When novelist Robin Jones Gunn began writing her second Christmas novella, she had already published fifty books in her decades-long career as a fiction writer. When Robin’s editor asked her to rewrite the book to include an element of romance, she leaned into the skills she’d honed as a professional writer and produced a fresh manuscript.
Robin rewrote the book four times before it finally went to publication, and she jokingly says she hoped to never see the book again after spending so much time developing the story. She moved on to her next project and didn’t think about the novella again until the Hallmark Channel showed interest in developing her Christmas novellas into a movie for the holiday season.
Over the next few years, Hallmark filmed three Christmas movies based on Robin’s books, and each movie became the most-watched and highest-rated film that year.
Hope*writers spoke with Robin specifically about writing fiction, and she shared her...
Growing a robust platform through online marketing is most often a task associated with nonfiction writers. However, novelist Katherine Reay believes this is the job of the fiction writer as well.
In a conversation with hope*writers, Katherine gives novelists the following advice, based on her own personal experience, for growing platforms and building a loyal readership.
Embrace Small Beginnings
When it comes to a strong social media following, a large subscriber list, or other marketing metrics, the starting line is the same for all of us. No one has a built-in platform, and all writers have to work hard to build a following or readership from scratch.
Rather than waste headspace lamenting a small beginning, we can embrace our platforms for what they are right now while still holding on to hope for growth. Our modest beginnings will grow as we continue to build our platforms with equal parts fun, effort, and strategy.
When serving as a fiction judge for the Christianity Today Book Awards, the number one skill author Sarah Arthur looks for in a winning writer is great writing. The definition of “great writing” is, of course, subjective, but as avid readers and writers ourselves, most of us have a sense for what is mediocre, good, and great when it comes to storytelling.
One key to great writing is the ability to edit and revise your own work with fresh eyes. We can aim for great work by putting Sarah’s top five tips for revision into practice.
Some writing experts recommend writing a terrible first draft in order to quickly get your words on the page, leaving the bulk of the editing for later. This may work for some, but it can also build poor habits and train us to write badly from the beginning.
If we give the first draft our best effort, we will inevitably become better writers through our commitment to...