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Carolyn W

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  1. Thank you, Sophie. It is overwhelming, in a good way:) I am blessed to be in this writing community. The lows I hit don't nag at me quite the same way now since I hear that my struggles are common among writers. The doubts that find a voice in me still pop up but I question them now I still put my foot in my mouth in trying to put feelings about into words - but it's getting easier to remove it. Posts like yours are a blast of fresh air. I guess that means I'm a list person! So on we go! Thanks again!
  2. For a novel about restoration by a Christian writer, you might try Elizabeth Goudge's The Dean's Watch, or Scent of Water. Although her genre is probably different than yours, her writing has depth (though some parts can be tedious verbage to skip over).
  3. Thank you so much for this piece, Jorge. As a piece of writing it drew me in and along and as a piece of Christian writing it delivered, the Lord spoke to my heart. It's a good word you bring. I've needed to be reminded of this many times. One of the verses that comes to my aid is Psalm 18:28, For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. Thanks for writing!
  4. God bless you Sarah. May He heal you completely quickly. Eye stuff can take a long time to heal. Don't be discouraged. God is never taken by surprise. Enjoy His love while you hope forward:)
  5. I'm glad to find your post about scenes. I'm slogging through fundamentals and would love some rules of thumb. I have looked up "scene" on the internet a number of times and find I am still struggling to understand my writing in terms of scenes. If a scene is a section of one or more characters engaging in action or dialog, is it a scene change when the action has been a character walking along a path and a conversation is begun with a second character at the end of the path? Or if two talking characters walk into a group and the conversation takes a different direction, is that a scene change? [And I don't see "chapters" in the writing on scenes, sequences, and acts, so that's kind of pushing me the same way. I expect this is a question for Remedial Writing, so if you have a helpful webpage in mind too, I would take that] So in my post, The promise of a day, is it all one scene or is it three or...?
  6. One of my concerns about writing fiction was that idea of "getting into characters". I found it an alarming concept. I didn't want my thoughts to turn more easily to fictional characters than to my present reality with the LORD (perhaps you understand what I mean, I hope:) But as a language learner, (well even earlier, in university science classes) I found I would awake from dreaming in a foreign language (or a foreign math language:) and I realized I was "getting into character" , that is getting deep enough into the content that I was not just remembering important facts but synthesizing my own ideas within a new language! That language learning experience has encouraged me to not fear "getting into character" now as I launch out into writing with a goal of publishing a novel. As for cosplay, I didn't know the word previously, Lynn. Thanks for bringing it forward. I wonder if my having dressed contextually for years within the culture I'm writing of might have been tantamount to cosplay since I'm now visualizing the characters in Central Asian clothing instead of American clothes. I've wondered how many words I should spend trying to bridge the gap between my imagination and the American reader's imagination.
  7. I'm sorry, that reply to the new words post seems to come across wrong. I'm certainly sorry to hear of Alzheimer's. My friend is trying to find her mother help right now.
  8. What a roll! You all are impressive💪
  9. I'll look forward to reading your story👍
  10. I enjoy your writing Bev.

  11. We’re in a curious position aren’t we? )if I may speculate among writers of Christian fiction:) when we want to be writers who are instructed in/pupils in the kingdom of heaven, to bring out kingdom treasures new and old from our unique Christlives and express them in story form (see Matt 13:52). I think, just as with Bible translation, Christian narrators have to soberly weigh the pros and cons of their word choices and the conventions they use to help the reader (such as red font:) However, proclaiming through story as it were, hopefully we can find with the Spirit of grace a fictional account to effect a specific audience with kingdom truths whereas, in Bible translation, the scriptures themselves are to be safeguarded - kept a solid comprehensible foundation for believers/Christianity's one "holy book", and not re-purposed as a tract targeting a specific people group. [In grappling with the recent “Son of God” controversy in Bible translation (though I’m not a translator I am on the user end of some translations) I saw how the vocal proclamations of the gospel recorded in Acts seemed circumspect as to the nature of the audience, not once using the potentially inflamatory phrase “Son of God” (excepting the remarkable declarations of the newly converted Saul), whereas in the epistles there is explicit “Son of God” terminology as one would expect in a holy book for a religion’s adherents to purposefully study. Audience and purpose are important to consider.] My translator friends wrestle with how to put the Biblical language, including any necessary punctuation, capitalization, etc. , into a contemporary language (that may not even have punctuation or other conventions familiar in the Biblical languages) and remain faithful to the Bible’s charge to safeguard scripture, whereas orators and narrators, I suppose, are