Monday, December 19, 2011

The Christian Romance Writer Part One

First, the Christian romance writer should be a Christian.  My walk with Christ is what helped me write my first romance novel.  Let me say this, it did not start off as a Christian romance, but was transformed into one as I began to write the character’s stories.  I began scripting it more as a Christian romance novel when I realized number one, that that was what I was being called to do.  I have a relationship with God first and therefore hearing His voice was pivotal as I crafted each character. He gave me what it was I should show in their walk as Christian characters, especially the characters that were not really walking in Christian faith.

The walk of faith is probably the easiest way to get a message across in writing this type of genre. From redemption to salvation, there are so many ways to encompass a Christian lifestyle for your characters.  They cannot be flat and not evolved.  For my first novel I concentrated on introducing Christ back into two of the character’s lives while the third had to endure many tribulations which strengthened her faith.  Each character had a full life though and yes there was sin in their life too.  That is what kept the book interesting.

One thing that one of these types of books cannot be is too preachy.  If the writing comes off as a lecture of fire and brimstone you are going to lose your readers quickly.  Their lifestyles must be believable and realistic.  I don’t know how many times I’ve read a Christian romance novel that was just too unrealistic for me to finish.  I smelled a rat on the first page and by the time I got into the just of the story, it was just that a bunch of nonsense that nobody would believe.  Still though, some stories are just that: unbelievable.  Yet you want to make your reader feel like the story is a believable.

This is just a start to the next couple of blogs about this subject.  I will tell you more as I go in depth about the calling to do this type of writing.  I really do believe that this type of writing is a calling because let me tell you I was ready to write an in depth tantalizing tale full of sexual innuendos and flesh filled propaganda when God tapped me on the shoulder and said, not so.  I hope this helps somewhat as you figure out exactly what type of writing you want to do.  Christian romance writing is an art and not for the faint of heart because our stories have an underlying job to do: To introduce nonbelievers and backsliders to Christ.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Writing is a Skill

There is no easy way to get from one point to the other in the profession of writing. As a novice writer I began my journey early in life. In my early years I wrote in a diary/journal daily. Some may ask why this is important. Well for one basic reason: to be an efficient writer you must write every day. Writing everyday helps to prepare you for the profession of writing, whether it be as an author, grant writer, or poet. To be perfectly honest, it helps you in most professions from business to medicine.

So how do you make writing a skill? You learn the craft of writing. Basic English classes, such as those you were required to take in high school, are always a good start. Even the English classes most people have to take in college, well most four year colleges, are essential in helping you hone in on your skills. Still though, there are some who even major in English or Creative Writing to solidify their expertise. Now, I am not saying that you must stop what you are doing to go and get a degree. No, that is not really a viable option for most of us, however gaining experience as a writer without a degree is pretty simple to do. You can take online courses in creative or business writing for under $150.00 in order to brush up on this skill. Or you can do my favorite option which is free, go to the local library and check out books on creative or business writing. 

In order to make writing a skill, I would simply start by keeping a writing journal. This is where you come up with your own ideas and subjects to write about. Keeping a personal journal is good, but a writing journal helps you create material that may one day be published (i.e. your first idea for a book or subject for an article).  In this journal write what comes easy to you at first and then begin writing about things that are more difficult. For example, you could write about an argument for or against abortion to begin with then delve into a short story about it.  Writing an argument about a subject gets the creative juices flowing easily and can help you when you finally want to begin a short story later.
As your writing journal gets full begin putting those words in documents that can be easily edited in a word processing tool of choice. As you see your words in print you will begin to start to want to write even more. This helps tremendously with your own self confidence as a writer.  Before you know it, you will have material that can be actually get published.

Again, I cannot reiterate it enough. Writing is a skill and if you focus enough of your time perfecting this skill you can make a living out of it. I started writing my first novel when I was twenty-seven. This was after gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the Ohio State University and working towards a Masters in Social Work degree from Howard University.  I turned to my first love of writing out of necessity after being deemed totally disabled.  It is funny though, because all of my professors always praised me about my writing skills and it never even dawned on me that I should write professionally.   With this skill I have become a self-published author.  Still though, it was not easy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dimes, Profiles, and Wives

            Tonight I am going to talk about three types of women: Dimes, Profiles and Wives.

            Dimes, hey she sounds simple enough right. The rappers have her down packed and all the women with the nice bodies and lack luster personalities fit the bill.  But even little ole me was a dime at one time.  But who is this woman really?  She’s the kind of girl that pretty much can get any type of man she wants with little or no effort.  Shoot, all she need to do is walk out of the house and somebody, somewhere is gonna take notice.  She’s that it girl, the girl everyone wants to get with.  However, the depth of this woman is something she is not going to let anybody get to and you can spend a lifetime dating these types of women only to realize she is never gonna let her hair down and just be with you.  She may have you, Charlie and Tim wide open and none of you is the guy she really wants.  But when she finally settles, her man is always satisfied.

            So when was I a dime? I’d have to say my late teens early twenties.  Shoot I had so many I had to hide from them.  I remember one time while I was at OSU having two dates in one night.  How I got through those nights was a wonder but I did it effortlessly it seems.  That was until they both showed up at my dorm one night.  I had to get some help from my girlfriends, but I got out of that dilemma pretty much intact. Still though, I wouldn’t recommend that to anybody, male or female, young or old.

            Then there is the profile.   You know her, she keeps a list and sticks to it and will not date anyone who does not fill her application for love.  This is the girl that men love and hate.  She is the one that told you basically you would never measure up to the type of man she deserves even though you are probably the man she really needs.  This girl is a trip and a half.  But she got her stuff together.  She’s that independent woman who most times finds herself alone because no one can tell her what she needs and even her own Mama knows half of the demands on her list are frivolous.  Yet, this single lady may find her knight in shining armor, when she finally loses her glass slipper and lets him chase after her.

            I found out that I could be this mess of stress girl too.  In my late twenties, close to thirty I had a list nobody could meet.  One came close though, we’ll call him Lboogie.  The only good thing about our relationship is we still remain friends to this day.  He has been the only man to meet my every criteria yet we are not together.  Meeting the criteria and being the one you are in love with is not the same damn thing.  I found this out the hard way.  However it was a lovely relationship, probably at the top of the list, so close and yet so far away.

            Then there is the wife.  She is the ideal Proverbs 31 woman of virtue that all men should want to yoke.  This woman is the peak of perfection for her mate.  She is not a dime or profile, she’s not a trophy either.  No, she is the one God divinely ordered to be your wife and you know it.   You love this woman unconditionally because she knows God and has His heart and true wisdom.  She is full grown and whole, yet your rib.

I have been prayerfully trying to be this type of woman since my early thirties.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have been proposed to and accepted.  However that man was not who God had ordained to be my husband.  He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and tried his best to destroy the joy I had.  Still though, there is one out there for me.  Meeting him is something I look forward to, but on this journey I want to share the lives of three young women who live the single life as one of these types.  Turning the pages of my premier book Dimes, Profiles, and Wives will keep you intrigued and praying that you actually be the latter in God’s timing.

Check out my first novel: