Writing Synopses

By Anastasia McTague

Lots of young writers have had to tangle, at some point or another, with the terrible synopsis—a means of distilling the entirety of a story into a few intriguing sentences that quickly and easily explain the plot. If you haven’t yet had to write a synopsis, you’ll likely need to do so in the future. Due to the size of many stories, condensing them into a few catchy lines is often frustrating. Hopefully the method outlined in this article will help shed some light on the synopsespostsubject, and take some of the frustration out of the activity. I call it the Expounding Method, because there are surely other ways to write a synopsis, and you shouldn’t feel limited to doing it this way. It’s just an option and a place to start.

The first step is to boil down the plot to one line.

What is the most important, most basic aspect of the plot? Who are the primary characters? What do they need to do, and how do they go about trying to do it? Play around until you get a sentence that sums up the gist of your story. As an example, let’s say the one-liner is:

A group of ancient warriors destroy Lian’s village and he sets out to stop the killing.
[Read more…]

With Their Faces Toward Destruction

By Timothy Young

After I had been stricken for many days, I laid down in the shadow of a rock and fell into a restless sleep. I had slept here before, but it had been some time ago.facestowarddestruction

As I slept, I dreamt of a fair country, or it seemed fair at first. Then I realized that something was wrong with my vision. From the high perch through which I viewed this fair-looking country, I saw two armies approaching one another. From one teamed hordes of evil: dragons, goblins, giants, and loathsome men corrupted by outside forces, but also their own innate evil. Above their camp floated pennons of all colors, some as black as the heart of their leader, others red like the blood that these fiends were intent on shedding, some of purple and other rich colors alluding to nobility and wealth, and even a host of white banners that resembled the other camp’s banner—except these were stained with filth or torn and shredded.

The other camp displayed a single white banner, so pure that it seemed as if it were freshly bleached, even though it had been there from ages past.

I began to make comparisons of numbers, but the numbers were such as to defy computation, and I decided to take a closer look. My eyes were drawn to the side that had but one banner, as they appeared smaller in number, and I wished to know how they encouraged themselves. [Read more…]

Remember

By Katrina V.

Remember the soldiers

The sisters and brothers

Who fought for our freedom

And still fight today

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Remember the parents

The wives, sons, and daughters

Still waiting for loved ones

To come home okay [Read more…]

The Awareness of Grace

By D.G. Snapper

According to the riches of His grace,

I am covered by the shield of faith,

Under His yoke

With unconditional love

Which is beyond comprehension.

Apart from the world;

Against the evil,

awarenessofgrace

And in the place of condemnation

Prior to accepting that I have fallen utterly short [Read more…]

As Light Cascaded

By Emma Travis

The fabric was blank.

The void, so still, so silent,

Just You, You in Your beauty.

Threads of quiet universe

Hushed, waiting.

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Wise and understanding, You knew,

Knew Your heart held love,

A thing more powerful

Than any solitary force. [Read more…]

KP Book Review: The Fiddler’s Gun

“Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you’ve finished it just to stay near to it.” –Markus Zusak.fiddlersgunpost

After reading The Fiddler’s Gun by A.S. Peterson, this quote became more than true for me. A.S Peterson, the brother of Andrew Peterson, the author of the Wingfeather Saga, writes an incredible story which begins at the brink of the American Revolution.

Here we meet Phinea (Fin) Button, a wild, red-headed, teenage orphan girl, who would rather spend her days romping, fighting, and exploring with the boys than be stuck inside sewing dresses and forced upon polite conversations among the girls. There are only two thoughts that run through Fin’s mind: one is to escape from the orphanage in Ebenezer and the cranky Sister Hilde; the other is her plans to marry her beloved Peter. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Christi Eaton
Christine Eaton is a student at Providence Christian College who loves stories and hopes to publish children’s books. Wearing flip-flops in December, frequenting the beach, and taking every opportunity to visit Disneyland, Christine relishes living in sunny Southern California. She can usually be found happily sipping tea, memorizing lines from the latest play she is a part of, caving into her addiction to chocolate, writing encouraging snail mail, or listening to music, which is usually something folky like Andrew Peterson or the Gray Havens, or some Broadway musical (and rarely anything landing between those two categories.) Art is one of her largest passions, and her walls are covered in her sketches and paintings. Christine yearns to use her skills to glorify God by illustrating and writing her own children’s books that will teach children more about Jesus. Some of her favorite authors include A.S. Peterson, Francine Rivers, Louisa May Alcott, and Andrew Peterson. She is so thankful for the opportunity to manage Kingdom Pen’s social media accounts and help out around the Kingdom wherever she can. From the encouragement, enthusiastic young Christian writers, and her fellow staff members, KP holds a huge place in her heart and she is excited about encouraging young writers to write well and glorify God through their writing.

