Cyber Monday Sale! Quote Contest Winners Announced!

We’ve got a surprise for you! For those of you who have been eyeing and wishing to be in possession of some of our amazing KP Swag, now’s your chance to get it!KPCyberMondaySale2015

During Cyber Monday ALL of our KP merchandise is 20% off! Yes, you read that right, ALL of it! Including the awesome hoodies!

All that is required of you is to select your favorite item, go to the checkout and enter this coupon code: CYBER20

And BAM! That KP Swag is yours!

[Read more…]

KP Critiques – 18

We’re back with another critique! Thank you all so much for having the courage to send them in! We know it’s never easy to have your writing critiqued, let alone shared for the benefit of others. That takes guts! But we also know that receiving critiques from others is one of the THE BEST ways to grow and improve. Constructive criticism is invaluable!

This submission is an excerpt from Greta and Ingrid’s novel, The Sorcerer’s Daughter.  KP Critiques Post 2

The Critique

 

Prologue 

Princess Eldora tiptoed out of her room and down the palace staircase, careful not to step on the creaking stair.  As she neared the landing, the yelling became more distinct.  Eldora could just make out what the voices were saying.

“Mercellyz, please.  None of this is our fault.  Father was the one who deemed you unfit to rule.  You chose a different path; he chose this one for me.”

It was her father, King Theron, who had spoken.  A cruel, vengeful voice broke into the conversation.

“I was the firstborn!  I was the rightful heir, but father destroyed my potential.”

“You destroyed your own potential when you started toying with dark magic.  You’re—”

A lot of this dialogue here seems info-dumpish.  Both of them already know all of this information, so you’re going to need to do a more subtle job of working in these facts into the dialogue in order to keep the dialogue from sounding like it was just written for the purpose of the reader.  Focus more on how their argument would naturally progress and then work from there. [Read more…]

I Am Yours

By Greta Dornbirer

Where am I?

How can I escape,

From this horrendous black hole I’m in?

A hole called Sin,

Sucking me in,

And no one can help me out.

iamyourspoempinterest

Light piercing through,

Shining on my face.

There is someone who can help me,

Make me be whom I’m meant to be,

Not just someone,

In the dark hole of Sin.

[Read more…]

Blurring the Lines Between Light and Darkness

By Melody Faith

Writing or reading a dark book can be a very debatable topic for Christians. How dark is too dark? How much gore is too much? It has gone back and forth for years.

Recently, I read an interview with Ted Dekker discussing the darkness in his writing. He explains why he feels the need for it. He wants a distinct difference between good and evil in his stories. He wants readers to look at evil and be repulsed by it while they look at good and see the beauty in it. I found this to be a masterful way of describing how to handle darkness in Christian stories. blurringpinterest

Today’s media and pop culture really likes to blur the lines.

Disney’s 2014 retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, Maleficent, is an interesting example. The story portrays Maleficent as the protagonist, while King Stefan as the villain. I personally found it to be very confusing and down-right disturbing. I struggled to find a character to like, pity, or care about. I really despised all of them, even though I knew they wanted us to love Maleficent. I had a hard time pitying her. She was evil. She chose to be evil and did wicked things. None of this was addressed as wrong; you were simply pressed to pity her.

Another example for this is Tim Burton’s 1993 Nightmare Before Christmas. While I adored the music and the simple story, I was disturbed by the twisted worldview. It portrays Halloween characters, who in themselves are not evil. They simply do their job every October 30th. But for some odd reason, no one likes the Boogie man. He is bad, and they mean really bad. It struck me as so odd. Who was to say he was worse than Jack? Where was the line? Jack the Pumpkin King was the one you cared about and loved, even though he was in fact a skeleton and the King of Halloween. But the Boogie man, though he was like any other evil Halloween character, was still the evil villain. Our hero and villain were both evil characters. A cute, creative story, but a twisted perspective.
[Read more…]

The Writer’s Hardest Challenge…Writing

I’d heard about NaNoWriMo for years before I finally figured out what it was…National Novel Writing Month. Except the goal of writing 50,000 words though the month of November, and the goal of writing a whole novel aren’t quite the same thing for me since my books somehow make themselves quite a bit longer than 50,000 words.hardestchallenge

Anyway, that’s not important. It’s also, I hope, not too important for this topic that I’ve never actually had the time to participate in the November NaNo, though I was part of one of the NaNo camps earlier this year.

