Friday, December 9, 2016

One Thing Every Bookworm Should Do Before 2017



Lingering is the best antidote to a goodbye. As we say goodbye to 2016, it leaves us with memory. For some, exquisite happiness. For others, some very dark days of wandering without being able to see the stars.

God is there in both places.

In my life, I've made two mistakes about remembering which I suspect most everyone has made: the one, is to not linger long enough in appreciation of good times, and the other, is to not correctly process the sorrowful seasons.

Such times come even to bookworms. So as we rapidly close out the old year, I thought it might be fruitful to write an article about how to linger and remember the bookish side of our year during the holiday season.

I'm the queen of lists here, so I'm going to put this in list format.

1. Make a list of books you've read. (Or head over to Goodreads). 
I'm a big proponent of making book lists. I used to make them by hand, but Goodreads is a lot easier for people who are on the go on their computer. Just mark a book as finished when you're done, and away you go! At the end of the year, you can look back at all of them, marvel, laugh, and remember. If you don't have Goodreads, get out some gel pens and nice paper. Don't sweat if it you can't remember all the books. After all, this is supposed to be fun.

2. Make a list of new books you enjoyed. Mark off old favorites that you revisited. 
I discovered Jason McIntyre's Flight School, A.A. Milne's Poetry, and Fierce Convictions. All of them gave me new thoughts about children, gospel, and women in the culture. I also got to revisit Kidnapped and The High Deeds of Finn MacCool, two beautiful old favorites.

3. Write down the books on your TBR list that you checked off. 
I got to read Metaxas' Bonhoeffer this year. I tackled Ben-Hur. I'll recap more in future posts, but those were big books I had been putting off for years, saying "I'll read it next year." I was pretty tickled to have those done.

4. Write down a regrets list: books you regret not reading, or books you wish you hadn't read. 
I don't regret the books I read, but I regret not being able to read The Shock of Night, by Patrick Carr. I love his books, and I'd been waiting for book 2 all year, but it was too intense to handle right now. So for the state of my own mental health I'm waiting. And that was disappointing. I also regret choosing so many review books that I got burned out, though I don't regret any of the ones that I read--almost all of them were a home run.

5. Share what books you got your friends into. 
I love the fact (though I sometimes look longingly at commissions) that I can get books into the hands of friends through this blog without worrying about affiliate links. Recommendations have power, and it tickles me to no end when someone says "I bought this book you told me about." Books this year were 20 Things We'd Tell Our Twenty Something Selves, A Sparrow in Terezin, and The Broken Way. I'm sure there were others as well. (And friends got me to buy books, too. You'd better believe.)

6. Write down the books you read with your family. 
Maybe y'all don't read aloud, but we still do (after all, Jane Austen adults did in their stories, even if Edward Ferrars couldn't read poetry to save his life.) It's a tradition I highly recommend starting if you haven't already. Probably Sutcliff stands out as the shining star of our reading time this year. We read both The Eagle of the Ninth and The Silver Branch, and sis read them beautifully. But we also got a taste of John Bunyan, Gene Stratton-Porter, and Jan Karon.

7. Jot down a list of books you want to read in 2017. 
I'm already picking out my themes for 2017, but I'll share those later. Jot down a theme list you want to follow, books that are releasing, authors you want to try out, or recommendations you want to pursue.

8. Jot down a list of ways you want to read differently next year. 
I want to be more intentional about judging my time and energy for review books. In some instances, that might mean buying the book so I can read it on my own time rather than getting a free copy with a deadline.

9. Write down some big themes you took away for your own spiritual walk in 2016. 
Reading is fruitless if we merely absorb without allowing the content to change our thinking and ultimately, change our actions. What things do you want to apply from 2016 reading? Maybe it's a way of thinking, maybe it's something you want to improve in your walk with God, a relationship you want to handle better, a writing technique you want to apply, or an author you want to support.

Speaking of...

10. Jot down a list of authors to support in 2017. 
I already have several in mind. Suzannah Rowntree, Nadine Brandes, Patrick Carr, and more. Buy books from these people. Leave them Amazon and Goodreads reviews. Follow them on social media, and give them as gifts to your friends. That's the gift that keeps the book world spinning.

