When Writing Offends

Today I am writing about When Writing Offends.
You are going to offend somebody with your writing. This is a true statement whether you’re writing fiction, blogs, or anything else. It’s likely to happen. And some writers write with the intent to offend.
I am not writing about that. Rather, I am talking about poor writing. A few years ago I spoke at a meeting where we were discussing someone else’s book (name intentionally withheld). The book was full of foul language and filthy sex. I had agreed to review the book not knowing the author’s tendencies. In fact, I started to back out because it offended me so greatly, but I had already agreed to read it and so I read did, although it was a struggle. My conclusion, it was a terrible book. I would never recommend it to anyone.
But it was a best seller!
You might ask how can it be poor writing and still be a best seller? Simple, sex sells!
But the problem with the story was there was a basically good plot but the sex, language, etc. overrode it. Now to be sure, there was at least one fan of the writer who defended the book. Her defense bordered on insulting rather than anything constructive, but it does show such writing does attract people.
I once was accused of trying to impose my Christian faith upon others. Not in that meeting, but here on the Internet. But the fact is I believed that writing should not contain profane language or excessively graphic scenes long before I ever accepted Christ as my Savior. In fact, I wasn’t even attending church back then. I’m not talking religion I am talking about what makes a great writer.
Sales doesn’t make a great writer.
There is a constant flow of pornographic books that sell. Mankind is attracted to such books. But they are not good books.
Before I got saved I read well written books of all types. I even read books that had great plots, fantastic characters, while also leaving little to the imagination. And the interesting thing is that these books were great even if the bad stuff was left out. In fact, I would contend they would have been better.
You read any of my novels and I leave out the excessive graphics. That doesn’t mean there’s no sex, violence, or anything like that. When I write a scene I leave the excess up to the reader. Which brings up an important maxim:
A writer’s job is to stimulate the reader’s imagination not replace it!
So I always have a stopping point. This is true whether it is sex or violence.
But what about language?
Well, let’s take a look at that. Those defending the practice contend it is more realistic, that everyone swears. But that is a false statement. There are a lot of people who don’t swear. Hollywood and TV has created an image that says swearing is normal, but we all know people, a great many people, who don’t swear.
So, first of all, swearing is not as prevalent as advertised.
Secondly, even if it was prevalent, we need to ask why most people read. It is to escape the reality of their lives, to imagine, to relax, and to be uplifted. Sure some are drawn to the dark side (a little Star Wars there), but I doubt that is the majority.
So, how do you the author show passionate characters and/or events without crossing the line? Believe it or not there was a time when authors actually solved this dilemma. In the case of language they simply used symbols, such as !@#$%^&. The reader automatically knew they represented a swear word. Some readers probably substituted their favorite swear word if they liked to swear. But the key here is that the reader didn’t feel deprived, but simply read on.
In the case of violence or sex the authors highlighted the activities leading up to the event. For example, in Perished I wrote of a battle where a sword fight took place. Read it for yourself:

Akkub turned and saw Meremoth rushing at him. He blocked the initial strike although staggered by it. Meremoth used a two-handed grip to force Akkub back. Suddenly Akkub lost his footing and Meremoth’s sword came slicing downward unblocked.

Everything seemed to stop as the general looked at his severed hand still gripping the sword.

Here we have a sword fight that results in one man losing his hand. The amount of detail provided is not too graphic, but it is enough to stimulate the reader’s imagination. And different readers have different levels of imagination, so each reader may picture the fight differently. In any case, the scene is full of action yet not too graphic.
In the case of sex, my usual approach is to focus on the events leading up to the act and to the events leading away from the event. Again, I let the reader’s imagination fill in the gaps.
In truth, the reader’s imagination is a valuable tool available to every writer willing to make use of it.
It is a tool that needs to be sharpened. You do that by using it. Moreover, you experiment and see what works. As deeply as I believe in what I am saying I have had people who reviewed my rough drafts tell me that I needed to back off in this or that scene. So you need people you trust to review your rough draft before you submit it for publishing.
My final thought on this is what is your ultimate goal? We all want our books to sell. That is a given. But what is your ultimate goal?
Is it to simply get rich? Then you’ll probably reject everything I’ve said.
Is it to simply write? Then you may or may not care about this blog or about sales.
Is it to write your very best book? Then I contend you want your writing to be above reproach. Fame and sales would be nice, but you want to be able to say to yourself, I did my best. And that brings a deep sense of satisfaction!
Offences can’t be totally prevented. But your offences due to unnecessary graphics, language, and the like can be reduced and maybe eliminated. Try it.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Writing as a Service

