Richard Mansel

Writer, Preacher, Historian and Bookworm

Archive for the tag “non-fiction”

Christian Fiction Teaches Bible Lessons

I am using Christian fiction to teach Bible lessons instead of always using non-fiction in my columns.

It is common for Christian writers to begin with an illustration and then leave it to get to the meat of the Bible teaching. Carrying the illustration through the entire piece is not something I have read before, with any regularity. It has been well-received, so far.

I love writing these pieces. They come easily to me. I start with an idea and the story flows. I am slowly working on a novel, so this helps train me in this new genre.

Jesus used parables and stories, so there is a long history of using narrative to illustrate Biblical truth. Moreover, Christian fiction is huge right now. However, Christian short fiction is not as popular.

Here is a listing of what I have had published, so far.

The Road to Valencia

Memorial Day: Written in Charcoal

Wreckage

A Special Home

The Wife of Your Youth

Resurrection

Writer’s Thoughts 9/9/10

Tips, Links, Quotes to Spur the Writer Into Action

“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing” [E.L. Doctorow].

“Please don’t start your submissions letter by telling me how much I’ll love your book. Let your book do the selling” [Laura Anne Gilman].

How to Structure Your Short Story

Write Short, Sharp Blog Posts

Is  Writer’s Block a Myth?

Is Show Don’t Tell a Myth?

Thoughts on Story Titles

Are We an Author or a Writer?

Ten Commandments of Fiction Writing

Five Tips to Polish Your Fiction

How to Write Intriguing Male and Female Characters

The Nighttime Novelist

“If you read good books, when you write, good books will come out of you” {Natalie Goldberg].

“While thought exists, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living” [Cyril Connolly].

If we will think. expand our reading and vocabulary, we can always arrive at fresh ways to say things.

10 Free Writing courses

Unlock Your Writing Through Visualization

How to be a Successful Writer

“…your reader is at least as bright as you are.”  [William Maxwell].

Four Tips to Writing Better Non-Fiction

If we want to write a non-fiction article that will move people to act decisively to improve their lives or correct a shortcoming, we must remember these four basic tips.

We must never settle for mediocrity. Always strive to produce a masterpiece, even if we fall short. Aspiring for greatness pushes us to higher levels of competency.

1. Pithy – Clearly, people prefer shorter, powerful articles.  We place the reader into our ideas quickly and carry them through at a brisk pace, to retain their attention.

Being pithy does not mean that we do not adequately express our ideas. Rather, we do so with the most economical method available to us. Economy of language requires skill and a repertoire of active, visual words. We must let the reader see our ideas so they can catch on quicker.

2. Persuasive - If we wish to move people to action, give them the direction and motivation necessary to make the journey. Every word must advance the cause. Our pet topics may interest us, but if they do not work toward the ultimate goal, cut them.

Persuade a general audience, unless we only want people of a certain segment of society to accept our suggestions. Be clear what we want of our readers, so they will understand and take the right road.

3. Profound – Editing and vision produces a profound piece of writing. Work hard to rise above the mundane articles we see around us. Strive to write the article on the subject. Give the reader something they are not getting anywhere else, even if that is only in our use of illustrations. Ideas come to life with an angle that is fresh to the reader.

4. Portable – Always give the reader something to take with them. Impart ideas that are portable, so they can put them in their pockets and share with others. Crisp stories and anecdotes are memorable. Clichés are the antithesis of portability.

If we will remember these tips, we will produce better work. Writers must care about their readers and respect them and their intelligence. Simple and profound is a challenge that will always stir people’s hearts for good.

Interview with Richard Mansel

I have been interviewing writers, novelists and bloggers. I thought, why would I ask them to do what I am not willing to do? So, I am combining some questions from several of their interviews and interviewing myself.

My purpose is to share my thoughts on writing, so my readers can become more familiar with me. Hopefully, along the way, the readers of this interview will learn some things to help them grow as a writer.

It was a very interesting exercise that I recommend.

1. How did you get started as a writer?

In the fourth grade, I began writing short stories and sharing them with friends. When the sixth grade came along, Mrs. Pierce, allowed me to read my stories to the class. The students requested their favorites and I read them with immense pride.

I continued to write through the years, but I was less serious. When I began preaching, my writing became more important. I wrote religious articles and had some published. One day I submitted an article to Forthright Magazine and they published it and then another. I was asked to be a columnist and over 300 articles later, I am very honored to be a columnist and Managing Editor.

I am humbled that my articles have appeared in several publications, newspapers and websites. I have been privileged to produce chapters in ten books and to be the author of The  Most Important  Question, a book on the plan and purpose of salvation.

All of this and more, hearkens back to a teacher allowing a shy, gangly boy to read his stories to his class. If only she knew.

Read more…

Writer’s Thoughts 8/25/10

Quotes, tips and meditations from the Writer’s Desk

Ten Ways to Write Skinny Sentences

How to handle pronouns in our fiction

The proper way to handle self-promotion

How much does a writer make?

“You have to protect your writing time. You have to protect it to the death” [William Goldman].

Kindle Sales Hit Record High

Ten Habits of Successful Authors

Becoming a Successful Freelancer

Five Tips to Effective Writing

Writing Smoother Sentences

Promote your Blog or Book Through Your Email Signature

Become a Disciplined Blogger

Writer’s Thoughts 8/7/10

Nina Lassam has a good article on the future of the author in the age of digital books.

Nine reasons to be optimistic about books and writing in the digital era.

Goodreads takes the next step

Amazon claims 70% to 80% of the e- book market

Discussion of Amazon and the Book Market

Authors sell directly to readers

Electronic Books are Transforming the Concept of a Book

What Americans do online and the growth of Social Media

Random House CEO on the future of the E-Book Age

INCREDIBLE story about Harper Lee

Read more…

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