Author Topic: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?  (Read 796 times)

Offline cherryblossom

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2017, 11:25:38 PM »
I get some of my best inspiration in the bathtub and in the middle of the night when I'm half asleep. XD  (But it's not limited to that. :) )
SAAAIIIIIIIMMMMM LIKE FOR REAL THAT IS EXACTLY ME!!!!! I got my manga idea in the bath tub!

Offline cometarrows

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2017, 11:38:29 PM »
So...tl;dr? ...I don't know how I can condense it. :D haha

Nope. Read the whole thing.  8)

I agree with you, too. First, non-Christians aren't likely to read something labelled Christian. But if they do read my work, I want them to say they got something good out of it.

But something I realized from reading your reply is that some stories are meant to outright quote Bible verses, while others aren't. But even when it doesn't, Bible themes and principles should still shine through. So I guess not all my story ideas suit quoting Bible verses, especially if I want them to help change a non-believers perspective—just give them something to think about.


Regarding what Ninja, Cherry, Kitsy, and Yoro were talking about earlier: (if I'm not mistaken, Calbhach mentioned this previously, too): But I think in exploring this duality, there is a danger of blurring lines too much, so we gotta be careful. There is not purely evil and purely good human. Everyone's a mix of the two and leans toward one or the other; it's possible to completely change. Like in Ninja's example of The Count of Monte Cristo—or an example closer to home, Paul: the religious activist extremist turned apostle of missionary to the Gentiles.



Oh, another thing you can do. If you run into a Christian cliche in your work, try flipping the idea completely upside down and see what happens.
I'll definitely try that.
I Timothy 4:16 says, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Offline cometarrows

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2017, 11:46:30 PM »
I get some of my best inspiration in the bathtub and in the middle of the night when I'm half asleep. XD  (But it's not limited to that. :) )
SAAAIIIIIIIMMMMM LIKE FOR REAL THAT IS EXACTLY ME!!!!! I got my manga idea in the bath tub!


Some weird stuff went down while I was typing my reply. (⊙_◎)
But I agree! XD The water has a nice soothing effect that really churns creativity right out of you



To summarize what we have so far: (Highly paraphrased; did I miss anything?)


1. Write for Christ.
Do it all for His glory and it will point to Him.

2. Choose a theme/message and build the story around it.

3. Choose your target audience: Christians, non-Christians.

4. Write what you know/love for Jesus.
If you write about what you don't like or you don't know, you'll probs mess up.

5. Represent Christians and non-Christians right.
No one is inherently good, but no one is completely bad. Good guys do evil and bad guys do good; however, that doesn't mean the line between good and evil is blurred.

6. You can take inspiration from the Bible and retell Bible stories, but don't rewrite the Bible.

7. Keep it clean.

8. Story ideas hit you out of nowhere. Be receptive to them. (And keep a pen and paper on hand for when you gotta write down ideas before you forget them.)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 11:48:02 PM by cometarrows »
I Timothy 4:16 says, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Offline calbhach

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2017, 08:43:23 PM »
7. Keep it clean.

This one, I have a slight problem with, actually. I mean, there are instances where a clean story is great (especially aiming it towards very young readers), but we also have something very important to keep in mind.

Even the Bible isn't what people would define as "clean". There are liars, there are sexually immoral people, there are thieves, there are all kinds of people in the Bible. There are very, very mature situations in the Bible. There are even events that would be considered disturbing and possibly grotesque. There is the practice of false religion, building of idols. There is love of money, there is hate of people. There is rape, there is violence, there is prostitution. There is murder, there is homosexuality. There is bullying. There are drugs, there is liquor, drunk both responsibly and irresponsibly (no matter which side of the line you stand on about liquor, even Jesus still drank wine). There is gluttony. Everything that exists in the real world, exists in the Bible. We need to remain fully aware of that. There may be topics/sins we personally cannot tackle in our writings, simply because our knowledge of them is very small, such as, I would never try to seriously write about a homosexual character, not because it makes me nervous, or I would be afraid of offending someone, but because I lack that knowledge of that type of person. Homosexuals exist. And more than anything...they deserve a chance at salvation too. So why should they be taboo in our writings? They shouldn't necessarily even be portrayed as evil people...cause I can tell you right now. I've know some homosexuals. They weren't evil. Just misguided. And more than anything...I think they love same-sex because they UNDERSTAND their own gender. They understand who they're dealing with. Because they never understood the glory of God, they had no reason NOT to love someone they were more comfortable with. Sadly, these kinds of people exist. And if a person can write a Christian work that deals with homosexuals, gently but glorifying God at the same time, then praise God for the person who could do that. Homosexuality isn't to be taken lightly...but remember. In the minds of these people, it is not a sin. They truly live their partners, so they feel there is nothing wrong with this. And to portray them as evil and wicked isn't good. If they can be brought to salvation in real life, they can be brought to salvation in a written work as well. It just has to be done with much more love and gentleness than I can give. Again, none of this is giving an opinion about anything, and I don't wanna get anyone off on a debate of any kind. I'm stating only one thing...facts.