Today I am writing about Writing as a service.
The following article is largely a reprint although I have both edited and updated it.
Today we deal with the concept of a Christian’s writing as a Service! Authorship covers many genres and categories within each genre. The concept of writing can be reduced to: writing from a Christian viewpoint.
What do I mean by Christian viewpoint?
Basically this involves the tenor of your writing. In my case I write some novels that are based on Bible stories. There are such books out there that are based on Jewish or Christian views. Obviously, mine are Christian. My books may or may not be based on the Bible but all will be characterized by a Christ-centered theme. By that I mean that the reader will come across scripture pertaining to salvation.
Why do I write with a Christian viewpoint?
The reasons are twofold. First, the Bible stories are true events, not children’s stories. They are about real people and real events. The stories are meant for people of all ages. And they are written to instruct not entertain!
God is not in the entertainment business. Each of His stories is meant to teach or drive home a point. A good example is the story of Noah and the Ark. This has been widely viewed as a story for children. However, the story has very little entertainment value as written. But it is highly instructive and teaches us about God’s love and provision.
My job is to take that story and weave in material that transforms it from its instructive nature to an exciting, action-based novel that awakens the imagination of the reader without losing the instructive side. Judging by my readers’ comments I have been successful!
Secondly, my job is to put God on display. The Bible already does this with great effect. So it is not as difficult as it seems except in those situations where the Bible is silent within the story, but comments on it later on. As an author I can lift those comments from the future Bible sections and insert them into the story itself. I do this with actual quotes or an imaginative conversation that is true to Biblical context.
But it is not just to put God on display. It is also to enable my readers to see and feel His love and power. I can think of no greater compliment than to learn that my novel has so impressed someone that he/she desires to read the Bible!
Some of my novels are historical or speculative not being based on the Bible. These stories also have a Christian theme. I try not to be preachy, but I do try to convey the idea of 1) God’s love for mankind, and 2) man’s needed response. I also like to show how God can use multiple methods of leading His people. So in general, my Christian viewpoint is to relate Biblical stories that emphasize God’s love and power in an entertaining manner that both uplifts and convicts.
Your Christian viewpoint might be a little different. It doesn’t have to be Bible stories for example.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Joy of Writing

Today I am writing about the Joy of Writing. If you’ve followed me for awhile you have probably read where I said something like, I love writing. I love writing, Period!

Do I want to sell books? Of course. Do I want my books to be best sellers? Who wouldn’t? Do I want to influence others? You bet.

But when the day is done I love writing!

That is why I am currently working on two novels. One is another World of books while the other is a Christland book. Worlds far apart. But I love both.

I love the creation of scenes, the necessary research to bring characters alive, and bringing it all together into a complete novel. I’m not so thrilled with the editing, polishing, and changing of the story, but they are necessary so I endure.

Writing brings me a feeling of accomplishment. Seeing my words in print, whether on my computer or the Internet, feeds my ego. When I finish a novel I probably sit a little straighter and smile more.

On the other hand, I don’t like negative reviews. Reviews are a necessary part of successful writing, which is why I constantly ask for reviewers. I will never have enough reviews!

But won’t some be negative?”

That’s a good possibility. But both are needed. Good reviews tell the reader that it’s a good book; bad reviews help the writer improve. In fact, bad reviews, even if wrong or uninformed, enable a writer to improve.

I primarily write novels. But novels influence people sometimes far beyond the author’s original intentions. There have been times when a reader told me that he or she had to look something up in the Bible to find out whether the scene just read was my imagination or the Bible or both. That’s a compliment!

So what am I saying? Simply this. If you write for the joy of writing, don’t let the details get you down. Maybe your book isn’t selling like you’d like; don’t let it get you down. Be alert to helpful advice or criticism, but continue writing. Each book, each scene, each criticism makes you a better writer.

Write!

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Persecuted Church Part 4

I’ve been writing about the persecuted church. Today I continue with Part 4.

When writing about the persecuted church it might be wise to take a step back and consider what church I am talking about. In this day and age the word church has become a huge umbrella that includes “Christians” that don’t really belong under that label.

So what is a Christian?

