Last Day to Enter Poetry Contest!

Well it’s been fun,poetrycontestpinterest
this contest of ours.
Like all good things,
The end has now come.

Ten days have flown by like a powered eagle with lightweight wings!

We’re so excited to see all the entries flooding in! Keep ’em coming!

At 12:00 AM on May 1st the contest will be closing. So share with all your friends, if you haven’t already, and place the finishing touches on your poem and send it in quick!

Don’t get tripped up on your rhyming scheme! ;P

Poetry Contest

Who’s ready for another contest?! We are. In fact, we’re pretty jazzed about announcing this one!

Do you write poetry? Then this contest is just for you! As it is National Poetry Month we thought it befitting to host a poetry writing contest.  poetrycontestpinterest

What’ll You Win? 

1st place – a critique and comments from the judges of their poem, as well as this amazing book, A Poet’s Glossary
2nd place – a critique and comments from the judges of their poem, along with a beautiful complete collection of Emily Dickinson’s poems.
3rd place – a critique and comments from the judges of their poem.

Contest Guidelines

The contest will run from April 20-30.

That’s ten days to whip up a poem, trim off an old one, or showcase a brand new one you’ve been waiting to present. Take advantage of those two weekends!

Our contest is limited to those of you who happen to be in that special age category lovingly known as teenagers: 13-19

One poem per contestant. 

This limitation is your best friend. You can focus all of your attention on that one little winner and shock the words right out of us.

Poem length: 15-50 lines.  [Read more…]

KP Spotlight! Mary P. Johnston

We are very delighted to be presenting with you our third KP spotlight! In this latest installment we are featuring Mary P. Johnston. Enjoy!

 

Kingdom Pen: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are three interesting facts?  KP Spotlight

Mary P. Johnston: Hello! Three interesting facts, let’s see…

  1. I am 6’2” tall.
  2. I am really passionate about the Myers-Briggs theory. (INFJ here!)
  3. I wrote my first novel in crayon. I was seven, I believe. It was called the Captain over the Seas, and, as the title suggests, it was about a pirate.

KP: If you could have any vocation, and money was no object, what would it be?

MPJ: I think I would work two jobs, if that’s allowed— I would be a writer by day and an astronomer by night. 

KP: Homeschooled? Public-schooled? Tell us the tale.

MPJ: Homeschooled! I went to pre-school and kindergarten as a child, but after that my mom and dad decided to homeschool me since I wasn’t learning in the classroom very well. I have dyslexia, you see. Or maybe you can’t see, because I was able to learn how to read and write proficiently under my mom’s teaching! Thank you, Mom!

KP: What do you consider your biggest accomplishment? (It’s okay to brag a little on this one!)

MPJ: The first accomplishment that comes to mind (and the one that I think I am most proud of) is that I have successfully completed six years of NaNoWriMo in a row! And I intend to keep up that streak, so bring on November! 

KP: What is the best part about writing for you?

MPJ: Dialogue! My scenes always flow better when the characters have something to say.

KP: What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

MPJ:  My dad once gave me a piece of advice when I got horribly stuck in my writing: “Creativity is like a snowball. It starts out small, but once you begin rolling it down the hill, it gets bigger and goes faster all on it’s own. But you have to begin.”

KP: What is your favorite thing to write—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, blog posts, etc.?

MPJ: Fiction! Specifically fantasy, though I’ve dabbled in science fiction as well.

KP: What is your biggest struggle as a writer? Biggest fear?

MPJ: I struggle with world building disease, which basically means that I spend so much time shaping the culture, history, geography, etc. of my story world that I almost never get to writing the actual story. As for my biggest fear, well, honestly? My biggest fear is that I will never finish my series. It terrifies me more than anything else, as cliche as it sounds.

KP: What are your goals as a writer?

MPJ: To finish writing my story, which is a series of books. Finishing it is my goal; publishing it is my dream.

KP: If you could give one piece of encouragement to other writers your age, what would it be?

