Saturday, June 19, 2021

Celebrating Five Years With Rave Reviews Book Club!

 


Celebrating five years with Rave Reviews Book Club! I highly recommend this organization!  :)





Sunday, February 9, 2020

Perception, and Making It Real

Thank you, American Christian Fiction Writers for accepting my post for publication on your website scheduled February 9, 2020!

                                                                  

Perception, and Making It Real

By Lynn Hobbs
Writing your story is just that; your story. If you are making a point using a situation as an example or attempting to show a lesson learned; readers will decide for themselves if it could be applied to their daily lives. As a Christian fiction author, writing about a fictional family, town, or one main character should be as true to life as possible. I always pray for direction before writing. Letting the story flow, pulling readers in will happen with emotion felt by characters, body language, and action moving forward.
Perception comes into play as you scatter your story with some descriptions of what you have personally experienced. Readers won’t know it’s true, merely something the main character was involved in. This adds reality to your fictional town or character.
Imagine reading a book where the main character is baking cookies when someone knocks on the front door. Wiping her floured hands haphazardly on a paper towel, she hurries from the kitchen sideswiping her hip into the corner of the counter. A quick massage leaves floured prints on her pants leg. More knocks banging harder with each blow continue at the front door. She limps approaching the foyer, suddenly jerking the door wide open, and gasps at a stranger. He steps forward, entering the doorway, a sly grin appearing on his unshaven face as he looks around. Sweet aroma of baked cookies wafts through the house, and our main character can hear her heart pounding inside her head.
“Can I use your phone? My car broke down.”
“No, get out or I’ll scream for help.” She shoves him backward slamming the door in his face. Huffing, she watches him stumble on the sidewalk, and calls 911.
Sharing this example clearly shows a lesson learned about not opening your door to everyone.
Perception? Reader could feel your main character overreacted. It’s still an ongoing story though.
What about stories where a busy main character seems to accomplish all tasks with perfection? That story needs reality for readers to relate to. Let’s go back to the kitchen and another example.
Our main character flips through a Diabetic Cookbook and decides on a sweet potato bisque recipe. She lined the newly bought ingredients upon her kitchen counter. “Hmm,” she ponders aloud, “this looks like a delicious soup. One pound cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, butter, onions, curry powder, ground coriander, apple juice, buttermilk, and chives.” Following directions carefully, she poured all of it into the blender and pureed the concoction. Indeed, it looked like a delicious soup. Warming it on the stove in a two-quart pot didn’t take long. Suddenly, a disgusting sour smell filled her nostrils and her house as she stirred the soup. Trying to remain calm, she wrinkled her nose and fought nausea. “Yuck! Maybe the buttermilk was spoiled. I don’t drink it, so I wouldn’t know; or maybe it was the curry. I’ve never used it before.” Another overwhelming stench hit her in her face, and she gagged. Pouring the soup down the kitchen drain, she heard someone knock on the door. Peeping out the window, she opened the door to a neighbor.
Frowning, her neighbor fans her hand in front of her face. “What is that horrid smell?”
“Some bad soup I won’t make again.” Our main character admits and laughs.
Another example of making it real; have your main character open her microwave to warm an afternoon meal only to find her second cup of morning coffee still waiting to be heated!
Hectic mornings most can relate to! Like other ingredients, flavor your fiction with reality and imagination.
Happy writing!
Flavor your fiction with reality and imagination says today's guest blogger @LynnHobbsAuthor #ACFWBlogs #writing #writetips #ChristianFictionCLICK TO TWEET
Lynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series: Sin, Secrets, and SalvationRiver Town, and Hidden Creek, and won 1st place Religious Fiction in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Texas Association of Authors. She is also the author of Lillie, A Motherless Child, which won 1st place Biography 2016, TAA, and the American Neighborhood Series: Eyes of a Neighbor. Her current work-in-progress is Mind of a Neighbor. Visit Lynn on FacebookTwitter, and her website.

Share
This entry was posted in AdviceAuthors and writingDescriptionDialogueFriends of ACFWtipswriting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

And Your Readers Are?

Thank you, American Christian Fiction Writers for accepting and publishing my post {And Your Readers Are?}  on your national website today, December 4, 2019.

And Your Readers Are?