Still I am a writer. And one of the keys to completing NaNo, and to writing in general, is to actually sit down and write. Alright, so that’s fairly obvious. But obvious doesn’t mean easy, and writing steadily can be anything but easy.

Still, here are a few tips about how to write regularly and get your book or story done, be it during one month or a dozen.

Make reasonable goals dependent on the time you have.

There’s already the 50,000 word goal for NaNo, but setting a word or chapter count for yourself will help in everyday writing as well. Set yourself a date to get your book or story done by, be it one month or six, and make sure you give yourself a reasonable amount of time. If you’re busy with school and a dozen other things, setting yourself an impossible word count goal on top of that will just cause frustration. The goal doesn’t have to be easy, but it should be doable. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Hope Ann
Hope Ann is a speculative fiction writer who lives on a small farm in northern Indiana. She has self-published three Legends of Light novellas and is the Kingdom Pen Writing Team Captain. Reading since the age of five, and introducing herself to writing at age eight, she never had a question that the author’s life was the life for her. Her goal is to write thrilling Christian fantasy and futuristic fiction — stories she longed for while growing up. After graduating from homeschool, Hope now teaches writing to several of her eight younger siblings. She loves climbing trees, archery, photography, Lord of the Rings, chocolate, and collecting shiny things she claims are useful for story inspiration. You can claim one of her stories for free at: https://authorhopeann.com/rose-of-the-night/

When You’re Stuck in the Middle of NaNoWriMo

By Elizabeth Dykes

If you’re at all familiar with NaNoWriMo or writing in general, you’re sure to have heard of that maddening and mysterious…sickness. Sickness of the imagination, one might say. Writer’s block.

It strikes sometime between the second and third week of November. Sometimes the symptoms appear as early as the first week. Your initial enthusiasm has worn off, and you’re probably wondering why you ever thought NaNoWriMo was a good idea in the first place. stuck_pinterest

“Your store of inspiration is about as empty as your coffee cup. Any decent plot ideas seem to have gathered somewhere in a forgotten, dusty corner of the proverbial basement.”

Your characters are as uncooperative as your villain’s minion back in chapter four. Your outline (if you have one) looks like it’s gone through a paper shredder. The cursor in your word processor blinks steadily, mocking you.

You are about to break the silence with a frustrated scream when your phone rings. It is your writerly friend from Kingdom Pen, sharing exciting news about their own story and asking about your progress. You shake your head and sigh, lips forming the dreaded words, “I haven’t written today. I have writer’s block.”

Fortunately for you, your characters, and anyone else in close proximity to you during the month of November, writer’s block is a mostly curable disease.

Figure out where you’re going

[Read more…]

The #1 Reason You Won’t Complete NaNoWriMo This Year

It is once again that crazy time of year where writers everywhere decide to embark on a heroic quest of their own: writing an entire novel in just one month.

If you have decided to take on this massive enterprise for the first time, or are coming off of a failed attempt last year, this goal may seem even more daunting than it really is. The truth is, writing a novel in one month is actually pretty simple. All you have to do is write 1667 words every day. Or, to reduce that down even more, only 833 words an hour for two hours a day, or, 209 words every 15 minutes. 1reason_nanowrimopinterest

Do you think you can write 209 words every 15 minutes? Of course you can! 209 words is nothing!

So why then do so many not succeed in writing a novel in a month?