MPJ: To the boys and girls who are struggling to find time to write in the madness of growing up— Dont ever fall for the lie that your story doesn’t matter. Keep dreaming, keep writing, and keep seeking the Creator, whose creative Spirit is in you.

KP: What do you like the most about Kingdom Pen? If there was one thing you’d like to see added, expanded, or changed at Kingdom Pen, what would it be?

MPJ:  I like the Kingdom Pen. Period. Need I say more? You guys rock! You’ve been encouraging me for the past three years, and I couldn’t thank you enough. And I honestly can’t think of anything you could add or change… You have contests, do critiques, post articles, have an awesome website and forum— what more could I ask for? The only thing I can think of is the e-magazine. If you ever have the resources to begin doing that again, you can count on me to be a consistent reader! 

KP: How did you find out about Kingdom Pen? How long have you been a subscriber?

MPJ: I’ll be perfectly honest: I don’t remember how I found Kingdom Pen. I think it might’ve been Pinterest, but I’m not entirely sure. However, I saved the email that I sent to my dad three years ago next month, asking him if I could subscribe. Rereading its contents makes me smile because I was so enthusiastic about the Kingdom Pen! I still am, by the way. 🙂

KP: What was your favorite Kingdom Pen article, short story, or poem?

MPJ: I am a huge poetry enthusiast, because it is a beautiful, beautiful form of writing that I cannot do myself. I am also very passionate about music, so when Carolyn G. wrote a poem about music— there was absolutely no way I couldn’t love it. It’s kind of old now, I realize… but that’s part of the glory of writing. It doesn’t change with age.

KP: If you could say one thing to the Kingdom Pen community, what would it be?

MPJ: This is a wonderful and rare community we’re in. Writers are rare enough in the world, but Christian writers? The Kingdom Pen is something special. I hope you realize this and take advantage of the advice and encouragement available to you here.

Just ‘cause we really want to know:

KP: If you were a genre of literature, which genre would you be?

MPJ: I think I’d be science fiction, because I am future-oriented, unbelievably strange, and a lover of space.

 

unnamedMary P. Johnston is a seventeen-year-old storyteller who lives in the rainy state of Oregon. She is the second oldest of seven siblings, is obsessed with music, and wishes to travel the world someday. She graduated high school early and is going to Boise Bible College in the Fall to study Psychology.

My blog, the Dreamer’s Pen: https://thedreamerspen.wordpress.com/

KP Spotlight! J. Tobias Buller

We are so excited to bring you our second KP Spotlight, this one featuring a KP subscriber who was a finalist in our Begin Your Novel contest, J. Tobias Buller. Enjoy!

 

Kingdom Pen: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are three interesting facts?KP Spotlight

 

J. Tobias Buller: I have lived in West Africa for nearly four years, I am over six feet tall, and my favorite musical album of anything ever is John Powell’s How To Train Your Dragon soundtrack.

 

KP: Homeschooled? Public-schooled? Tell us the tale.

 

JTB: I was homeschooled off and on in grade school, before transitioning one hundred percent to homeschooling.  Pretty awesome.

 

KP: What do you consider your biggest accomplishment? (It’s okay to brag a little on this one!)

 

JTB: It’s hard to say.  I’ve done a lot of little things in my life, and some of my biggest accomplishments (such as writing a short story several years back that has become one of the best things I’ve ever written) are quiet things that matter mostly to me.

 

But I’d say that finishing a certain novel of mine is my biggest accomplishment.  When I started, it was a sprawling, epic story, and one that I was emotionally invested in.  Two years later, it was over one hundred thousand words, but I had finished it.  It’s still rough, and needs to undergo a lot of revisions, but I was able to articulate what I had envisioned two years earlier, even if it was messy and disorganized—and that means a lot to me.

 

KP: What is the best part about writing for you? How did you become a writer?

 

JTB: I love the act of creating a story.  The actual writing is tough work, and although revision is fun, it sucks the energy out of you.  But standing knee-deep in story guts, in characters and emotions and imagination and possibility—that’s why I keep going.  It’s something utterly entrancing.