A Christian, Biblically speaking, is a person who:

  • Has acknowledged he/she is a sinner
  • Knows he/she needs a Savior
  • Knows that Jesus Christ the Son of God died for his/her sin
  • Knows Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead 3 days/nights later
  • Has asked Jesus to save based on His shed blood and not his/her works
  • Accepts the Bible as the Word of God

This is a very tight definition on purpose. Although I believe that the KJV Bible is the only Bible for English speaking people, nowhere does the Bible indicate believing in the KJV is necessary for salvation. God gave us a simple plan of salvation and we should leave it that way.

That said, there are many people out there who claim to be Christian. Look at them carefully and you will find they are not Christians. Mr. Romney can protest all he wants but Mormons do not preach or teach about the same God as found in the Bible. Mormons are very religious and try to live a good life, but they are not Christians.

The same can be said about other faiths that claim to be Christians but depart from one or more of the points made above. And while I’m at it, not all humans are the children of God. All humans are the creation of God; He’s the Creator of all. But to be a child of God requires a definite act; i.e.., being Born Again.

Once you have defined the Christian then it is easy to find the church. It is not a denomination. It is that body of believers who are born again. Since baptism doesn’t save it wasn’t listed above, but most churches require baptism since it is the first command to a believer.

I am going to all this bother because some of you may point to churches that are thriving and are not being persecuted. It’s possible that a church of true Christians hasn’t yet experienced persecution, but as mentioned in previous blogs persecution takes many forms and it may not be readily visible. But the pastors sense it!

It is also possible that a Christian church is not being persecuted yet because they try to “fit in” with the world. The job of the church is to tell the world about Christ being the answer to their sinful condition not to change the social/political world. It is the church’s job to warn of coming judgment not affect climate change or any other issue. That message brings condemnation from the self-righteous people who sound great but have bought into the world’s righteousness not God’s.

America has been spared the truly vile persecutions that have been seen around the world. Even European countries have started persecuting Christians. Why should we be surprised at that? Christians were persecuted there once before. Here, in America, we may still be enjoying the fruits of Christian churches that once shouted out the Word of God. But without revival I don’t see this lasting much longer.

It is a shame that Hollywood considers itself able to teach Christians about what is right and wrong. We need to get our doctrines from the Bible and not from the world. The Bible is the only absolute authority. And yes, there are still absolutes to be obeyed or followed.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Mighty Pen

Today I am writing about the power of the word. We writers wield a powerful tool that can inspire, transform, build or it can tear down, spoil, destroy. Writing is a time honored craft that can and often does serve God.

Generally I blog about writing books; in particular, novels. But there are other examples of where writing can be viewed as a service. These are writing:

  • Blogs

Blogs are not only an expression of yourself, but they are sources of influence, as well. Some people are only known because they have a fantastic blog. It’s easy to get started with WordPress and it is fun.

  • Letters

Some people write letters for others. You can actually make money doing this. You can also personally influence people for your own causes.

  • Novels

My favorite. If you have a lively imagination you can write lively stories. Writing Christian fiction is not much different than writing fiction. It is fiction with a Christian worldview. If you can do this, you have the potential to be very successful or extremely happy because you are doing something you truly love.

  • Poetry

In the early days I wrote poetry, but it was for personal use. It actually helped me win my wife. I was never interested in pursuing it as a career, but I did enjoy it.

  • Skits

Writing for skits, plays, etc. can be rewarding. I know next to nothing about this, but people have and do make good money in it.

  • Soul Winning Tracts

You’ve seen all those tracts out there. Go to any church that believes in and practices soul winning and you will find a tract rack or display. Somebody writes them. And many are very good.

What other examples are there? Write them down. And then take them to the Lord to find out if any are for you. Being a writer is rewarding whether you make money or not. There are other more enduring rewards like satisfaction, self respect, the respect of others, and that feeling you get when you’ve done something right.

As for me, I write not to get rich (probably a good thing) but because I love to write. You could say it’s in my blood. Why do you write? What is your motivation?

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Christian Speculative Fiction

In a previous blog Why Christian Science Fiction I concluded that there may not be such a genre. But thanks to a reader I discovered I was wrong. So, instead of writing about issues today I will take this time to update my perceptions and yours.

The reader informed me that there is Christian Speculative Fiction and he mentioned Enclave Publishing, an outfit that specializes in Christian Speculative and Science Fiction. So I checked it out and he was right. So in the future I will refer to Christian Speculative Fiction.

