Thursday, October 9, 2008

Writing Update!

I thought I would update my readers on my writing these days. I had been in such a rut for a while, not having a lot of "inspiration" to write, until recently, and it is so much fun to be back to it!
  • Airborne. I actually wrote Airborne a couple years ago, but left so much of it incomplete because I had to do so much study for it. The story is about a young man named Jeff Scharlacken whose dreams are to go to college and to become a pilot. His dreams seem dashed to pieces when his guardian dies and he is sent to help missionaries deep in the jungles of Colombia, where his parents had once ministered before they were killed in the midst of guerilla warfare. Here on the mission, he is caught in between two choices: to follow his own ideas for his life, or to surrender his will to God and make Christ his All. God has to use dramatic circumstances-- like attacks from surrounding guerilla groups-- to bring him to a point of decision. Because this story happens in Colombia, it has been kind of hard to write, because, until recently, I knew very little about Colombia. It's kind of hard to try to describe a place you know so little about! So recently I got in contact with a missionary lady who grew up as an MK in Colombia, and so they are helping me to learn about missionary life, native cultures, and such. I am planning on beginning revisions very soon. I'm already amazed at how much needs changed in it as it is. I think I'm going to have fun with this!

  • My 17th century England story that has no title. I mentioned in a post last month. I was able to scrounge up some books at our puny library in town and study those a little, but it was somewhat of a challenge, because my story is supposed to be about true Christians in the midst of religious and political chaos, but the books I got were from a secular viewpoint and so what they had to say on the different religious sects was tainted or uninformed. Today, however, I finally got my hands on a Christian, historical fiction novel set in that era and am looking forward to reading it and seeing what I might learn. Anyway, as I continue to study, I'm going to do with this what I did with Airborne: go ahead and start writing it, and fill in miscellaneous historical and cultural details as I learn. I am trying to at least get the story down now. So far I am on page 9, and it still has barely begun. It starts with the father of the main character Ann (who, by the way, is just a baby at the beginning), harboring an illegal Dissenter preacher at his home. This leads to the father's imprisonment, and the preacher and his son come up later on in the story and play a significant role. I'm having so much fun with this story!! Again, if any of you know anywhere else where I might get a good, detailed, Christian history of this era, please let me know!! :-D

So that's the progress of the pen these days!

"My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" (Psalm 45:1b)


Alaina said...

Your books sound neat: I enjoy reading historical fiction! Do I get to read it when you are done? :)

Melanie said...

Oh yes, I'd love for you to read it when I'm done! :-D

Rosebud said...

I'm a step ahead of you, Alaina--I get to proofread her manuscripts. :D

Alaina said...


juli said...

Those sound great Melanie!! Isn't it so fun to write?? Good luck and God bless!!!

Melanie said...

Juli, yes, I LOVE writing! I am so glad to get back to it. :-)

The Sorta Family said...

Oh, I love writing too! My problem though, is that I come up with too many story-lines, and get bogged down with 20 ideas at once. So I'll start all 20 of them ans never be able to finish each of them...
I have learnes a lot about writing by reading good books. If you find any good books you'de reckomend, feel free to let me know! - Rose

Melanie said...


You sound very much like me! I have actually a whole list of books I written, am writing, or want to write. What I posted here was just my bigger priorities. I have SO many stories!!

I too have learned a lot from reading various books and authors. I have developed my style primarily by studying various author's styles and adapting them myself. Some authors/books that have really helped me are as follows:

George MacDonald-- MY FAVORITE AUTHOR!!! (No hesitation!) His writings have influenced me to make Christ the center of my characters and stories. While I could never write quite like him (men and women write totally differently, and we're from totally different eras too ;-) ), he has been instrumental in helping me know how to shape my characters, build my plots, and emphasize the Christian walk in my own books.

Christmas Carol Kaufman-- many of her books are published through Christian Light Publishers. Her style and plots carry the reader along wonderully and convey deep spritual truth.

Charles Dickens-- I LOVE his style! It's so picturesque and amusing! His writings have prodded me to give more attention to describing scenes and situations more vibrantly and using more variety and color.

Kersten Hamilton-- She edited the "A Life of Faith: Millie Keith" series. Again, excellent style and also she really gets into the main character's thoughts and impresses the reader with a need to walk with the Lord while showing the main character's own struggles and triumphs.

Those are my main fiction writing-style "mentors" so to speak. My beloved English books :-D (Rod and Staff) have been really helpful too, though I tend towards a more long-winded style while they talk more about short stories.

Those are just some ideas. :-) There are so many more books-- I am trying to post a book report of every book I read on here so keep in touch. ;-)

One problem I run across in writing my books is keeping historical or culturally accurate. I don't like reading historically inaccurate books, but trying to learn all kinds of information tends to bog me down and sometimes makes me want to just pitch the book. :-) It takes endurance, prayer, and finding the right books and people. It's hard, but worthwhile! Sometimes though, I think it would be nice to write about a normal American homeschool family so I don't have to study. :-)

Thanks for leaving me a comment! I'd love to answer any other question you might have, if I can. :-)