 

And that is actually why I became a writer.  I was entranced by stories, by the concept of imagination.  I could think of something, write something, and it could become real, in a sense.  It is mental exploration.  It’s finding something amazing.  I had to try it for myself.

 

KP: What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received? What has helped you the most in your growth as a writer?

 

JTB: I think that the best writing advice I have received can’t be summed up in a single rule or idea, but it can be summed up in a single word: story.  Story is an extremely complex and dynamic idea, but over the years I’ve learned how to see the good stories, study what makes a good story a good story.  Finding out what a good story looks like has helped me implement that in my own writing.

 

The two main sources of instruction I’ve found in the art of Story are The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction by Jeff Gerke, and the high school writing curriculum The One Year Adventure Novel by Daniel Schwabauer.  The latter especially has been huge for my writing life, since “OYAN” is not just a curriculum; it’s also a vibrant storytelling community.

 

KP: What is your biggest struggle as a writer? Biggest fear?

 

JTB: My biggest struggle is probably being simple.  I know what makes a good story, but it is just so hard to put it into practice with simplicity.  My ideas tend to spiral out of control, and while it’s good to have plot twists and character motivations and all of that jazz, I struggle with keeping the core of a story at the forefront.  I look at some animated movies—Pixar comes to mind—and I marvel at the simplicity, and the power, of their storytelling.  And my biggest fear is that I won’t be able to learn how to write that simply—that I’ll stagnate at my current ability, doomed to write complex fantasy novels that just feel a little off.

 

KP: Are you an outliner, or more of a “Pantster”?

 

JTB: A bit of both.  Three or four years ago, I was a passionate pantster—I believed that structure and outline would inhibit my writing and prevent me from writing something unexpected and fresh.

 

But as my novels grew longer, I learned how to outline properly.  I still don’t believe in total control—I prefer to do something I call “storyboarding,” in which I draw a line and plot out the general direction of my story, with all of the important turning points mapped out.  My latest novel, however, is so complicated that I had to write out something similar to a screenplay treatment: a summary of the whole plot, so that I could keep track of everything that needed to happen.

 

I think there is a lot of good in writing by the seat of your pants.  But it can bring some serious problems: foreshadowing almost disappears, plot twists can seem fake, and the story can wander and lack a clear goal.  I’ve found that my best writing happens when I write in between the two extremes.

 

KP: Any big writing milestones coming up? Word totals, novel(s) completed, publishing, etc.

 

JTB: I’m hoping to finish my current novel—the opening of which, by the way, received 2nd place in Kingdom Pen’s Begin Your Novel contest—before the end of July.  It’s called Chromeheads—it’s a time travel science fantasy murder mystery, and probably my most ambitious project to date.

 

KP: If you could give one piece of encouragement to other writers your age, what would it be?

 

JTB: Don’t stop writing, and don’t stop studying.  Don’t stop writing, because writing is the best way to get better at writing.  And don’t be afraid to expand your horizons, exploring different genres, characters, and settings.  Don’t stop studying, because there are a wealth of incredible stories out there, and by studying them, you can learn how to make your own stories better.

 

KP: What do you like the most about Kingdom Pen? If there was one thing you’d like to see added, expanded, or changed at Kingdom Pen, what would it be?

 

JTB: Kingdom Pen is really well put-together; oftentimes, when a community like this is started, it has an air of informality or the website looks like you put it together in Microsoft Paint.  Kingdom Pen, in contrast, is pretty slick!  I honestly can’t think of anything I would change about it.

 

KP: How did you find out about Kingdom Pen? How long have you been a subscriber?

 

JTB: Several of my friends are contributors and/or follow it.  I’ve only been an official subscriber for probably less than six months (ish?) but I remember reading one of the early Kingdom Pen issues a year or two back.  It was the one with Braden Russell’s tree story.

 

KP: If you could say one thing to the Kingdom Pen community, what would it be?

 

JTB: The same thing I said about writing.  Exploring how story works is extremely important, and it’s something that has helped my writing immensely.

 

Just ‘cause we really want to know…

 

KP: What kind of reader are you and why? (Read a whole book in one sitting, read lots of books at once, only read at night, only read in the morning, etc.)