Now that I have found a safe harbor  let me promote it. Just like any genre or sub-genre there will be all kinds. The word Christian denotes a certain worldview, but since there are all kinds of Christians it is probably wise to consider there are all types of Christian worldviews. And my research into it verifies such wisdom.

From what I have seen my novel Death Ship and the series Christland springing from it fit nicely into this genre. One writer recently commented that Christian Speculative writing is hard. Now she may have been referring to the difficulties of getting publish which I don’t have. But she could be referencing the writing itself. And with that I agree.

In writing Death Ship I didn’t have the luxury of aliens as a potential enemy. The enemy is twofold: 1) a general charged with destroying Christianity and 2) space itself.

The Christland series involves at least three elements: 1) Earth, 2) Space, and 3) another planet. And then there is General Abner Smith who hates Christians. Powerful, egotistical, and devious, he is a real danger to Christians on Earth and in space.

In addition, there is the nature of animal life on distant planets. I believe that animals may exist on earth-like planets. Only humans are said to be unique. Animals may resemble what we have on Earth or be entirely different. Imagination can provide those animals. What I find difficult is the degree you wander from Earth bound animals. Some science fiction books I have seen and read get real creative with animals. But I think a good solid story doesn’t want to get too creative. There is a story to be told and these additional factors should enhance the story not detract from it.

But so far I have found that writing is still much the same. Christian Speculative is simply telling a story with a Christian worldview and placing it in another part of our universe. You’ll notice I’m not talking about a new world. And why should I? There are other solar systems out there just begging for writers to discover. And mankind has begun not only looking from afar but planning on visiting them. Enter speculation or science fiction.

Actually I think the hardest part of being a writer of Christian Speculative Fiction is the marketing. You go to the Library and try to find that genre. I go regularly and I haven’t found such a genre yet. Part of the problem is that Christian Speculative Fiction is considered, at least in a library, as a sub-genre of science fiction. Which is fine, but it makes it that much harder for readers to find. Avid science fiction readers may consider that statement laughable, but readers who don’t naturally read science fiction might find themselves in agreement.

Having discovered the appropriate sub-genre (whoever came up with ‘speculative’ anyway?) I am more upbeat than before. I’d much rather be in an established genre or sub-genre than to start one.

Reading other authors in your genre is always a good thing. So that is one thing I will now be doing in the Christian Speculative sub-genre. Who knows, I may even do a review. I have just downloaded a novel and have started reading it.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Publishing with Create Space

Last Friday I was helping a friend set up a publishing platform. So I thought it appropriate to discuss Publishing With CreateSpace. This may end up being multiple parts, but here goes.

Why Should You Avoid the Big Publishers?

That’s a good question. There are of course good reasons for using the big publishers, more often known as traditional publishers. In brief, they are established and well known, which gives them a marketing edge and they pay royalties, sometimes good ones. But beyond that they are the ones who are in control and reap the profits.

Traditional publishers exercise literary control. They decide whether your book will be accepted or not for publishing; they have control over the content; and they control most of the publishing process.

What About Self-Publishers?

When I started writing in 2003 I began with AuthorHouse. I was pleased with its quality, its low price (about $400 back then), and the guidance I received. But as time went on I became dissatisfied. At $400 per new book it wasn’t all that cheap.

Self-Publishers are better than traditional but they still have ultimate control. If you want to have control of your writing, publishing, and marketing then you need a different approach. That brings us to CreateSpace.

What is CreateSpace?

CreateSpace is a publishing platform that offers you the control you desire and, along with it, the ability to reap the profits. Would you like to start getting 35% royalties at the first printing? Or how about 70% royalty? Either one is possible.

When you publish your book through CreateSpace you can also transfer the document to KDP Kindle. However, I recommend publishing the Kindle version directly through KDP. Or you can begin the process through CreateSpace and once transferred to KDP, go to KDP and replace the content with content that has been customized for Kindle (ie., removing paging, headers, and anything else that is unnecessary for an ebook). I always copy the finished CreateSpace book to a name such as [Title] + “for Kindle” so that I have one for print and one for Kindle.

What Other Advantages are There?

With Self-Publishers you will probably pay for your ISBN number (either within price or extra), which is necessary if you want to sell your book to libraries, schools, or even worldwide. CreateSpace will provide FREE ISBNs or they will sell you one. The CreateSpace ISBNs automatically are eligible for Expanded Distribution which allows for CreateSpace Direct (wholesale, etc.), Bookstores and Online Retailers (e.g., Barnes and Noble, Ingram, and NACSCORP.), as well as Libraries and Academic Institutions through Baker & Taylor.