We make a lot of excuses. Being too tired, not having enough time, something else coming up, etc. But very rarely do any of these excuses account for not writing a novel in a month. Surely, even the busiest person can find 8 fifteen minute sections in a day to write 209 words. It’s not about time or capability. You have the ability and the time to write a novel in just one month. However, the reason you may not lies inside your head.

I successfully completed NaNoWriMo in 2012, but then failed to complete a novel the following year. Why? The same reason why I think a lot of others don’t finish: perfectionism.

More and more as I write, it is becoming increasingly difficult to turn off that inner editor voice in my head telling me my writing is absolutely appalling. I’ll just be merrily writing along when, BAM! Off goes the bad writing alarms.

Inner editor: Oh my gosh! You just used an adverb there! That’s weak writing! [Read more…]

KP Critiques – 17

Here today we present to you, fine ladies and gentlemen, our seventeenth installment of KP Critiques!
We thank all of you for the flood of critiques we have received! It’s lovely to witness the rise of courageous writers who are willing to submit their work to be analyzed and critiqued. It’s never easy to  put your work out there for all to see, but by doing so you are benefiting more writers as well as growing as a writer!KP Critiques Post 1

This submission is an excerpt from C.B.’s novel, I Love Cake.

Thank you C.B. for this amazing submission!

I’m unsure about the current title for the story. Most people are probably going to look at it and think it’s a book about someone who really likes to eat cake. Once they start reading, it’s clear what the title means, but you may want to have a title that would be more likely to tell readers what the book’s about.
The first thing I remember of the day I met Cake was that my mom let me have the last strawberry Popsicle. I skipped outside to enjoy my treat in the bright July sun, and to do some investigating.
Unsure about if this opening works. The phrase “remember of the day,” is kind-of awkwardly worded and could probably use some refinement. In addition, while I like what you’re doing, it seems like the first thing she remembers should be something more important and foreshadowing for the rest of the chapter at least, and not just the strawberry Popsicle.

The day before, new people had moved in next door. They were a grumpy looking couple, and unfortunately had come alone. No kids, no pets, nothing interesting. But still, my curiosity was aroused, since none of us had seen them since, and no one answered the door when my mom went over to welcome them. [Read more…]

The Wince Factor

By Hannah Krynicki

Have you ever experienced the Wince Factor?

It goes like this: One evening you are enjoying a new “family” movie with younger friends or siblings, chuckling at the jokes and sobbing at the tragic moments (and, as a writer, probably analyzing every element of the story). All at once, a jarring image flashes before you and the younger children. Mortified, you snatch the controller, but it’s too late. The kids around you have already witnessed that gratuitous bit of evil, and as the oldest person present, you feel responsible. For the next week, you shudder every time you think of it. I call this infamous image “the Wince Factor.” wincepinterest

Now here is a pretty puzzle: not all Wince Factors are bad. You’ve seen the good ones. A well-placed Wince Factor can bring a sense of credibility to your story and keep your readers on the edge, wondering just how the characters will deal with this. The bad Wince Factors, however, have the biggest reputation. Most are so dreadful because the guardians, especially parents, are trusted with the job of protecting young hearts. When the bad Wince Factors turn up, they feel as if they have failed.

Director Peter Jackson once joked that while working out fantasy action sequences, “You actually turn into a psychopath.” That’s probably the great fear of every Christian writer. No one wants to be remembered as the psychopath who wrote junky gore and wrapped it up with a bow labeled “Young Adult.” All of us must come to grips and to terms with  questions about darkness and gore.

How much is too much? Should I use the Wince Factor or not? [Read more…]

Lyric Contest Winners and More!

The results are in! Tom and Jo have picked the winners, and here they are!

Lyric_contest_slider10-6

In alphabetical order:

 

Ashley Barr – With My Song

 

With My Song

Why is my life going to pieces?

Why is my world falling apart?

Guilt and anger are clouding my mind,

While mourning fills my heart.

What have I done to deserve this?

Why are these trials crushing me?

