Posted in Christian Fiction, Writers, Writing

Is There Art in This Fiction?


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This apparent sketch of a domestic kitty cat isn’t actually a sketch at all. It is a picture I took of my feisty critter with a digital, “dummy” camera when he had snuggled himself under the blanket thrown over a chair. I was able to convert the picture at a great website called photofunia.com, which you can use for non-commercial effects such as this. In other words, what appears as decent art is in fact a picture I can really take no credit for.

The act of writing, whether it be a blog, a newspaper story, or fiction, should always strive to be a work of art, crafted with much consideration of word choice, phrasing, rhythm and meaning. It is not something where one can claim, “they have an APP for that!”

Even those of us who give the credit for any writing goodness to God have to work to stay in touch with the whispering of the Spirit in us that leads, hopefully, to the message of Light He would have us give.

It occurs to me that this blog, which I began mainly because I was self-publishing my fiction, has become something else entirely. I named it “GoodChristianFiction” because I hoped that people looking for Christian novels to read might stumble upon this title and be intrigued enough to check out my books.

Instead, my blog is most often about my own questions about living a Christian lifestyle. Of course, if truth be told, the messages I blatantly write in my blog are the same messages I am trying to convey more subtly in my works of fiction.

I am thankful that more of you than I imagined have found interest in what I’ve had to say. I hope that in the coming year, I continue to listen to the Holy Spirit and, hopefully, convey the messages God would have me convey. But, you may also see a little more posts on the art of fiction, this craft of loving words and wanting to share the unique ways you have found to put them together. I do have a graduate degree in the subject, after all, so one would hope I’d have something valid to add to the “fiction” conversation.

Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote:

Easy reading is d—m hard writing.

Hemingway claimed that the first draft of anything was garbage. Mark Twain cautioned to find the right word, not its second cousin. Annie Dillard, in The Writing Life, offers advice about writing that is perhaps best:

“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”

So, in this thankful season, let us all be thankful to we writers who have chosen to write our words instead of hoarding them. Perhaps, in this way, we are focusing our treasure in heaven where all things of true love, like real art, abound.

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Author:

I am a 40-something Texan with a feisty cat and a supportive husband of 20 years. With a Master's degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, I have taught creative writing at Texas Tech, won awards for my writing and been blessed to be mentored by Horn Professor and poet Dr. Walt McDonald. I earn a living by helping my husband's family run a health food store, but my avocation is writing. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my triumphs and tragedies as I continue to work on figuring out what life is all about and on growing my ability to share my writing. May your own journey be a blessed one.

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