Anyway, I believe that a well-written work isn't about keeping it "clean", it's about representing Godliness. Which means that any and every foul thing in the world can be written into a story, but still be made into something God-glorifying. Sorcery? It's a real thing that real people try to/do partake in (don't wanna go into the whole magic debate either. Only giving an example). If real people try to do it, it can be written about without being anti-Christian. Cussing? It's real. It's a real-life problem. A real-life problem that needs to be addressed. Christians cuss too (I'm no exception). I have a problem with it and I need to address it.

Oh, and one last thing that I want to mention...

Sometimes, the Christians don't actually "win". Sometimes they lose the fight of the battle in this world. They may win in terms of their own salvation, or the salvation of a few others. But...sometimes, in the end, it doesn't turn out peachy-perfect. Sometimes, people's lives end extremely tragically. Just another thing to keep in mind when writing. ^^

Offline cometarrows

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2017, 09:46:18 PM »
7. Keep it clean.

This one, I have a slight problem with, actually. I mean, there are instances where a clean story is great (especially aiming it towards very young readers), but we also have something very important to keep in mind.

You bring up a very good point, and I agree that the Bible has mature themes that we don't want children learning about right away. My baby sister asked what prostitute meant after reading it in the Bible. I also agree that homosexuals can't be portrayed as evil just because they're homosexuals.

But let me clarify my point: By 'clean,' I meant writing in a way that it wouldn't be a stumbling block to others. So if even if it tackled themes like sexual immorality, there wouldn't be any explicit scenes. And if it tackled other sins, those wouldn't be portrayed as okay in any way (except those times when it is rationalized in the MC's mind as he struggles with it).

So I agree with you:

Anyway, I believe that a well-written work isn't about keeping it "clean", it's about representing Godliness. Which means that any and every foul thing in the world can be written into a story, but still be made into something God-glorifying.

Sorry for being confusing. I should probably change the wording.



Sometimes, the Christians don't actually "win". Sometimes they lose the fight of the battle in this world. They may win in terms of their own salvation, or the salvation of a few others. But...sometimes, in the end, it doesn't turn out peachy-perfect. Sometimes, people's lives end extremely tragically. Just another thing to keep in mind when writing. ^^

I agree. Christians may win salvation but lose everything else. That would be a sort of bittersweet tragedy. But still a win in the long run. (^_^)
I Timothy 4:16 says, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Offline sarah_yt

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2017, 08:30:34 PM »
This is a really interesting thread~ great responses and ideas being thrown around!

Re the recent homosexuality discussion, it got me thinking about a trap that Christians can fall into - stereotyping particular sins. I guess it ties back into the evil/good black and white. I've seen Christian articles and tracts point the finger at homosexuals and say they are like that because they were sexually assaulted as children, or that you can't trust homosexuals because they will sexually assault your children (Chick Tracts, I'm looking at you on both accounts). That is utterly wrong, hurtful and completely unhelpful. There may be a higher proportion of homosexuals who have been assaulted as children (may be... we are, afterall, relying on data in an area that isn't exactly the most open to public scrutiny) but that doesn't follow that everyone is and to rely on stereotypes will have several effects:
- immediately turn people away because we obviously don't understand the issue; and/or
- reinforce that erroneous view in sections of society (can I suggest Bible belt kids /  those with minimal exposure to 'secular' society) that don't have much interaction with other groups. This can then perpetuate in more unhelpful behaviour.