How can I fill this void inside?

When will my heart be free?

How can I soar like eagles,

When I can barely crawl?

I give up; I give it to you,

I can do nothing at all.

 

Lord, you took my heart and made it clean.

You gave me a life brand new.

You took my mourning and gave me dancing.

And with my song I will praise you.

 

I called on you in the day of trouble,

You delivered me from the fore.

I will glorify you all my life.

You are my one desire.

I sought you, you heard me,

You took all my fears away.

I will serve you in everything,

Forever, come what may.

The Lord is my strength,

Who is there to fear?

I know that before I call,

My Jesus, my Savior, is here.

 

Lord, you took my heart and made it clean.

You gave me a life brand new.

You took my mourning and gave me dancing.

And with my song I will praise you.

 

Barr, AshleyAshley Barr is a native of Hartville, MO. She is twenty-three years old, and is employed by a local manufacturing company. She also babysits four amazing kids and is the proud sponsor of a boy in the Philippines. In her free time, Ashley enjoys reading, writing, painting, learning languages, and puppetry. Her puppets are well known by the local kids (of all ages!).

 

Leah Good –  Because You, Jesus

 

Because You, Jesus

 

Lord, take my understanding, take my heart,
Of all I know and think be Thou the start.
Alpha, Omega; Begining and End,
I beg Thee holy wisdom to me send.

 

(Chorus)
Because You are worthy of everything,
To You, of You, for You creation sings.
Because You, Jesus, walked this road before me,
So here I kneel and offer all to Thee.

 

Peace, Thy perfect peace, in this world of sin,
This wond’rous miracle without, within.
Proclaim Thy greatest work inside my soul,
To make it known in all the world Thy goal.

 

At Thy firm word the waves and billows cease,
Tis by Thy hand the prison bars release.
Thy breath gives life to all who walk the earth.
Thy blood, poured out, gives broken lives rebirth.

 

Bring every scattered nation, tribe, and tongue,
Thy song of praise to sing while day is young.
Shout holy, holy, holy to Thy name;
For You alone are great and You will reign.

 

Good, LeahLeah E. Good is a daughter of God, lover of stories, homeschool graduate, and passionate orphan care advocate. She lives with her parents, brother, and Shetland Sheepdog in beautiful New England. You can find Leah blogging about books and bookish topics at leahegood.com.

 

Phoebe Westwood – Running the Race

 

Running the Race

The first will be the last they say

I wasn’t caring either way

Then you stepped in and changed my day

So I guess for now you’re here to stay

 

At first I admit I was just confused

But I found myself when I found you

And now my spirit’s breaking loose

Forevermore it’s you I choose…

 

(CHORUS)

Fear I’m lost, slow me down

Change my heart, turn me around

Complicated circumstances

Can’t go back, I’m taking chances

Oh, now I’m found

Soul is safe, my mind is sound

Best and worst still yet to come

But I can’t go back ’till the race is won

 

Some days my road is none too straight

Temptation bites and tries to hate

I tell that devil, ‘you’re too late’

I’m running for those pearly gates

 

Some days I feel I’ve had enough

The road’s too long, the trail’s too rough

But I can’t quit, God made me tough

Heart’s fashioned from the stronger stuff…

 

(CHORUS)

 

(Bridge)

One too many times, I’ve fallen

On my face, couldn’t hear you calling

‘Till you showed me grace, and now I see

That it’s ’cause of your love that I can be free

And I can win this race if I just believe

 

(CHORUS)

 

Westwood, PhoebePhoebe Westwood has been writing since she was eleven and hasn’t stopped since. She’s been living for God even longer, and hopes to one day combine those two passions. Phoebe loves words (where would we be without them?), acting, and art of all sorts.Currently, she’s living in a forest (though no one knows which forest) with her family and dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

Each of these winners will have their lyrics converted into songs by Tom and Jo, and we will post them as soon as they are recorded! Stay tuned, and congratulations to the winners!