Linger over these prompts if you want. Make your list a pretty, artsy keepsake. Or scrawl it out on the back of old envelopes during the car ride to Christmas gatherings. Throw it up on your blog, put it on a social media post, mail it to another bookish friend. Email it to me. However simple or complicated, short or long--take some time to relish and remember this past year's bookish victories.

Let's carve out some time on Christmas break and linger over what we've learned and loved this year. I'd love to hear your answers to any of these prompts in the comments.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Currently // December 2016



This post was written Monday on three hours of sleep. Beware.

Writing // A Colby Country Christmas. Full of donuts and coffee and snow and family time and aesthetic galore. Don't you just love the word aesthetic? It sounds so artsy and smart. This story is all about aesthetic, and nothing too traumatic so far.

(besides separating an engaged couple over the holidays *cough*)

Listening // To Christmas music. Here are my recommendations:

Joy: An Irish Christmas, Keith and Kristyn Getty (The studio CD is my favorite over the live rendition, but that's just me.) With joyous, heartstirring melodies including Mary's Magnificat and Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven.

A Hollens Family Christmas, by Peter Hollens--with two renditions of his new favorite, December song, as well as stirring acapella versions of Belief, O Come O Come Emmanuel, I've listened to this several times since it released.

Heavenly Christmas, by Jackie Evancho--still my favorite of her two CDs, with beautiful renditions of Walking in the Air and O Come All Ye Faithful.

Someday At Christmas, Jackie Evancho--I'm just beginning to explore this new album, and aside from Hallelujah, I like all the song selections she chose.

The Classic Christmas Album, Celtic Thunder--This is an updated version of their older Christmas album, which I actually prefer much better, but if you're looking for some classic Christmas songs done very well, these guys nail it. I like all the songs except Fairytale of New York, which I don't recommend.

Studying // How to have a sophron (sound, reigned-in, healthy) mind through the True Woman 201 study by Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. This is truth my mind needs so much, and I recommend this study to everyone.

Celebrating // The last day of teaching before Christmas break. What ho, writing time! Debating over working on War of Honor or novellas. My poor patient beta readers. It's just, I have to make VERY DIFFICULT DECISION about the plot, (basically who dies which will affect everything) and I am Miss Betwixt and Between.

(Kudos if you can name the book that spin-off came from.)

Watching // I need to watch The Scarlet Pimpernel, because I lost my skip n' mute list for that movie, so I have to replace it. Basically, I am the manual VidAngel remote for this household. I love stories so much that I'm willing to take the time and effort. Plus, The Scarlet Pimpernel is worth the trouble.

Bonjour, Monsieur *howls of laughter*

Lately, we've polished off Little Dorrit, A Matter of Faith, and Mansfield Park. Because I'm on Amazon Prime trial, I'd also like to polish off Bleak House before the Christmas holidays end.

Thankful // creamy drinks, colored Christmas lights, melted snow dripping on the roof, wakeful nights with Jesus, friends who pray with and for me, cozy sweatshirts, Bible studies about Jesus in John.

I am so thankful for a life with aesthetic. Aren't you?

That's my word for the day. Tell me what you're watching/studying/thankful for, folkies. I'd love to know.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Go Teen Writers Guide to Getting Published

Lest the blog title scare you away, this book isn't just for teens.

Navigating the publishing world can be scary and overwhelming--you hope you make the right decision at the right time, and you really, really want to impress the right people.

Do you have a proposal ready? Do you know what a proposal even is? How about an author bio? And how do you write a pesky synopsis of your entire story in three pages?

That's where Jill Williamson and Stephanie Morrill decided to come together to gift their teen writing community with a guide to getting published. It explains practical documents you need to have and mindsets you need to develop to make this publishing journey a success.

These two authors have a lot of experience to offer, and they offer it in such a kind, encouraging, factual way that this book is a gem for any writer of any age who wants an understandable editing and publishing manual to work with.

My Thoughts 
I've used this book again and again for various projects, particularly the section on novel proposals. A proposal is a giant document of your references and experience, your book's marketability, and its synopsis and main teaching points. Go Teen Writers was a lifesaver when I had a manuscript request a couple of years ago and didn't have a proposal and didn't know how to put it together. Stephanie and Jill give lots of easy lists and bold headings, making it easy to find advice on every section of this document. They even give advice to writers who don't have a lot to put on a resume yet.