When we, as Christian writers, write about sin - write about people, not labels.

If you are thinking of writing about a particular issue, sometimes it helps to not write about that issue per se, but a similar one in a different environment. Someone mentioned zootopia - that's a good example. The Predators vs Prey plot was not necessarily about racism, but about an 'us vs them' mentality. The old TV show, Star Trek New Generation, was particularly clever about this too.

I'm kinda rabbiting on (pun intended) but I guess I just wanted to reinforce the point about being realistic. And if you are writing from your own experiences but don't have much experience about the topic or characters you want to write about, be very very careful you don't fall into stereotypes.


In regards to writing about God, the way I've tackled that issue is to only show God's actions in situations similar to how he has reacted in the Bible while holding to the fundamental truth that 'God resists the proud but gives grace to the lowly'. E.g. I have a prostitute in my story who God treats similarly to how he spared Rahab in Joshua. Similarly there is a character that is very well respected and 'religious' who God puts down because his heart is far from God.

Offline Foreign Grid

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2017, 08:32:51 PM »
For me inspiration is the random rain showers in life.

They just come, even when you don't want them too.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 08:39:04 PM by Foreign Grid »
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Offline The ninja artist

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2017, 08:45:13 PM »
This is a really interesting thread~ great responses and ideas being thrown around!

Re the recent homosexuality discussion, it got me thinking about a trap that Christians can fall into - stereotyping particular sins. I guess it ties back into the evil/good black and white. I've seen Christian articles and tracts point the finger at homosexuals and say they are like that because they were sexually assaulted as children, or that you can't trust homosexuals because they will sexually assault your children (Chick Tracts, I'm looking at you on both accounts). That is utterly wrong, hurtful and completely unhelpful. There may be a higher proportion of homosexuals who have been assaulted as children (may be... we are, afterall, relying on data in an area that isn't exactly the most open to public scrutiny) but that doesn't follow that everyone is and to rely on stereotypes will have several effects:
- immediately turn people away because we obviously don't understand the issue; and/or
- reinforce that erroneous view in sections of society (can I suggest Bible belt kids /  those with minimal exposure to 'secular' society) that don't have much interaction with other groups. This can then perpetuate in more unhelpful behaviour.

When we, as Christian writers, write about sin - write about people, not labels.

If you are thinking of writing about a particular issue, sometimes it helps to not write about that issue per se, but a similar one in a different environment. Someone mentioned zootopia - that's a good example. The Predators vs Prey plot was not necessarily about racism, but about an 'us vs them' mentality. The old TV show, Star Trek New Generation, was particularly clever about this too.

I'm kinda rabbiting on (pun intended) but I guess I just wanted to reinforce the point about being realistic. And if you are writing from your own experiences but don't have much experience about the topic or characters you want to write about, be very very careful you don't fall into stereotypes.


In regards to writing about God, the way I've tackled that issue is to only show God's actions in situations similar to how he has reacted in the Bible while holding to the fundamental truth that 'God resists the proud but gives grace to the lowly'. E.g. I have a prostitute in my story who God treats similarly to how he spared Rahab in Joshua. Similarly there is a character that is very well respected and 'religious' who God puts down because his heart is far from God.
Very good points, Sarah.

"Inspiration is what keeps the World going round"
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Offline cherryblossom

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2017, 09:44:22 PM »
For me inspiration is the random rain showers in life.

They just come, even when you don't want them too.
so true sister!

Offline cometarrows

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2017, 02:39:03 AM »
When we, as Christian writers, write about sin - write about people, not labels.

You make a good point, Sarah. Yes, it is very easy to fall into stereotypes especially when you don't know much about something. I think in that case, it would be wise to conduct a ton of research, else drop it altogether. (Less is more in that case.)

I think stereotypes can be useful sometimes, but not always, e.g. when writing about an overdone theme. I mean, many mangas and animes recycle the same tropes for characters, but with different skins. So I guess, in that sense, stereotypes are okay, I guess?

But still, a fresher outlook would be best. (Like when subverting stereotypes, for instance)

If you are thinking of writing about a particular issue, sometimes it helps to not write about that issue per se, but a similar one in a different environment. Someone mentioned zootopia - that's a good example. The Predators vs Prey plot was not necessarily about racism, but about an 'us vs them' mentality. The old TV show, Star Trek New Generation, was particularly clever about this too.