Mercy Triumphs

By Zelphia Peterson

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13

Mercy triumphed over judgment

At the cross, that mercy tree

As all our sins were washed away

By His blood on Calvary

mercytriumphs

Mercy triumphed over judgment

When the stone was rolled away [Read more…]

Are Cliches to be Avoided?

Clichés abound in movies and books. The dashing prince rescuing the helpless princess. The mentor dying and his student going on to save the world. The villain dressed in a long black cape with a pet snake on a staff. In an effort to create fresh stories, writers – and even some films nowadays – are turning old clichés on their heads to rework the story. But should clichés be avoided like the plague or can they help a writer? clicheshopeann

A cliché, by definition, is anything which has become trite or commonplace through overuse. These can be phrases, such as ‘right as rain’ or ‘red as a cherry’. They can also be a mold fitted about a character, such as the carefree friend or the grim mentor. And, of course, there are cliché scenes: a handsome young man glimpsing a beautiful lady across a courtyard and falling desperately in love. The mentor dying. The villain telling the captured hero all his plans…

Some are a bit sickening, like falling in love at first sight. Or they can be lazy, like the villains laying out the details of their evil plots. (Don’t be offended if you have one of these scenes in your book. I’ve had them too and I’ll touch on this cliché again in a minute.) But many clichés have remained popular because they work. People connect with them or enjoy them. Who doesn’t thrill over the heroic rescue or ache for the main character as his mentor dies saving him? (Well, mentors do die a bit too often, so the emotional impact is beginning to fail. Again, more on that in a moment.) [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/

Now Accepting Applications

Well, KeePers, it’s (finally) official: we’re hiring! It’s time to dust off your family sword and shield and get ready for a powerhouse tournament to determine the lucky few who will join the staff. The location is to be decided, but we’re thinking an abandoned castle in rural Italy. With wi-fi, of course. Transportation cost is not included in your application fees, and all participants must be insured…. internshipfbshared

Just kidding. As much as we’d like to, there won’t be any tournaments (this time). Not saying it won’t happen one day, though. On a positive note, applying for a position is free, and all you need is a solid internet connection to do it. Anyone is welcome (and encouraged) to apply. Don’t be intimidated by the application or those infamous “other people applying”!

If you’re interested in one of the positions below, get ready to sell yourself on the application linked at the end of this post. Then, have at it. Answer the questions honestly and to the best of your ability. Make sure you review your responses carefully before pressing submit to beat back any grammar mistakes lurking within and ensure you’ve got your answers just the way you want them. All applications are due at 11:59 ESTon Monday, August 22, 2016. That gives you just over two weeks (An extra “grace weekend”is already included to account for any procrastination: accidental and intentional.) to complete your applications and submit them. Skype interviews will be scheduled as needed.You must complete your application in order to be considered for any positions. [Read more…]

Interview on Characters and Writer’s Conferences with Author Kim Vandel (plus Giveaway!)

So, about two months ago, I (Josiah) picked up this random indie book by a Christian author and absolutely loved it.  (You can check out my review of the book here!) After finishing it, I just knew I had to hear more from this author about how she wrote the book and what made her characters as vibrant and complex they were.  And after hearing her thoughts, I thought you all might benefit from hearing from her as well! So, below you’ll see the kimvandelinterviewresults of my interview with her, and if you read all the way to the end, you’ll be able to enter a giveaway for her book, Into the Fire (plus, she’s throwing in a bookmark and temporary tattoo as well because she’s just an awesome person.) So read on to hear her thoughts on writing characters and attending writer’s conferences!

KP: When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

Kim Vandel: I was in seventh grade when I first had the “I want to be a writer” thought.

KP: In brief, what did your journey look like from knowing you wanted to be a writer to actually writing and publishing Into the Fire? [Read more…]