It all depends on your needs. Generally, I have found their free ISBN to be what’s needed.

Another advantage is the Photo Gallery. While it is not extensive and, in my opinion, needs to be expanded, the gallery provides many photos that can be used as covers. And if you have a photo you’d like to use they allow you to upload it (needs to meet their standards). Or you can hire someone to make a CreateSpace compatible cover for you. Except for a few rules, you have control.

You have control over the size of your book, and the pricing of your book. Over and over again, you are given the tools to exercise control. And for the most part, it is free!

How Do I Set Up a CreateSpace Account?

It’s actually pretty easy. You’ll need an email account, which will serve as your ID, plus you will need bank account information so that they can pay you your royalties. There may be some tax questions as well. Those are the essentials. After that it is simply following the prompts and answer questions.

How Do I publish a Book?

Again, it is easy. You sign in and are taken to the MAIN PAGE. Here you will select Add a Book. Once you have selected this you will be given a choice of how to proceed in creating your book. You will want to take the guided tour.

Each step of the way you will be guided and asked questions. The first decision will be the Title information. Title information is required and can be changed. It is necessary for you to receive an ISBN number. Once you’ve created a title and selected what type ISBN you want you will save the progress. From that time on the ISBN cannot be changed; it is locked in. However, you can change the title information.

To upload a book it may require a PDF manuscript. Simply save your Word copy to PDF and upload that version.

Do You Recommend CreateSpace?

Since we created T&R Independent Books we have found CreateSpace to be an excellent publishing platform. It works very well for us. We have used it since 2014 and plan on continuing to use it going forward. Your needs may differ from ours so you will need to make that decision yourself.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Writing as a Christian Service

The following blog is taken from an earlier blog entitled, Is Writing a Service to God? I am still a writer and I write Christian themed novels. So examining the subject of writing is as natural as breathing. There may be small alterations, but basically it is the same.

Is writing fiction really serving God?

That’s a reasonable question since some people believe that it is not true service. I once was upbraided for writing novels based on the Bible because:

  • People will mistake it for the truth
  • Thereby getting wrong doctrine

There are a few things wrong with that view:

  1. The Bible is found in the Bible or Religion section of bookstores not fiction
  2. Novels are found in the Fiction section not in the Religion section
  3. My books state they are novels
  4. My novels are purposely based on Biblical fact and doctrine
  5. My novels flesh out the stories rather than disagree

In other words, no person who has read my books can seriously claim they teach false doctrine. If there is any doctrine in the book it always agrees with the Bible. In fact, I have been told my books “bring the Bible alive!”

Actually one of the reasons for writing Bible based novels is to encourage people to read the Bible; to discover what is Bible fact and what is a product of my imagination? It is always a thrill when someone reads my books and their faith is either renewed or they become more interested in reading the Bible.

And that is a service!

The true test of service, any kind of service, is as follows: Does it

  • Agree with Biblical facts
  • Honor God
  • Inspire people to read the Bible
  • Inspire people to worship God
  • Inspire others to serve
  • Inspire people to live godly lives

It needn’t do all the above but it should have at least one of the elements. Christian authors, whether fiction or non-fiction writers, have an awesome opportunity to influence people for Christ. You don’t have to be preachy. You don’t even have to write about Bible events or people. But our writings should reflect a Christian approach to or view of life.

My books generally take place before the birth of Christ yet I strive to present a Christian view. So while I don’t mention Jesus, I do mention the Redeemer. In addition, I emphasize the Scriptures (aka the Writings).

So if you’re a Christian author don’t be shy about being one. You have a job, perhaps a calling. Trust His leading and do things His way. And when people challenge you respond in pride, “I write because God gave me the talent and because He wants me to use it for Him.”

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Insights: Christland

This new feature is called Insights. It may concern a book within the series World That Was, Christland, or any other series or book I’ve written or will write. I hope you find it interesting.

Christland is a new series within the Science Fiction genre. As noted previously it is better known as Christian Science Fiction.

Death Ship, the first book of the series lays the foundation for the series. In this novel you will find two parallel stories occurring. In Space you follow eighty Christians  arrested, examined, and placed upon a ship whose destination is a distant star and a fiery death. It is a story of courage, romance, and danger.

