Reading books about how to write novels is making writing novels not fun for me

I wrote this on my Instagram the other day: “Nothing destroys the fun of writing novels for me than reading books about how to write a novel. Now I’m so in my head I can’t hear anything but rules.”

It is true, guys/gals. I sat in my living room last night with two craft books, a notebook, and a pen and thought, “Okay. I am going to outline this sucker and I am going to figure out what my two characters dark moments are and . . .” And I just stared at the page.

I don’t outline. That’s not me. I’m what fiction writers call a “pantser.”

But this time I thought, maybe, I would outline. I can be organized, plot and do all those things “a real writer” do, right?

I don’t know, though. Is that what being a real writer is? Being so organized that you plot every detail to the point you are technically perfect but lack feeling? This is what happened when I fell in love with photography. I learned all the rules and immersed myself in learning about the craft. I needed to be technically perfect, right?!

Within two years I hated the craft because I never felt like I wasn’t doing it right. I finally pushed aside all the books and rules and just photographed from the heart and that’s where I stayed. I couldn’t get clients in the area I live in – they wanted “normal” and “traditional” – but I am a lot happier.

So, I don’t know — maybe immersing myself in everything there is to know about the craft of writing novels isn’t really the way to go this time around. Small bites of information might be better in the long run. As for this week, I just need to write and figure it all out along the way.

The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin – My Review


I try to avoid spoilers in my review, yet also include more than you would get from a blurb or general description. Since the book is free on Kindle, you may want to just read it for yourself!

Review of the Unexpected Enlightenment Series (so far)

If you like Charles Williams, The Chronicles of Narnia, Terry Pratchett, Harry Potter, and reading about folklore and history, then you’ll probably love these books. In any case, there are three people in my family who have highly diverging interests (myself, one of my sisters, and one of my brothers), and all three of us love these books immensely. Even people who don’t usually like weird things or even Fantasy will probably like these books. They’re the kind of books you could “eat every day”. For myself, I personally connect to the strangeness of the events and the setting, so I am grateful for the existence of these books, and I very much look forward to following the rest of the story.

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For Honor – Part 1

Photo by Heather Morse on Unsplash

Flash fiction is quick and fun to write. It is also quick and fun to read, which explains its growing popularity—especially among young people. By its very nature—limited word count—it trains writers to hone their craft while creating stories within the set constraints.

For Honor was originally published oi the flash fiction webzine Havok in 2019. I have tweaked this story a bit to share it here on our blog. The word count exceeds Havok’s maximum, but the piece is still short enough to be considered flash fiction. And though it is short, I have elected to divide the story into two pieces. Why, you may ask. For two reasons. First, because I am preparing for surgery in early September and wanted my posts set prior to things going even more crazy; and second, because I didn’t want my posts to get too long.  

So … enough said. I hope you enjoy For Honor.

Je’hir tried to blink back the salty tears that leaked from his eyes, past the tops of his pointed ears, and into his dark, sweat-moistened hair as he lay staring up toward the heavens. Sky, turquoise with fluffs of pink clouds filled his vision. A wavering black dot far overhead broke the serene beauty.  

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A Giant Problem


One thing I find interesting and disappointing about today’s culture is the lack of ‘civil’ discourse. In a day and age where discussion can quickly devolve into argument, it would be impossible to come to any understanding between two disagreeing people if there isn’t a foundation of respect first. I would love to let my reader know that I do deeply respect them, even if we may foundationally disagree on certain biblical truths.

Truths like giants.

Many children learn about the story of David and Goliath early on in their lives. Even if we cannot nail down a measurement of a specific height of Goliath, the Bible makes it pretty clear: The dude was big. He even had brothers, and their genealogy referenced as being ‘Sons of Anak’ or ‘Anakim’. So for those interested in the topic, it begs the question, who was this Anak guy?

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An excerpt from Harvesting Hope

My latest book releases today, so for today’s post, I decided I would share an excerpt of it.

First, the description of the book:

The last year has been a whirlwind of trials and triumphs for the Tanner family.

With injuries, near foreclosures, and a family tragedy behind them, Jason Tanner, the oldest of the Tanner children is facing his own struggle after his longtime girlfriend, Ellie Lambert, overhears the secret he’d planned to tell her himself.
Now, in addition to trying to keep his family’s dairy farm sustainable during a hard economic season, Jason is dealing with the heartbreak of Ellie’s decision to end an almost 10-year relationship.

In an effort to bury his feelings, he throws himself into his work on the farm and into volunteering with Spencer Valley’s small volunteer fire company, where tragedy strikes the foundation of his faith during an already vulnerable time.

Ellie has her own challenges to face as she tries to navigate a time of life where her expectations have been turned upside down and shaken out.

As she copes with the decision to walk away from her relationship with the man she saw as her best friend, her flighty, less responsible younger sister shows up to further complicate an already complicated situation.

And an excerpt from the first chapter:

Alcott, Angelou, Austen, Barrie, Bronte, Blume . . .

Continue reading “An excerpt from Harvesting Hope”
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