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How to Write a Book—A Free Christian Novel-Writing Course for Teens and Adults

Over half the members of our family write, but Miss 14 is our fiction star, having penned several novels.  I’ve been thinking of getting her a novel-writing course.   She participates in NaNoWriMo every year and imitates other writers’ styles as recommended in The Writer’s Workshop, but I wanted to give her something more.

As I considered various options, I bumped into a free 18-week course on Hope Auer’s blog, A Cry from Egypt.  Hope is a young lady whose first book has been published, and she’s sharing what she has learned about writing books.

Although I’ve only seen the course up to week 4, it seems helpful without being arrogant.  As Hope points out, there are many different people who write in different ways…and when she outlines the various methods, aspiring writers can choose which one would most likely work for them.

Each lesson contains a discussion of a part of the writing process and ends with a small homework assignment.   Each lesson, so far, is Biblical.  I love the reminders not to put words into the mouth of a Bible character without much prayer and careful consideration.  Of course, to write a book to God’s glory, you need to pray, and don’t we all need to be encouraged to pray more?

Here’s what you get, so far:

  1. Introduction
  2. Week 1:  Writing for God’s Glory    
  3. Week 2:  Getting an Idea
  4. Week 3:  Getting Accountability
  5. Week 4:  Starting

So, why do I like this course?

1. For one thing, it is very practical. Whoever does the homework assignments can’t help but learn.

2. For another, I share Hope’s perspective on most Christian teen fiction:  It is neither helpful nor up-building.  True Christian fiction is different.  However, it is a struggle to learn what true Christian fiction is and how to write it. Sharing the struggle with others will benefit everyone involved.  I expect Miss 14 will learn some more about that struggle from Hope’s course, whether or not she ends up agreeing with her methods.

3. And I’m telling people about this course because there is a message that needs to get out to Christian writers.  Yes, you’re writing about people, but don’t make it a worldly novel with a few prayers thrown in as veneer.  Instead, make it a novel about Christian people living a Christian life, whether adventurous, romantic, or conflicted, or about non-Christians facing their need for a Savior… or whatever else is True.  Write about Truth, and don’t be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Rather, learn to write for God’s glory.

I pray that How to Write a Book will help any aspiring author, whether teen or adult, learn more about writing for God’s glory.

Disclosure:  I am giving my own opinions in this preview and am in no way compensated for sharing them with you.

– For more tips, see Favorite Resource this Week, Encourage One Another Wednesday, Women Living Well Wednesdays, Works For Me Wednesday , Raising Homemakers, and Frugal Friday.

8 Comments

  1. JoAnn says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I will definitely look into it for my daughter.

  2. Rachael says:

    Thank you for this review, Annie Kate! I think my eldest will be keen on this too. I agree with you on many so-called Christian novels today…

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thank you, I’ll check it out.

  4. Annie Kate says:

    You’re welcome, ladies! I hope you’ll like it.

  5. Susan says:

    This sounds like an interesting resource. Thank you for sharing it with Favorite Resources!

  6. Thank you for this wonderful post. This is definitely a message for Christian writers. Hope I will be able to say that I wrote the truth.

  7. [...] At Hope’s website, you can purchase A Cry from Egypt, download a short prequel, or take a novel-writing course (previewed here). [...]

  8. Gilbert Olson says:

    I read the Intro and first four lessons which were published in 2012. Where can I find the rest of the series?
    I am a retired missionary (Africa and the Philappines) and pastor and have written many Bible college textbooks for the assembly I belong to. A textbook, however, is quite different from a novel. It is in my heart to write the story of salvation using a teenager as the main character, a very troubled city boy with no Christian background but who finds what it means to love the Savior during a church camping trip in the back country of the Olympic mountains, WA.

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