I hadn't thought about Zootopia that way. By the time I had seen it, I'd already been exposed to the criticisms about and analyses of the movie. So I didn't really enjoy watching it. But you're right: it is an 'us' vs. 'them' mentality and using similar yet different themes can still convey the message you wanna convey.

In regards to writing about God, the way I've tackled that issue is to only show God's actions in situations similar to how he has reacted in the Bible while holding to the fundamental truth that 'God resists the proud but gives grace to the lowly'. E.g. I have a prostitute in my story who God treats similarly to how he spared Rahab in Joshua. Similarly there is a character that is very well respected and 'religious' who God puts down because his heart is far from God.

That's a great take on it. I think this is similar to what Calbhach mentioned previously about keeping in line with the Bible. God provides plenty of instances when He worked in people's lives in the Bible. Who's to say He doesn't work in the same way (or similarly) today? I mean, we don't hear about anyone parting seas, but we know that's well within God's power.

For me inspiration is the random rain showers in life.

They just come, even when you don't want them too.

Yes, inspiration can be gained from nearly anything.

Do you write often, FG? How do you write for God?
I Timothy 4:16 says, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Offline Foreign Grid

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2017, 08:16:55 PM »
Last post and then Im gone for reals XD

I tend to try to do what Tolkein did when I work on my story. Of course it wasn't always that way but it's my focal point when I do test out story ideas. Now and then I find myself wanting to be more Dostoyevskyish though XD So I compromise. But I currently desire to make those who might read what I put on paper have the same reaction as this young man had when he read LoR:

"In my narrow confines of scientism, I had no way of processing what made Tolkien’s masterpiece so profound. How could a made-up fantasy world reveal anything about the “truth”? But I knew it did, and this changed my way of thinking. Are good and evil merely social constructions, or are they real on a deeper level? Why am I relating to ridiculous things like talking trees and corrupted wraiths? Why was I so captivated by this story that made fighting evil against all odds so profound? Why did it instill in me a longing for an adventure of the arduous good? And how does the story make sacrifice so appealing? The Lord of the Rings showed me a world where things seemed more “real” than the world I lived in. Not in a literal way, obviously; in a metaphorical, beyond-the-surface way. The beautiful struggle and self-sacrificial glory permeating The Lord of the Rings struck a chord in my soul and filled me with longing that I couldn’t easily dismiss."

I read this in an article he wrote after the fact. He was an atheist and then converted to Christianity because of Lord of the Rings. It put these questions in his mind and planted a seed that grew into a flower.
Of course, I don't intend to copy Tolkien, but rather make my own story that still delivers the same longing.
Somebody might have said something similar here but that's just my piece XD

Also I try to improve my relationship with God and improve myself overall first and foremost (I have MANY flaws that Im not even going to begin to talk about XD) But I find the flaws and virtues of authors can and will be reflected in their writings, so in order to help God do his work through us we should keep that first and foremost in our lives. So that we may express joy, struggle for that which is good, suffering, and love in our work, we must first live it ourselves.

Another quote:
"Human experience always contains both pain and joy. One of the reasons we can be confident that Christianity is actually true is it allows us to make sense of both aspects of the world. Of both beauty and pain. You can’t fake joy. Authentic joy is the kind that grows out of the soil of pain and doubt and fear, because that is the reality of the world."

In doing so we might allow people to realize God through the imaginary.

Another avid reader who through both Christian literature and her friend's testimony was able to convert wrote this:

"It is a hard thing to look at the truth when it runs contrary to what you've always believed. The experience is like pulling back the curtains in a dimly lit room and looking out the window to see what’s really outside. When your eyes are used to artificial light, the bright sunlight is almost blinding; your eyes may sting and even water at the brightness, and the temptation is to turn away to the more comfortable dimness. But consider: the electricity that powers artificial light is produced by fossil fuel, made from plants that long ago took in the light of the sun—or from windmills, powered by air currents moved by the sun’s heat—or from solar panels, absorbing the sun’s rays. We may think we are in control of the light when we can turn it on or off by a flick of a switch—but ultimately that tame, comfortable indoor light has its source in the wild heart of the sun. Just so with the truth. Whatever we know of what is right and good and true comes from God, the Author of all Truth—whether we know it or not. But His truth is so much greater than our little partial glimpses of the truth that it can be blinding."

« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 08:54:40 PM by Foreign Grid »
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Offline cometarrows

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2017, 09:18:38 PM »
Quote
"In my narrow confines of scientism, I had no way of processing what made Tolkien’s masterpiece so profound. How could a made-up fantasy world reveal anything about the “truth”? But I knew it did, and this changed my way of thinking. Are good and evil merely social constructions, or are they real on a deeper level? Why am I relating to ridiculous things like talking trees and corrupted wraiths? Why was I so captivated by this story that made fighting evil against all odds so profound? Why did it instill in me a longing for an adventure of the arduous good? And how does the story make sacrifice so appealing? The Lord of the Rings showed me a world where things seemed more “real” than the world I lived in. Not in a literal way, obviously; in a metaphorical, beyond-the-surface way. The beautiful struggle and self-sacrificial glory permeating The Lord of the Rings struck a chord in my soul and filled me with longing that I couldn’t easily dismiss."

... I find the flaws and virtues of authors can and will be reflected in their writings, so in order to help God do his work through us we should keep that first and foremost in our lives. So that we may express joy, struggle for that which is good, suffering, and love in our work, we must first live it ourselves.

Quote
"Human experience always contains both pain and joy. One of the reasons we can be confident that Christianity is actually true is it allows us to make sense of both aspects of the world. Of both beauty and pain. You can’t fake joy. Authentic joy is the kind that grows out of the soil of pain and doubt and fear, because that is the reality of the world."

In doing so we might allow people to realize God through the imaginary.

Quote
"It is a hard thing to look at the truth when it runs contrary to what you've always believed. The experience is like pulling back the curtains in a dimly lit room and looking out the window to see what’s really outside. When your eyes are used to artificial light, the bright sunlight is almost blinding; your eyes may sting and even water at the brightness, and the temptation is to turn away to the more comfortable dimness. But consider: the electricity that powers artificial light is produced by fossil fuel, made from plants that long ago took in the light of the sun—or from windmills, powered by air currents moved by the sun’s heat—or from solar panels, absorbing the sun’s rays. We may think we are in control of the light when we can turn it on or off by a flick of a switch—but ultimately that tame, comfortable indoor light has its source in the wild heart of the sun. Just so with the truth. Whatever we know of what is right and good and true comes from God, the Author of all Truth—whether we know it or not. But His truth is so much greater than our little partial glimpses of the truth that it can be blinding."


Thank you for sharing these lovely quotes, FG! They're both informative and encouraging. :D
I Timothy 4:16 says, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Offline reginadolce

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2017, 09:24:28 PM »
Okay lots of good points here! I don't go on here a ton but I'm usually glad when I do get a chance and remember you guys!

One very important thought came to mind as soon as I saw this topic, one I've really been struggling with actually.

As someone who has way to many ideas that could be Godsent I always struggle with this overarching thing....
What does Jesus want me to write? what does God want me to spend my valuable time doing?

Anyone can try to write/draw a good piece of literature/comic and even if I get a following online however small or large what would God want me to spend my talents doing?

Can I be real with you guys?
oh well im gonna be real anyway. ^.^
I struggled with this for a while....
Honestly I am still struggling......
I wanted God to bless all my ideas and what I wanted to do
without thinking he may have another plan for me.....
he may want me to write something totally different than my dinky little fantasy epics stories about romance and girls fighting the patriarchy. (nothing against fighting the patriarchy)

You see I have a serious problem with finishing anything...
like ANYTHING
and then I started praying that God would only let me finish what he wanted me to finish
then no matter what I did I couldn't finish a single thing I started writing...

The revelation came a couple weeks ago when I packed away all my tens of thousands <<<<<(hyperbole)
of ideas and character sketches and prayed what does God, what does Jesus want me to do with however much I have left of my art making years?