like the scribes Jesus speaks of who are employees of the kingdom of God, yet students, responsible for their treatment of the kingdom’s ancient holy text as it grounds discourse within contemporary context. We do, don’t we? seek to work by the Holy Spirit to incite a hunger and thirst for true righteousness, to effect in some way people within some specific modern worldview? So if we believe the Bible is relevant today, we must find the ways to bridge time either within a story itself or in the reader who is able to take a timeless principle to heart. Possibilities abound of taking an intriguing question tangential to a scriptural account, such as William’s speculation about the “two swords”, and finding a way to bridge time into readers’ feelings. I expect target audience will determine how and how much scripture to use. I pause and wonder, Shall I write a story about a character grappling with life and changing or hand out Bibles? “Both/and” I guess, because the word of God “works in those who believe” and I feel the LORD is also pleased if I write. As I consider burdens and risks in deciding what characters and words to use in Christian fiction, particularly regarding Jesus Himself, I find your voices a priceless commentary - Proverbs indicates that King Solomon would have added to brother Mueller’s advice, #7 listen to the counsel of the godly. The cautions and concerns expressed in response to our forum questions are good to process. Hopefully, our stories will be more meaningful and far reaching as a result. The bookish interface is where meaningfulness between two persons can happen if each are paying attention to the other. Other religions’ adulteration of Biblical accounts, such as I’ve heard and read in Islam, are all happening under God’s watch and He will bring about their end. Still, the burden lies upon us, I think, to get the reader’s attention and communicate the distinction and holiness of the Bible when we reference it, because words travel. We cannot determine the response and attitude of our audience, but God himself chose (designed?) long story book form, so I’m encouraged that there is a burden of seeking truth which rests upon the reader.
  12. What a time I've had contemplating this issue with you all. It has been worthwhile for me. I appreciate your views; I hear emphasis and caution about the sanctity of scripture and the person of our holy LORD Jesus as well as an exhortation to seek what the Holy Spirit may be after in our writing. I believe the LORD has brought my attention to, what? perhaps it would be called a device? a perspective I have acquired over the years? for getting the narrative drive (?) going in a story. I'm sorry, I'm new at the lingo and may be butchering it:/ In short, I removed Jesus from the story by removing the story from the first century AD in a way that, in my mind, lends itself to developing several characters and writing a longer story that deals with some current missiological issues faced in explicitly anti-Christian nations. When we were serving in a Central Asian country, a friend had remarked, "This place is like Bible times with cell phones!" His judgment was spot on. So I've asked myself, "What if I bring the story forward in time along that train of thought with some modifications in light of John 14:12 (believers doing the works of Christ and greater works)?" My favorite scripture is 1 Tim 1:5, The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For me, the solution above fits the bill. We cannot assume our readers will bring any scriptural knowledge to our pages with which to determine if our account of Christ is strictly accurate or that they will even care how they recall the story to a friend. Spaulding's post reminded me that, in fact, there is a major world religion, Islam, which is rife with incorrect Bible stories that have been passed down since their spokesman's death in 632. Scholars believe he heard many (incorrect) Bible stories as he traveled the caravan routes of the day. One of my dear Central Asian friends once told me the story of how Joseph brought Islam to Egypt back when he saved Pharaoh's kingdom from starvation. He was completely serious, sadly. There are many such stories. But it is also true that I "saw" Bible stories with my own eyes out on the Asian steppe, like Gen. 24:61&63, so I feel really excited about exploring this new aspect for writing that's before me. I would like to put the chapter I have up for you to see if you think the time change might be an idea I should keep developing so let me know. It'll be in the critique section if I can handle the instructions for posting:) The forum/responses format is a bit much for me to get figured out. I appreciate yall's patience.
  13. Thx so much I'll give it a go!
  14. Hello friends, Every time I come to CW I feel a bunch of gratitude for your simply being here on the internet, real sisters and brothers in Christ who are wrestling with aspects of being a voice in print. I appreciate yall so much. I have been writing a story of a boy who lives in the town where Jesus does the miracle of the large catch of fish and calls his fishers of men to follow. In my initial writing I wrote 2-3 sentences from Jesus to the boy about delight in God's creation being a way to pray. However, the thought of putting words in Jesus' mouth or even a story of Him in a boy's life disturbed me severely and I reconstructed the section in phrases out of scripture. But I'm still uncertain if I should even write anything where Jesus is a character. I do not want to take writer's license with Jesus! What can you offer me to consider about this? I need strong arguments:) Thank you so much
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