a blog. It's all about the slant. With the greatest respect to EBraten, my experience is the opposite. EBraten has said blogging is not for them and marshals evidence to support that view. But that's okay. There are as many for it as against it, I suppose, and it depends on your motives. I blog for the joy of it. I started my first Christian blog in 1999. I was reaching 50,000 people each month. It was a general site and I was able to introduce people to Christ and also encourage Christians with articles in various categories. I have spent my life in ministry, in the US and overseas, as a pastor, missionary, educator, but mostly in media ministry. But let say, in it all, there is a real joy in reaching 50,000 people each month from my keyboard. And yes, I was selling my books back then too. It was before Kindle, so I packed and mailed thousands of print books in Jiffy Bags over the years, and was happy when the PDF format came into vogue. I was overjoyed with Kindle and am happy that KDP now does print books in place of CreateSpace. By the way, I sold that blog to a big ministry. After about a decade they redirected the traffic to another of their websites and my original site no longer exists. I retained the copyright on my content, however, and in the last year or so recycled much of the Relationship Section content in a book. I continued to blog through ChristianWritingToday.com (CWT), but my motive is different. I want to help writers of all kinds have the joy of reaching people for Christ through media. I'm a strong believer in blogging. and have written a book called "Blogging for Jesus" and feature that topic in a section of CWT. By the way, I also have a general "tent-making" site (VelocityWriting.com) and a lively YouTube Channel connected to it. Perhaps the question is whether blogging "works" for fiction. It has benefitted many fiction authors. People will find out about your book in ways that would be otherwise impossible. You get to share your life and your faith. It's a win all-around in my opinion. No one is required to start a blog. But my long experience tells me it is worthwhile. I have been able to reach hundreds of thousands or maybe even a million people that I could have never reached sloshing around Siberia or other places where I have ministered. In my mind, an author, especially a Christian author, needs a "home base." Your website is more than a place to sell books. You have the opportunity to meet people and influence them for Christ. My approach to blogging is based on 1 Thessalonians 2:8.
  9. DonHug

    Hello To All

    Glad to be here to interact with other Christian writers. I've been a writer, editor, publisher, and educator for over three decades and am interested in the issues that face Christian writers. I've worked for mainline Christian publishers and have been an Indie publisher for over 20 years. I've written 21 books under my own name and more as a ghostwriter, primarily for Christians. I traveled to 31 countries covering stories as a Christian journalist. My blog for Christian writers, ChristianWritingToday.com is now entering its 12th year. Two things I have learned over the years which I hope will encourage you. You never stop learning, and you should never stop writing. I hope to learn something from many of you.
  10. DonHug

    Do Authors Really Need To Blog?

    All authors need a web presence in my view. We are invisible without them. What we do with our web presence is another question. It can either be a business card or it a way to engage and build a readership. This summarizes my perspective and experience: http://www.christianwritingtoday.com/writer-platform-essential-success/

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