If you need some quick, clear advice on proposals, then grab this book now and it will help you with a lot of your questions. If you're not quite at the proposal stage, but you want to avoid doing things at the last minute, then grab it now and study it before you need it. It's a lot easier than Googling myriads of articles, though you might have to do both. There is a sweat equity component to writing, after all.

This book is good for navigating the world of proposals and agents, but it's also good for two other things: editing, and brainstorming. At the back of the book is a gold mine of lists for hobbies and traits your characters can have, phobias, time periods for them to live in, and more. The editing section of the book, which is a hefty portion of it, helps you go step by step through a list of things to fix: from theme, plot, and characterization in the macro edit, to point of view, dialogue, and correct document formatting in the micro edit. All practical things that can take long periods of time trying to learn one by one, and are much easier to read about when they're collected in one place.

For a limited time you can snag Go Teen Writers for .99 cents on Amazon. When I saw that deal, I thought it would be a good time to review and recommend it, but I wasn't asked to do so--it's simply because I enjoyed the product, and think it would be a huge help to any writer dreaming of publication. You can pick it up here on Amazon.

Friday, November 25, 2016

When Reading Hits a Winter Season


When I passed my 30 book goal for 2016, I thought I would maybe make it to 50. It would be a tough stretch, but not an impossible go. And even if I made it into the mid-forties, that would still be respectable.

Now, at the end of November, I'm sitting stuck at 33. 50 just isn't going to happen this year. 40 probably won't either. I probably won't mind by the time next March rolls around. But what irks me most is the inability to finish anything. Finding a book that's quiet without being boring is challenging, and continuing a book for any length of time is almost impossible. Quiet is somewhat of a necessity right now for an over-taxed brain after an over-taxing year.

So I don't finish anything. And while that's not much to mark on Goodreads, I have been taking in stories this month. It's just been in a much, much slower way than I anticipated, and in very different forms. Perhaps reading is in hibernation mode right now--having it's winter day.

Earlier this month I picked up the Wingfeather Saga book 2 (North or be Eaten), and while it was too emotionally taxing to finish, it moved me to the depths of my soul, and I can't wait to read it properly.  It has grace and battles, temptation and joy and defeat and rebirth in a wondrous tale. I haven't been that moved in a long time. I'm also really enjoying Tracy Groot's Maggie Bright, a WW2 novel with phenomenally good writing. It's got more language than I care for, but I might finish it this week and give it a review.

In the afternoons we're reading A Girl of the Limberlost together. This story needs to be on every adult girl's reading list. I'm firmly convinced that Gene Stratton Porter has it right in the way she navigates tough relationships between parents and children. Her children don't become rebels or doormats. They maintain a healthy, respectful autonomy that girls struggling with being rebels or doormats need to read about and imitate.

On a recent road trip, I also picked up Wives and Daughters--how fascinating to realize that Doctor Gibson had an elusive first sweetheart named Jeannie. Who was Jeannie? And was Gibson someone's illegitimate son, or was that all the imagination of a town who didn't have any fact to go on? I wish I could know. Wives and Daughters is a perfect tranquil, interesting story to read if you're in need of something soothing.

Last week we went to the National Bible Bee in San Antonio, Texas. In between events, we hosted a couple of dear friends in our hotel room to watch episode 7 of Star Wars again. It was so fun--we had popcorn and hot chocolate and giggled and gasped over everything. I saw a detail I had never seen before--critiqued a couple of parts in my own mind I would have done better--and adored BB8 as per usual.

(Which makes me think, I need a writing cottage somewhere tucked away in England with BB8 and a bearded dragon for company. I would exchange the cat for BB8 if I had the option.)

Also on our trip, since I don't have any competitive responsibilities (being Too Old and having Never Done Bible Bee) I brought Little Dorrit, because nothing helps you knock out a 7 hour mini-series like a 10 day road trip. When we got home, the family wanted to see it too, so I'm watching the tail end by myself in between watching the beginning episodes with them. I can't say anything about this story because my family is currently watching it for the first time (DO NOT SPOIL ANYTHING IN THE COMMENTS). But it's super fun to see them all enjoying it--and spending Thanksgiving evening with Dickens was the best.thing.ever. If you want a content warning guide, jot me a line at ladybibliophileblog[at]gmail[dot]com, and I'll send it to you. The review includes violence, language count, and a list of exact timings to avoid nude statuary if you so prefer.