 

JTB: Depends on the book!  I read Chesterton books slowly, and often at the same time as other books; but typically, I only read one fiction book at a time.  But even there, there’s variation.  If it’s an exceptionally good book (see: Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings) I’ll plow through it in days, if not hours.  If it’s slower, I tend to read it over the course of a week or two.

 

KP: If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?

 

JTB: I’d cut planes out of the empty pizza boxes, because I wouldn’t have the self control to actually deliver the pizzas.  I mean, how do they do it?  Smelling those maddening pizza juices for fifteen minutes and trying to drive at the same time?  It would drive me crazy.  (Get it?  Drive?….uh, yeah.  Let’s forget I said that.)

 

JakeBlogPictureJ. Tobias Buller—“Jake”—is a missionary kid, a writer, and a strongly loyal Kansan. He has written eight speculative fiction novels and one historical fiction novella.  His other work includes a long-winded blog, snarky essays, and a memoir he wrote about his experiences during Liberia’s Ebola outbreak.

He moved to Liberia in November 2011—the beginning of three and a half years of adventure. Recently back in the USA, he plans to be eaten alive by American collegiate education in the fall of 2015.

Jake writes at Reflecting The Mirror and Teenage Writer.

KP Spotlight! Dani M.

Kingdom Pen is so excited to release our very first KP Spotlight! It is so neat getting to know you better! We hope you enjoy this feature as much as we are! Thank you Dani M for agreeing to share a little bit about yourself with us.

Kingdom Pen: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are three interesting facts?KP Spotlight

Dani M: Well, my siblings tell me that I stick my tongue out when I’m concentrating. Especially on piano or violin. Flute would be a little hard to do that on, though.

I think in a British accent. I talk in a Northern accent, but my Southern accent comes out a lot. And occasionally, a word or two slip out in English pronunciation. Especially ‘process’. I can also talk in Scottish, Irish, and Hindi accents.

I seem to not be able to construct a sentence without mentioning the Bible Bee at least once. My mom hosts our locals, and I’ve participated in it since the beginning, so that’s probably why.

Bonus: I lived in eleven houses before I was five. And three of my siblings and I have been born in different time zones.

KP: If you could have any vocation, and money was no object, what would it be?

DM: Singing across Europe. Or running a tea shop/craft shop/animal rescue. Something crazy like that, to be certain. Most people think I’m crazy.

KP: Homeschooled? Public-schooled? Tell us the tale.

DM: I’ve been homeschooled all my life. Nothing extra exciting, except maybe that I was in Algebra one for five years- from ten to fifteen. I finally finished, though, and I’m looking forward to geometry! Science and algebra tie as my most difficult subjects, and music is my favorite.

KP: What do you consider your biggest accomplishment? (It’s okay to brag a little on this one!)

DM: Honestly, probably making it through nineteen months of traveling across the Lower 48. Nevermind, it was making it to the National Bible Bee semi-finals with one of my best friends!

KP: What is the best part about writing for you?

DM: Being able to be creative, probably. Getting to invent worlds and people.

KP: What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

DM: Well, I have been told over and over not to edit- get it written down and then edit, but, unfortunately, I have never followed it.

KP: What is your favorite thing to write—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, blog posts, etc.?

DM: I like to write fiction. I’m sort a fantastical person who walks around with my head in the clouds, so I invent a lot of things. Some of them have been written down, and some not.

KP: What is your biggest struggle as a writer? Biggest fear?

DM: My biggest struggle is portraying feelings without actually stating them. That’s kind of weird, because I’m very expressive, and you’d think I’d be able to. As for fear, I really don’t have any so far.

KP: What are your goals as a writer?

DM: I don’t really know. I just started writing because I have too many ideas. I never had goals. And that’s kind of how it is still. Hopefully, I can get one or two books published. But if not, I’m fine with that as well.

KP: If you could give one piece of encouragement to other writers your age, what would it be?