Meanwhile on Earth you have General Abner Smith the mastermind of this evil persecution as he watches the ship and makes additional plans. Unknown to him the Underground Church, made up of evangelicals and fundamentalists, resists the worldwide ban on worshiping God. They also aim to thwart the general’s plans.

I enjoyed writing this novel. I’ve always liked science fiction to an extent, but it all too often was evolutionary and therefore unbelievable. I found myself wondering why there can’t be science fiction that embraces a Christian view and a more practical plot. I found it challenging and exciting to write. And the amount of research needed and available was simply overwhelming!

Through research I discovered that since the days of Star Trek the idea of space travel has come a long way. They are now seriously looking at things like warp drive, ION engines, replicators (which to some extent already exist), and much more. Since I was already interested in science (not as a student) I found these new developments exciting and thought provoking.

In fact, before I ever got the idea for this book I was already following SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, two competing space developers. Both are exploring the outer rims of space travel and will eventually break through. Death Ship takes place in the 22nd century, therefore allowing more than enough time for the two programs to succeed. In fact, the novel presents a world that has advanced in many ways.

It also depicts a world where Christians are persecuted. This is simply a practical outgrowth of the worldwide persecution we now see. Even here in America we see it starting. Only a nationwide revival can truly overturn this trend. It is true the Trump administration is increasingly acting as a friend of Christianity, but the next president may once again allow attacks against Christians to go unchecked and unpunished.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Full Time

Serving the Lord is always a full time job, but choosing to serve Him full time in a specific job, ministry, or activity is a choice that needs much prayerful considerations. An example of this is my recent retirement from one type of service (church financial secretary) to serve in another area. Although the idea floated around in my mind for years, it was a year ago that I decided it was time.

How did I know? Well, there were signs along the way, the most prominent being the after results of a 2014 heart attack. That prompted my wife to suggest I needed to consider retiring when I reached 75 (which I just did). But while that was important it was the physical and mental results of the heart attack that really spoke loud and clear to me.

When I first became a church financial secretary up in Michigan, my pastor pointed out to me that the management of church finances was different than managing business finances. You’re managing God’s money! Which means that whereas a business can accept and even write-off errors, there is no room for errors in God’s economy. I bought into this and believe it to be true to this very day. But after my heart attack I found I could not focus as sharply or as long as previously and mistakes were being made. This was unacceptable. So in May of 2017 I informed my pastor I would be retiring in May 2018.

That day has come. But God didn’t call me to retire to sit around doing nothing. He has work for me to do. And the direction He wants me to go has become apparent in recent years although I’m still learning what that entails.

Having now retired from my part-time job of Financial Secretary I am now a full-time writer, whereas before I was a part-time writer. But time is not the only thing that has changed. For example, while I will continue writing this blog I plan for it to be far more active than once a week. More on that later.

In short, my efforts in writing, publishing, and marketing are going to require greater diligence. That means a restructured daily life. Whereas before these duties were primarily done “when opportunity arises,” which often meant working evenings as well as daytime, now I need to have a more structured schedule. I need to have daily priorities.

What makes this more difficult is that working for the church I had three different men I reported to, one of which was my supervisor or boss. While he trusted me and allowed me great freedom, he was still my immediate boss. But now I’m the boss. That means I am not only responsible to myself, but for myself. Technically my wife, who is President of T&R Independent Books, is my boss but I have almost unlimited freedom to pursue our goals concerning the business.

But my real Boss is the Lord Himself. That hasn’t changed. Nor has His direction except that it is and I expect it will increasingly be more specific.

One of the changes being made is the name of this blog. First, it is necessary to have a name that more accurately portrays the blog; and second, it should be easier for people to find the blog. Previously this blog has been known as So You Want to Write and now is So You want to Serve. Both titles represented my interests. But sometimes I wander into other areas of interest including politics. Over the years I’ve blogged about serving, writing, business, politics, and the Bible.

So A New Name is Required

That new is not really all that new. It is actually found in my url address. Look at it and you’ll see RFrederickRiddleBlog. Best practices suggest that this should be the name I adopt and market. So beginning with my next blog it will be called R Frederick Riddle Blog.

Profound, isn’t it?

But honestly this will enable me to continue connecting with people like you and with new people. There may also be additional changes coming in the future but these are barely concepts right now. One difference you will notice is the frequency. Instead of once or twice a week my goal is to blog Monday through Friday. Watch and see how successful I am at meeting this goal.

So welcome to R Frederick Riddle Blog.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.