Sunday, May 24, 2009

Books on Writing

Several weeks ago I ordered three books from the Writers' Digest online store. They were on sale, and free S&H was not to be dismissed. The American West is a nice encyclopedic edition that will be a valuable companion to my other books on the Old West, including Dictionary of the Old West, Everyday Life in the 1800s, and Everyday Life in the Wild West.

Another book, The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, has alphabetical entries for every person, place, and word associated with the title subject. Whether or not one believes in "ghosts", everyone likes a good ghost story, and I'm finding this book a fascinating read.

Alas, I fell prey to more temptation this week. Another sale. More free S&H. Coming to my mailbox soon will be
  1. The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing
  2. The Writer's Guide to Places
  3. Writing the Christian Romance
The third book is of particular interest because I would like to try my hand at that genre. Growing up on Grace Livingston Hill's books, all of them Christian romance---same story, different characters names, but totally satisfying to an impressionable young girl's soul---I always had in mind that I would follow in her footsteps.

There are a couple of glitches though. My aunt once described Mrs. Hill's books as "too sweety-sweet", and she had a point. Real life is not inevitably nice. People struggle with situations of their own making and not of their own making. Sometimes they appear to win--outwardly---and sometimes they lose. But, for people of faith, winning and losing are not always opposites.

Everyone familiar with my writing knows that I've drawn a line in the sand; crossing it isn't up for debate. "Steamier" romances are readily available, and I'm not criticizing them, just saying that they aren't the genre I choose to write. Of course, I've read some--- barely started some before deciding I could do without, stopped in the middle of some, finished some. The majority were good books, but I tire easily of four-letter words and repetitive bedroom scenes, and so moved on.

But real life is real. It happens. The Christian life is real life, so it must be written about realistically. While my current writing includes a definite moral tone, it couldn't be construed as Christian romance, and that's what I'd like to try.

The Wild Rose Press, which always had a Christian romance line, recently decided to form a separate publishing company for that genre. White Rose Publishing is up and running, and I hope to be part of it someday.

Meanwhile, I am slogging through the galleys for Where Is Papa's Shining Star? for the second time---there will be a third---and beginning to understand just what it is I've opted to do with the rest of my life. Work.


nlindabrit said...

Your new books sound wonderful!

K9friend said...

It's very cool that you're looking for ways to allow your writing to evolve into other areas.

And I'm jealous on the books. They all sound terrific!

Donna Alice said...

I love the Everyday life books on the West. It's fun to open a new package of books! Have fun,