Side note: I know you don't want to become a movie junkie, but sometimes movies are easier to watch, and if stories are a love language for you, then ditch the guilt and watch the movie instead of reading. It's only temporary, and it's worth it.

Last night I pulled out the Little Dorrit book after we finished episode 6, and flipped through some of the pages. There were minor character names I didn't remember anymore--characters that they cut out of the movie because there are so many. I didn't remember that Pet had a twin sister that died, and that was why the Meagles loved and spoiled her so much. But it was fun to hold the book in my hands, with that sense of pride--that I had read all those pages, and it was a bibliophile trophy on my shelf.

There are more trophies to come. They may not be 800 page ones right now, but that's OK. There is a season for everything. Sometimes it's not a book I pull out--but a scene. Just before we took a trip, I pulled out Light of the Last by Chuck Black and read one of my favorite dramatic chapters. Sometimes it's a poem. A blog post. A psalm.

So if you're finding it hard to read anything, we're in this together. Read what you can, when you can. It will come back. I promise. And maybe even sooner than you think.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Newton and Polly

It's not often I like to bring a negative review here, unless it's a classic, but sometimes books just don't connect, and sadly, today's was one of them.



This cover is one of the most beautiful ones I've ever seen. I love to look at it and think it makes a beautiful complement to the life of this storm-tossed, grace-saved man. I truly wish I had loved the rest of the book as much. In this tale of John Newton's love for Polly Catlett, perhaps my biggest struggle was a lack of connection to the characters and conflict. Since we already knew Newton married Polly, I felt it would have been more interesting to choose a conflict other than a love triangle. The hunt for slaves and struggles with smuggling gave me a good taste of the historical times, while the hunt for kittens, building bookcases, and parties that John experienced as he lingered with Polly felt like they lessened the depth of the story for me. I think I would have loved to see them spending more time with music and composing instead. I also would have loved to see a stronger relationship between Polly and God early on in the story. A vigorous prayer life, not overshadowed by guilt and doubts, would have made a welcome addition to her life story.

Also, while John struggled with treating women honorably in real life, his love for Polly was showed most by his physical desire for her, and she echoed back the same perspective in her scenes. I understand that completely--there is physical desire present in love, especially as young as they were at the time that they met. But it felt like a very intense and heavy focus throughout their meetings. In the end, I just wasn't connecting and wasn't able to finish.

But I'm not the last opinion on this book! If you love Jody Hedlund's stories, you might connect with Newton and Polly much better than I did this time around. Feel free to check out more about her with the following links:

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Of Snippets From Various Novellas

I've been writing leisurely lately. Three different novellas are gripping my heart, each for different reasons and in different ways. I thought today it would be fun to share some snippets with y'all today. Yes?

YES SCHUYLER DON'T KEEP US IN SUSPENSE 

About the Novellas
I'm writing a modern-day country story, about a city girl who visits the country. It explores brokenness, mentoring, community, grief, and healing. (Country Novella)

I'm writing a 1913 spy novella--college student Jaeryn Graham is sent to investigate a mysterious kidnapping on the shores of Lake Windermere, until a disastrous twist sends him on the run in the Lake Country to survive. (Escape From Windermere)

And I'm writing another Caribbean novella. They don't all take place in the Caribbean, but that's the easiest placeholder name for it. This one is called Colby and Julian in New York City. Colby and Julian come to visit Roo, and there are all sorts of fun adventures.

Country Novella 

Toronto was nice at night. Something stirred in her soul, as she left the quiet suburbs behind where she had ridden bike and skipped rope and drawn chalk, back years ago when she talked and went to church and wrote sticky, sideways letters to send in the mail.  There was a for sale sign at one of the neighbor’s houses, she noticed with surprise. They had lived there since before her parents had moved in.

So that was changing, too.
*
You didn’t randomly eat cereal at the edge of a fallow field in the city. In fact, you didn’t eat it outside at all. You sat at the table, with a napkin and a cup of coffee and a newspaper. Grandaddy’s coffee pot was broken, and he didn’t approve of the newspaper—and all of a sudden, Becca realized she could go outside and eat her cereal and watch the sunrise if she wanted.

Not that she was exactly watching a sunrise. The sun had risen hours ago, and she was still sleeping. Granddaddy didn’t wake her up. They were all being careful of her—letting her recover.