DM: If your writing isn’t what you want it to be, and you can’t get it right, set it aside for a bit. I’ve set things aside for up to a year, and when I come back, I see what was wrong and am able to fix it. It also helps if you have great friends who are so much better at writing than you are and can just tell you what’s wrong.

KP: What do you like the most about Kingdom Pen?

DM: The articles are great! They’ve been very helpful.

KP: If there was one thing you’d like to see added, expanded, or changed at Kingdom Pen, what would it be?

DM: I think I’d like to see more music, from other Christian writers. After all, we musicians write too. We write music!

KP: How did you find out about Kingdom Pen?

DM: I read on the Boyer Family Singers blog about this Christian website that was hosting a Begin Your Novel contest, and the prize was a hundred dollars. I thought, “Christian? Begin Your Novel contest? A hundred bucks! Sounds good!” Ironically, I had just begun another novel. And the beginning has changed drastically since.

KP: How long have you been a subscriber?

DM: Since then.

KP: What was your favorite Kingdom Pen article, short story, or poem?

DM: I really liked ‘Of Parallels and Perpendiculars’. It seems like my life is like that a lot.

KP: If you could say one thing to the Kingdom Pen community, what would it be?

DM: Thanks for making Kingdom Pen happen!

KP: A movie is being made about your life. What are three songs that would definitely make the soundtrack cut and why?

DM: Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’, because that’s what made me want to play violin. Probably also ‘In Dreams’ from the Fellowship of the Ring. I daydream a lot. And… Um… ‘In Every Trying Hour’, which is an original song that we sang at the National Bible Bee. I’ve participated in it every year, so it’s a big part of my life.

 

Dani, MDani M is a crazy sixteen-year-old in the heart of the 49th state in the Union. She enjoys knitting, crocheting, spinning, and any number of crafts! And singing and playing one of her many instruments. She is an older sister to two brothers and two sisters. Her two goats, unfortunately, are not at her property, and she wishes to add rabbits and various poultry to her farm. She and her sister have run a magazine for girls for four years, which you can sign up for at: MillersInAlaska.org

Her favorite authors and stories include J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, and fairy tales that merge Alaska with British literature and Scandinavian themes.

 

Your Questions: Answered!

Hello word wielders! Questions Post Graphic

Back before Kingdom Pen’s hiatus, we had a feature called “Your Questions: Answered” where we would answer writing related questions sent in by KP subscribers. This was a feature for the eMag, but since the magazine won’t be back until December, we decided to bring this to the website.

Do you have a question about writing? Email us at kingdompenmag@gmail.com, using the subject line, “Question For The Panel”. Once a month, we will compile your questions, answer them to the best of our ability, and then post the Q/A here on Kingdompen.org.

Here are a couple recent questions we received:

Question: 

I am a young writer who very recently subscribed. I have a question about writing. I write fiction. Sometimes it is fantasy, and sometimes it is more in the style and time period of Charles Dickens and other such famous authors. But regardless of what kind of story I am writing, I invariably run into the same problem halfway through my story. I become so deeply absorbed in, acquainted, if you will, with the main character that I lose sight of who he or she is for a time. I usually end up going back  and reading all their other previous scenes, and that helps tremendously, but I would be very grateful for any advice you can offer. Is this normal? Is there any way to avoid it?

– Kate

 

Answer:

Hello Kate! 

You are saying that as you are writing, you lose track of your main character’s personality. Is that correct? Because becoming deeply absorbed and acquainted with your main character is a very good thing. But if you are saying that you are sort of losing track of who they are, and you have to go back and read earlier scenes to reacquaint yourself, then that makes sense, and is normal. I have personally had this problem myself.I have found the easiest way to address this problem is to outline and create a character sketch.
Character sketch:
Write down everything you know about your MC at the start. List all of their idiosyncrasies and personality quirks. List all the phrases they like to use, list habits or unique body language tendencies. What motivates them? What are their fears? What makes them happy? Sad? Embarrassed? Really get to know your main character before you start writing.For more on this, I recommend you read K.M. Weiland’s free e-book, Crafting Unforgettable Characters.
Outline:
If your story includes a character arch, then outline it! Get your character’s progression straight in your own mind. Write out how they will change from one scene to the next. Also list what features from your character sketch might reveal themselves in each scene. As always, these personality elements should arise naturally from the plot and the characters.If you don’t like outlining or creating character sketches, then you may just have to resort to what you are already doing, which is going back and rereading.

