Today I welcome Donna Schlachter as guest blogger. She shares an important about the ultimate reason Christian writers write. Love her message! I hope you will too.
Court cases abound where one person alleges another has harmed them in some way, either through slander or liable. Police and criminal laboratories are under scrutiny because test results used to either convict or exonerate were proven to have been conducted in error, possibly negating the results. Patients wait for a life-or-death diagnosis based on biopsies, scans, and blood work. Juries determine the guilt or innocence of defendants based on evidence presented or exculpatory evidence withheld.
And within our personal relationships, marriages rise and fall on trust. People are hired and fired based on reputation. Friendships grow or die based on gossip.
Credibility is a really big thing.
If we don’t have credibility in our lives, people soon learn not to trust us. If we don’t do what we say we’re going to do, our family learns not to depend on us. And if we do things we said we weren’t going to do, they can’t hear what we’re telling them because our actions are speaking too loud.
In the same way, we must have credibility in our writing. This starts with the promise we make to our readers: this is a book you’re going to be glad you bought. You don’t want a reader to say, “I’m glad I borrowed that book. Imagine how bad I’d have felt if I paid for it.”
Readers are glad to buy a book that meets their requirements: to entertain; to educate; to edify. As writers of Christian books, however, we must look to our reason for writing first: to point people to God.
I’m not talking about salvation scenes and dirty rotten scoundrels coming to Christ. We must reveal something about God to our readers that perhaps they didn’t know. Or didn’t realize they knew. Some aspect of His character, His good plans for them, His love for them, His grace and mercy, His love for justice, His compassion.
Then we must fulfill the promise that we know what we’re talking about. No matter whether we write historical or contemporary, we must know our characters, our setting, and the details of people living and working in that setting and time period.
Donna lives in Denver with her husband Patrick, who is her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She has published four cozy mysteries and a devotional for accountants under her pen name, and a collection of short stories, a book on writing tips, and several devotionals under her own name. Her current release, Echoes of the Heart, a 9-in-1 novella collection titled “Pony Express Romance Collection” released April 1. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She will be teaching an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers in June 2017, “Don’t let your subplots sink your story”. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both.
You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and online at: www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com and www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com. Her most recent release is They Physics of Love. All books are available at Amazon.com in digital and print.