By Lynn Hobbs
Years ago I was taught to write to a certain group selected to be your target market. Various writing workshops and writing conferences included this type of training. Age and gender or ages and genders were to be strictly adhered to for whatever you were writing. Consistency was of utmost importance.
The argument was believable, and presented to sway the author to the standards of a secular writing organization.
For example, you enjoy writing mysteries. After a few books are published, and your readers continue reading your latest work; you get a sudden urge to write a western novel set in the 1800’s.
If you do, all of your readers who love mysteries will find another mystery author to follow. You lose those readers, and the new readers you need are enjoying the established western author they already have. Your new western novel may not be widely read.
As a Christian author, I have Christian standards that secular authors don’t, and I always pray for guidance before I write. My readers are male and female, and include a wide range of ages.
I have attended writing conferences from both sides. Secular in the first years of my writing, and after discovering I was the only Christian writer in the group, I quickly left and chose Christian writing groups and conferences. No more secular, but I did learn a lot of writing basics.
A new author can listen to a secular group, but they miss out on what Christian writing is all about….and it’s for all readers, not a select group.
Besides writing Christian fiction, I felt led to write the inspiring, true story of the life on my mother. “Lillie, A Motherless Child” is about her entire life with 16 siblings during the Great Depression in Houston, Texas. Her own mother died when she was seven. I give God the glory, the book won 1st place in biography in 2016 by the Texas Association of Authors. The book had pictures, recipes, and was published in large print.
“Large print? Why large print?”
Simple. Many of my readers requested a large print Christian book be available for their personal use and to give as gifts. I was happy with the choice, and my readers wanted more. My new Christian fiction series, The American Neighborhood Series, is also in large print. After considerable thought on the word count of a large print book, I cut back on the total amount for each of the three books. “Eyes of a Neighbor” and “Heart of a Neighbor” are published. My current work in progress is book three, “Mind of a Neighbor.”
I didn’t want a book that was too heavy, or large. A relaxing read would be awkward if you couldn’t maneuver it, and large print is soothing to read.
But don’t think because someone wants a large print book, they want the word count cut back. I learned a lesson by a review I had been given on Amazon. I don’t ask my readers to give me reviews as some authors do in e-mails, but I’ve decided to start asking. This particular review I am referring to has a special place in my heart. It was written by a 100 year old Baptist preacher. He liked the book, but thought I had hurried writing like I had a deadline to complete. He wanted a larger word count in that large print book of the new series.
My point is you cannot put readers in a particular category, and yes, we all learn daily about the craft of writing!
You cannot put readers in one particular reading category. @LynnHobbsAuthor #ACFWBlogs #writing #writetipsCLICK TO TWEET
Lynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series: Sin, Secrets, and SalvationRiver Town, and Hidden Creek, and won 1st place Religious Fiction in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Texas Association of Authors. She is also the author of Lillie, A Motherless Child, which won 1st place Biography 2016, TAA, and the American Neighborhood Series: Eyes of a Neighbor. Her current work-in-progress is Mind of a Neighbor. Visit Lynn on FacebookTwitter, and her website.
Share
This entry was posted in AdviceAuthors and writingEncouragementFriends of ACFWLearningReadingwriting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Friday, November 8, 2019

Write What You Know

Thank you, American Christian Fiction Writers, for publishing my blog post on your website, Nov. 8, 2019!

Write What You Know

By Lynn Hobbs
Have you ever read a book that kept your attention? Was it informative?
I have been fortunate enough to read many and I can assure you, they will remain in my library to be shared and reread later.
What are the writers secret to writing such terrific books?
Simple. They are writing what they know.
They may add enough fiction to push the story forward, but the main meat and potatoes of the story is something they know about firsthand, or through daily observation.
If you experience an actual lesson learned through your own mistakes, and write about it through the eyes of your character, the emotion will jump from the page. Readers will be pulled into the story at a greater depth.
I always pray for direction before I begin writing, and I do enjoy using my own imagination as a Christian Fiction author.
There are times though when I try to address what issues others have struggled with that I am personally aware of. After working in the public for over thirty years, I have seen many situations I could write about. I only take bits and pieces from a true story and change it into a new character to help others with a similar problem.
When I do this, no character is a true person. I may add traits from several people, or have a definite profile of a certain character type in mind, but I add fiction for ninety percent of the remainder.
For example:
A female co-worker becomes a male neighbor. Or an ex-brother-in-law becomes a female mayor. If the situation happened in Texas, change the setting to Ohio.
Do your research on the new location and make it so familiar readers will think you lived near that area.
Put as much emotion in writing the situation you are sharing that no one will want to stop reading.
You want your reader to ponder a lesson learned…then as soon as possible, you pick up speed and write something else entirely different.
If your readers ask if you’ve experienced this personally, or ask if you realize how strongly they could relate to what that character struggled with; then you reached their full attention.
Whatever I am writing about, I include a scripture to help with the character’s problem, or with the character’s success. I don’t dwell on it, I gently insert it where it will flow with the story, and not seem out of place for my character to either mention or consider.
Again, don’t dwell on the scripture, or readers may stumble getting away from the story. It has to tie into the story and have significant meaning to that situation or to that character. As a Christian Fiction author, you want to encourage.
You may ask, can I write about something without getting sued by others that were also involved? Yes, if you make important changes.
Ask yourself how it will benefit the public by learning what was experienced.
Is it what needs to be shared from a Christian viewpoint?
An attorney once told me in writing anything be certain no one can prove you are writing about them.
Change names, genders, settings, and above all else don’t write with a suggestive name.
If you are writing about what Luke did at his post office job, don’t call him Duke, Leon, Larry, or anything remotely close to the real person’s name.
Luke would become Suzie and immediately be an airline stewardess.
What you knew firsthand could then be shared with gusto to help others in a similar situation.
Happy writing!
Want readers attention? Write what you know, add fiction @LynnHobbsAuthor #ACFWBlogs #writing #writetipsCLICK TO TWEET
Lynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series: Sin, Secrets, and SalvationRiver Town, and Hidden Creek, and won 1st place Religious Fiction in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Texas Association of Authors. She is also the author of Lillie, A Motherless Child, which won 1st place Biography 2016, TAA, and the American Neighborhood Series: Eyes of a Neighbor. Her current work-in-progress is Mind of a Neighbor. Visit Lynn on FacebookTwitter, and her website.