– Reagan Ramm

Question:

Generally speaking, what is the maximum number of characters recommended to put in a novel? Would this change depending upon the author’s ability to keep them all straight and maintain their individual natures, while still weaving a good, tight story?
– Kate

Answer:

Great question! In large part, this is going to be dependent on what type of story you’re writing (large-scale epic fantasy or small-town mystery story?), but there are some general principles that can be followed. First off, it might be helpful to separate characters out into three general categories: main characters, secondary characters, and background characters. These categories are kind of large and vaguely-defined, and, as you’ll see below, “secondary characters” especially is a fairly broad category, but this is probably the best way to do it without getting too complex.

With main characters, you don’t really want to have more than four to five characters. Start with your protagonist and antagonist, and maybe add a couple more, but a lot of the time, other “main” characters can really be more like secondary characters, so the line can be somewhat blurred at times. But you definitely don’t want more than five, and even five characters can be pushing it at times, unless it’s a trilogy of door-stopper fantasy novels or something like that.

Secondary characters represent a broad category since it can be anything from a faithful sidekick to a minor character who only shows up once or twice. So putting a strict limit on this is tough. There are some things to keep in mind though when assessing the number of characters. First, keep a careful eye out for redundant characters that can either be cut or combined with other characters without much harm done to the overall story. Having done this myself, I know that it can be painful to get rid of characters like this, but it is also necessary. So keep an eye out when adding a new character to see if he can just be combined with another one, or if he’s really necessary. Second, one of the best ways to test out if you have too many characters is to send your story out to some beta readers who you know will give helpful feedback on the story and see what they think. If several people are reporting back that they were confused by the number of characters, that’s a pretty good indicator that there is too many. But on the flip side, if you hear no complaints, it’s probably fine. So the number of characters in this category can vary a lot so that we can only stick to guidelines. But there is a limit.

Finally, the last category is background characters, or nameless characters that exist but are mostly defined by the groups they’re in. This would be the random street workers that your character might walk by, or the entire army of nameless-characters that is present in a fantasy work. These characters don’t get any “speaking lines” so to speak, but are present to make the rest of the world believable. With these characters, you can pretty much have as many as you want, provided they’re fulfilling their purpose.

Overall, giving each of your characters a distinctive personality does a lot to help the reader with possible character-confusion. Nine characters with distinctive personalities are easier to tell apart than three characters who all have blurred or undefined personalities. So, unfortunately, there is no clear limit for characters. But giving each character distinctive personalities, keeping an eye out for minor characters that can be cut, and relying on beta readers to make sure you’re not overdoing it is a great way to work around this problem.
 
In summary, if your readers can’t keep track of all the characters, or have a hard time telling characters apart, that is a sign you need to cut.
– Josiah DeGraaf

Your Questions: Answered

Have a question about writing? Email us at kingdompenmag@gmail.com, using the subject line, “Question For The Panel”. A panel of Kingdom Pen writers will then attempt to answer the questions you email to us in the quarterly issues. We’ll also be posting the questions and answers on our website (like in this post), so you’ll have a chance to comment with your own thoughts and solutions.

Here are the questions we answered in the last issue of Kingdom Pen:

kingdom pen logo sept 13 - g

 

Question:

I’ve been hearing a lot about subtext, how using it correctly can really help your story. But there seem to be a lot of conflicting ideas about subtext and what it is—can you guys clear up some of the confusion for me?”

Answer:

A lot of people view subtext as an “advanced writer’s tool” that can only be fully understood after having completed three novels, purchased a platinum membership on one of the more prestigious writing forums, and learned the top-top-secret Novelist’s Fistbump. I disagree. Subtext is an or­ganic element of storytelling that you’ve probably always known about to some extent, but that will take a lot of work and conscious thought to master.

