A publisher asked me last week what my distinctive mission as a writer is. I think it's to probe beneath the surface into the deep longings of people, then to open a door into the invisible spiritual realm so people can see ultimate realities (including God, angels, demons, heaven and hell) with the eyes of faith and imagination.
- Tue, Jan 01, 2002
Imagination and truth go together in good literature. Because a story is “made up” does not necessarily mean it is not true. It means it is imaginative. Fiction is basically literature about imaginary people and events (and includes mysteries, fantasy, drama, science fiction, and more). The definition of fiction is to shape, to fashion, to feign. Feigning is imagining-making visible images for invisible things. Why should I read fiction if it is just made up? I read it because it helps me pay attention to life. Reading good fiction is not simply a frivolous activity for those who aren’t ...
- Mon, Oct 28, 2002
- Christians, Past and Present (By and About), Recommended Reading and Resources, Writing
Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument; then collected information about child-psychology and decided what age-group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out “allegories” to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I couldn’t write in that way at all. Everything began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn’t even anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord. It was part of the bubbling.
- Sun, Mar 15, 2009
I have always loved stories, and the Bible is the greatest story ever written. The unfolding drama of redemption is a story, but it is a true story. When we write fiction, what we are doing is making up a story as, what J.R.R. Tolkien called, ‘sub-creators.’ Creators with a small ‘c.’ We are made in his image, so we can invent a story, and that story, though invented, is not ‘false.’
THE BOOK’S PURPOSE
- Establish grace and truth as the essential building blocks of Christian spirituality
- Point out the difficulties of manifesting both qualities simultaneously
- Deepen our understanding of the relationship between these two virtues
- Demonstrate the power of grace and truth working in tandem
THE BOOK’S MESSAGE
Grace and truth found their perfect union in Christ, but the rest of us tend to gravitate toward one or the other. Truth without grace breeds self-righteousness and legalism. Grace without truth breeds deception and moral compromise. The key to true Christian spirituality is to integrate these two qualities into life ...
- Wed, Jan 06, 2010
I’m not a published author but feel God has gifted me to write full time. Do you think it is a realistic goal to expect my writing to provide my yearly income?
It takes about 1.5 to 2 years to write a book. Assuming you have a publisher interested in your book, the book would need to sell between 10-12,000 copies in order for the publisher to break even. 20,000 copies is considered a good seller. An established author would need to sell 50,000-250,000 in order to break even depending on the advance, printing, marketing budget, etc.
The amount of money brought in does not usually justify the amount of time spent on writing the book. There are very few full-time Christian writers. It's very rare ...
Do you use an outline when you write, or do you work with just a general idea of where the story is going, and the characters just tend to take over on the details?
I’ve tried outlining, and it works better with nonfiction for me, since fiction is so organic. While fiction has structure, it’s not as easy to control as nonfiction, because it has a life of its own. Your characters do tend to surprise you, and sometimes attempt insurrections. Of course you are still in charge and occasionally you must remind your characters of this. After all, they owe you their very names, which you are free to change at any time. Sometimes you must even threaten them with extinction.