*
Then Becca realized the pastor had finished his announcement and the woman was hitting the drumsticks to count of the rhythm. Granddaddy gave an audible sigh as they stood up and crashed into something. She hardly heard what it was. She was watching Caramel Girl, hitting those drums so passionately. Her eyes were closed, and her feet were in gold gladiator sandals, tapping the kick drum in perfect time, as her hands seemed to do six things at once. The people around them were singing. A hand went up on the other side of the auditorium, and all of a sudden Becca saw that Caramel Girl was singing too.

She had her eyes closed, and she was playing more drums than Becca could count, and she was singing.

She was smiling.
*
“You look like you need a hug, Becca girl.” That warm lilting voice again of Caramel Girl. Becca pricked up her ears. The voices were still singing by the fire, so they hadn’t all stopped to look after her.

“I don’t do hugs,” Becca gasped out.

“Then don’t hug back. I’ll give you one instead. Just like God does. Colossians, didn’t you know?” That gold circlet and the tanned arms slipped around her shoulders, and Izzy held her close, leaning her head on her shoulder. “I think you have secrets. But that’s all right. There will be time for that later. For now, you are just lost and need love, because you don’t love yourself anymore.”

Something salty rained down faster. Breath heaving, heart tearing, curling up as small as possible, dying inside. But living on in a cruel, unmerciful way.

Escape From Windermere 

No one knew what could possess anyone to kidnap a visiting stranger to Windermere. He’d come in for a visit, he said. Lunch order: one hot cup of coffee, one poached egg on toast. The housemaid had seen it before: business people with no appetite who, after a few days of hiking and hearty lake air, could polish off an entire English breakfast in one sitting. He’d be doing it by Friday, she guessed.
So she said to the police when she was giving her report, tears running down both reddened cheeks.
*
The police were puzzled, and set up a search accordingly, making inquiries of the quiet man who ran Windermere Ferry, checking telegraphs and mailings and train tickets in and out of town on Friday. But the abandoned boots found along the shore of Lake Windermere remained in their office without anyone to claim them, and the troubled lines had deepened on the housemaid’s face when the new clerk for Storr’s Hall arrived.

He had hiked in along the shoreline—he must have got off a station earlier and wanted a walk--tall, with a grey jumper and slender fingers clutching the strap of the knapsack on his shoulder. Martin, the bell boy, brought him in to her to be introduced to his duties.

“Cullin Reid,” the young man said, his lilt betraying his Irish upbringing. “Here to see to the books for you.”

The house maid looked appreciatively. Serene green eyes, dark curly hair reaching the edge of his shirt collar, and the young keen face of a student just fresh from examinations and ready for a summer away from studies. It wouldn’t be half bad to have him around to chat with.
*
As soon as she was gone, Cullen went to the window, took one more keen look out on the back lawn, seeming to take more interest in the direction of the shadows on it than on the young gentlemen playing cricket on the far side. Then, his inquiry evidently satisfied, he pulled the curtains on the bright sunshine and went to his bed where the worn leather knapsack lay. Untying the flap and reaching inside, he pulled out a small leather book, a pen, and a bottle of what might have been ink, but looked entirely too transparent to be legible on paper. Dipping his pen in the ink, he scratched a few illegible words on it, or at least none that Grace could have detected if she had been looking. Then he glanced at it, held it up to the light in a funny kind of tilt, and inserted the small sheet into an envelope. After pulling out another bottle—this time of real ink--he addressed the envelope and took it downstairs in quest of Grace.

Colby and Julian in New York City 

“What gives?” Colby asked Julian, around a mouthful of pulled pork, as Julian glanced between the two dishes. “Girlfriend or appetite?”
Julian hesitated and reached for the beef. Colby crowed in victory and slapped the edge of the table. Aunt Flora raised an eyebrow.
“Kumara,” I said flatly, “Is lovely.”
Julian grinned and reached over for the salad spoon. “I’ll do it, but I’m not turning vegan for love of you.”
“You think that if it comforts you, child,” Aunt Flora said.
*
The one thing about Colby Fisher when he watches something is that he wiggles terribly.
I had just gotten everyone settled in the living room with earl gray macaroons and Ize pops, and Tory looked a little less like a scared bunny left under the bush, when Colby pulled out a bag of Cheetos.
“Roo, your snacks are not patriotic. Junk food is the national American staple,” he said, opening the bag with a decisive rustle.
“Macaroons are refined,” I said, reaching over his head and pulling away the bag before he could react. “British.”
*
“Game,” I said desperately, wondering how in the world to play hostess to such a diverse bunch.
“Nope,” Julian said, suprisingly unhelpfully for him.
Colby perked up. “Pokemons. Let’s go look for Pokemons.”
“Colby—” I groaned.
“Not after yesterday,” Aunt Flora called from the couch.
He fell back and groaned in recollection.
“What?” I asked.
“Aunt Flora killed one outside the grocery store yesterday. She didn’t like it—said no friend of her niece’s should be involved in such a ridiculous thing.”
“I offered stopping or the next plane ticket home,” Aunt Flora said from the big stuffed chair, where the only thing I could see of her was the top of her white hair and one wrinkled, be-ringed hand resting tranquilly on the arm of it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Creating Character Arcs--K.M. Weiland's New Release!