At its most basic level, subtext is the meaning that lies underneath your character’s words and actions. Your character says one thing, but means another—and the sub­text peeps out from what he’s saying, revealing his true thoughts and motives. Sometimes this is on an unconscious level, and the reader doesn’t really understand what he’s really saying until later, when the story events suddenly make everything make sense. At other times, the subtext is a little less subtle and instantly discernible, but it’s still subtext.

A stellar (and not-so-subtle) example of this is in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life, where George Bailey violently denounces any intentions of having any kind of romantic feelings for Mary, who retorts that she really couldn’t care less, and that if he feels that way, why doesn’t he just leave town and travel like he’s always wanted to. Through the subtext, we as viewers get a much better feel for the char­acters’ true motives and emotions then if they just cheer­ily announced that they were crazy about each other and didn’t want to live life apart.

Subtext is too complex a topic to really talk about in-depth in this column—whole books have been written about it. But hopefully this will give you a place to get started from, and will dispel some of the confusion you’ve had on the subject. A full understanding and mastery of subtext will bring a whole new dimension to your charac­ters and their story.

– Braden Russell

 

Question:

How can I get rich quick through writing?

Answer:

Write a best-seller that becomes a series that becomes a movie. However, unless you have the luck of Stephanie Meyer, that isn’t likely to happen. If you want to get rich quick, don’t turn to writing. Go try something else. Mak­ing a living at writing means going into it for the long haul: countless rejections, thousands of hours and words spent in growing and refining your skills, tons of market­ing, building a reader platform, and a lot of patience. Some authors /do/ end up making a living by their craft and sell thousands of books. Dekker and Peretti are two such exam­ples. Others never get rich, still work a day job, and write only a handful of books. Author/forensics expert Bill Bass is a good example of that. If you are writing for the possible financial payoff, you might want to stop and think again. What inspires your /best/ writing? A handful of green pa­per or the undeniable urge to exercise your voice and say something worthwhile? Beautiful, artistic, important writ­ing shouldn’t be about the money, but about the things be­ing written.

– Hannah Mills

Question:

When writing stories about Bible charac­ters, do I have to adhere absolutely to the facts or can I use some imagination? It’s quite hard because the Bible does not con­tain many facts about a particular person.

Answer:

My short answer is, yes, you can use some imagination, be­cause you have to. Like you said, details are lacking. What facts there are, you must adhere to, but there is a lot that isn’t said, and allows for flexibility.

My long answer is that attempting to add facts or events to Biblical peoples’ lives is risky. You are straying from the truth, which could potentially confuse your readers as to what the truth really is. One example of this is in the famous book Paradise Lost by John Milton. Many commonplace ideas about Christianity come from that book, even though it is not scripture. Therefore, I probably would not even write a his­torical fiction novel using real Biblical people, as I would be too concerned about misrepresenting them, and thus, con­fusing others’ understanding of what they were really like. But if you’re set on using the events and characters record­ed in the Bible, why not just change the names and loca­tions? The Passages books by the creators of Adventures In Odyssey are a great example of this, and they made for very compelling books, even for a 12-year-old me who did not like reading at the time.

– Reagan Ramm

Short Story Contest — Details, details!

Here at Kingdom Pen, we’re always talking about writing for Christ. Attacking lies, changing the world with fiction and being deliberate with our words. Hopefully, you don’t feel beat over the head with this. That was never our intent.

But perhaps you are getting the idea that we’re a lot of studious, boring people with an ax to grind that we never stop grinding. That’s not true of us, we hope. We like to have fun, and we thought we’d do just that with our first time ever short story contest.

That’s right. Kingdom Pen is going to host a short story contest, with first, second and third place prizes. No fee for entry. All you have to be is a Kingdom Pen subscriber (and that’s free too, by the way).

What are the guidelines? Where can you find details about this event? And what about those prizes we mentioned? Keep reading.

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Short Story Contest!

Kingdom Pen will be hosting its first ever short story contest in an upcoming issue.

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