Share
This entry was posted in AdviceAuthors and writingFriends of ACFWtipswriting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Insert With Caution


Thank you, American Christian Fiction Writers for publishing my post on your national web-site today! Writers and readers enjoy! 

Insert With Caution
By Lynn Hobbs
A quote from Herbert Hoover:
“The whole of the inspirations of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if his quote were shared in today’s public school system? No chance that quote will be known from public school with today’s rules against Christianity. But wait a minute, as a Christian fiction writer…is it possible to include a moral, principal, or quote into my text?
Of course it is possible after first addressing a few important areas.
  1. Did you pray about it first?
  2. It must flow with the story.
  3. It cannot be preachy.
  4. Is it inspiring, or does it tie in with an inspiring moment?
  5. Can it be condensed and used as a summation?
  6. Will it be something the reader will skip over?
  7. Will it be something memorable to treasure or pass on to others?
  8. Is it necessary to the story?
  9. Are you giving God the glory?
  10. Is this an opportunity to inform others where they normally would not hear whatever it was you wanted to include?
If it appears this inclusion will work, proceed with caution.
I would include it in a story describing a woman’s daily life with an unruly child.
Perhaps the child has attended Church but refuses to attend Sunday school. His friends do not attend either.
The mother may have recently moved to a new area and is having difficulty finding friends herself.
She could volunteer a day off of work to mentor at her son’s school.
He could become interested in lessons from the Bible and American History if we use Herbert Hoover’s quote as an example. This child could be impressed by hearing what Herbert Hoover said years ago.
His innocent realization could spill over to the reader. Many in today’s world could be surprised that Christianity was indeed part of America’s roots.
A quick insert having a short summary of the quote could be the point needed to push the story forward to more positive outcomes.
The key is not to dwell on it.
All success takes practice.
Another example: Mother’s conversation with child {Yes, this is contrary to show not tell, but this conversation is necessary.}
“You’re going to be late catching the bus, hurry.”
“Who cares?”
“I care, and I care about your future.”
He gives her a sly glance and grabs his back pack.
“Hey, even a man who died years ago cared about your future.”
Pausing at the door, he cocked an eyebrow.
“You sound like some teacher.”
“A man learned lessons from the Bible and used them every day.”
He raced down the steps as the bus approached the sidewalk.
“It was Herbert Hoover, and he valued God’s Word.” The mother shouted over the roar of the idling bus.
“Herbert Hoover’s in my history book.” The boy yelled wide-eyed climbing aboard.
She watched the bus drive away, a slow smile spreading across her face.
“And I planted a seed.”
We made our point with the quote, but how can we illustrate scripture?
Again, we must be cautious.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
Inserting scripture must flow with your story. It could be the summation of what your character is experiencing, especially after the reader ponders the characters normal strengths and weaknesses
I encourage you to continue writing as God leads, and happy writing!
One way to push a story forward for positive outcome. @LynnHobbsAuthor #ACFWBlogs #write #writetipCLICK TO TWEET
Lynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series: Sin, Secrets, and SalvationRiver Town, and Hidden Creek, and won 1st place Religious Fiction in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Texas Association of Authors. She is also the author of Lillie, A Motherless Child, which won 1st place Biography 2016, TAA, and the American Neighborhood Series: Eyes of a Neighbor. Visit Lynn on FacebookTwitter, and her website.

Share
This entry was posted in AdviceAuthors and writingFriends of ACFWtipswriting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.