Every author knows the delight of sinking your teeth into a powerful writing craft book. It gives you a further glimpse into your craft, opportunity to mull over how you do things, compare it to how others do things, and find YOUR happy process along the way.

But lest this book seems strictly writer-related, it's far from it! If you love to read, and want to learn more about the science behind how characters are created, then pick up K.M. Weiland's newest release (today!) Creating Character Arcs. Before you know it, you'll be bossing around terms like "flat arc" "midpoint" and "bleak moment" for everything from Beyond the Mask to Doctor Strange. It makes viewing and reading that much richer, and conversations with bookish friends that much more fun.

Here are my thoughts on this book.

The Book [From Amazon]
Powerful Character Arcs Create Powerful Stories

Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters—but it just isn’t grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It’s time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares her acclaimed method for achieving memorable and moving character arcs in every book you write.

By applying the foundation of the Three-Act Story Structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.

This comprehensive book will teach you:

How to determine which arc—positive, negative, or flat—is right for your character.

Why you should NEVER pit plot against character. Instead, learn how to blend story structure and character development.

How to recognize and avoid the worst pitfalls of writing novels without character arcs.

How to hack the secret to using overarching character arcs to create amazing trilogies and series.

And much more!

Gaining an understanding of how to write character arcs is a game-changing moment in any author’s pursuit of the craft.

Bring your characters to unforgettable and realistic life—and take your stories from good to great!

My Thoughts 
If you've ever read a character that seemed kind of flat, never learned anything they should have, or changed from bad to good so fast you got whiplash, they probably had a poorly crafted character arc. If you've ever read a sequel where the character seemed to unlearn everything they learned and then learn it a second time, it was definitely a poorly crafted character arc. That happens in the world of literature--but it doesn't have to.

Writing is a science, and Ms. Weiland has dedicated her time to unlocking that science for many of us author wanna-bes. Her popular website, www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com, has helped readers around the globe. It's one of my top recommendations. I love her upbeat style and generous interaction. But she doesn't stop at the outlining. Her books take much of her blog content and make it easy and accessible for learning writers. Her Outlining and Structuring books have seen me through lots of spring and summer afternoons, working on War of Honor. So when I had a chance to review Creating Character Arcs, I jumped at it.

I've read Ms. Weiland's blog, so her thoughts on characters weren't completely new to me. But reading it all in one book cover to cover was far easier than opening dozens of internet tabs in my quest to improve my characters. She has a relaxing, fun, and informative style to her writing books that make it easy to read, while every section is packed rich with information to improve your writing. She includes concrete tips, examples from film and literature (both classic and modern) and great questions at the end of every chapter to get you thinking how you're doing with your own characters.

When I finished writing War of Honor this spring, I remember walking away feeling like my main character had no arc. It was just the thing I was afraid would happen. But as I went through her book, and answered some of the questions at the end of each chapter, I was very happy to discover that my character was grappling, learning, gaining tools, and finding defeat or victory moments at just the right places. I'm sure much of that came from instinctual absorption of Katie's teaching, and reading Creating Character Arcs was just the confirmation I needed to know that I have been following good structure--now all I need in draft two is to shine it up and polish it.

I highly recommend this book for an informative read for writers and readers alike--character arcs are super fun to discuss, and I'm even using what I learned from this book to think through the story of Esther that our pastor is preaching about!

Head on over to Amazon and treat yourself to a copy. 

I received an advance copy from the author. All opinions expressed are my own. No affiliate links in this post.
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