Then a thing came into my mind....not a story idea....but instead the revelation i previously mentioned....
anything I make in this world will pale in comparison to Jesus Christ's glory at the end of time. Everything fall short of the glory of God. Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, even the Law he made for us! Will all pass away eventually in the swirl of eternity. Everything. Even veggietales and especially all anime and manga... even the stuff we have made and (hopefully) will continue to make on this very site! will all pass away. But don't get depressed! :) incase you were getting depressed..... I know I was the past few weeks and even months. The beauty of Jesus's Love is he honors us and anything he is pleased with gets put on his fridge simply because we tried our best, and his grace covers the rest! Yet it won't stay there forever.....now we see in a mirror dimly and at some point, once we realize who the I AM truely is (when we are dead or the end of time who knows really? We shouldn't argue about it as believers) all the old will pass away! The church will realize that even the most doctrinal idea, insightful book, God filled movie, and thought provoking video game ^.^ doesn't even come close to what God is and always has been and is to come. The childish allegory we have been looking at all this time will be thrown away like a child's chicken scratching of a drawing of a family and we will make new stories with God!

Bottom line is.......pray.
Take it from someone who knows all the wrong ways to go about this......
If you don't have your prayer life.....you literally don't have anything!
Paul says we should pray without ceasing
I'm still searching about what that means really.
Also don't worry about finding the perfect idea! especially if this is your first book or comic!
Just get something on paper and rewrite rewrite rewrite.....
At least that's what my older brother (who is an excellent less depressing lemony snicket sort of writer) says.

last thoughts! Sorry for the long post! >,< I wanted to share my opinion because it was something I thought of a lot these passed few weeks.....

making good art these days is hard.
making something God will be pleased with can be tricky
making something that will last forever is impossible
But
Making something Jesus has called you to make is
priceless








Happy Birthday!!! oh... its not your birthday? too bad! *stuffs cake in your mouth*

Offline cometarrows

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2017, 09:33:13 PM »


Bottom line is.......pray.
Take it from someone who knows all the wrong ways to go about this......
If you don't have your prayer life.....you literally don't have anything!
Paul says we should pray without ceasing
I'm still searching about what that means really.
Also don't worry about finding the perfect idea! especially if this is your first book or comic!
Just get something on paper and rewrite rewrite rewrite.....
At least that's what my older brother (who is an excellent less depressing lemony snicket sort of writer) says.


making good art these days is hard.
making something God will be pleased with can be tricky
making something that will last forever is impossible
But
Making something Jesus has called you to make is
priceless

Thank you for the long post, Regina. I think you really got to the heart of the matter. Thanks for sharing about your struggle.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 07:50:36 AM by cometarrows »
I Timothy 4:16 says, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Offline cometarrows

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Re: FOR AUTHORS: How do you get inspiration for your work?
« Reply #44 on: May 29, 2017, 11:43:15 AM »
Posting this here because Kitsy raised a really good and relevant point on a different thread. Thanks, Kitsy! ^_^

I know I'm technically supposed to be on hiatus, but I recently realized something wrong with Christian story-telling, and thought I'd share it here before I forgot:

In the secular world, and from time immemorial, most stories that had a message still had value as enjoyable and entertaining stories even if you didn't agree with the message.

Most Christian sci-fi fans will watch and re-watch Star Wars, even though its creators have openly admitted it was intended to promote "a spiritual awakening" in the West; aka spread a form of Eastern Mysticism. But why are we willing to watch it then, even though it has an agenda we disagree with?
Because it's a fun and intriguing story with great characters and an epic plot twist.

Steven Universe is widely regarded as a cartoon allegory about homosexuality. So why do Christians and others who have a problem with that watch it? (Side note: that's why I don't watch it.)
Because it's a fun and intriguing story, with great characters, many layers to it, and a lot of catchy, tear-jerking songs.

Veggie Tales is a Bible-based Christian cartoon for kids. So why have I seen atheists praising it?
Because the creators of Veggie Tales weren't just trying to preach a message; they were trying to have fun. Everything from the stories, to the characters, to the songs, to the settings, to the voice-acting screamed that the adults working on this show were tapping into their inner child and having a grand time.

This is true of most good art too; we still admire the great pictures and plays about the Olympian gods even though everyone in modern society knows that they're fake deities.

And why? Because these things delightful in themselves, regardless of the message.

Many classical Christian works were this way. Novels were built upon layer upon layer of philosophy and theology, but also intrigue and adventure. Modern people still return to them decades and centuries later and find their lives being impacted for Jesus.

Christian stories aren't this way anymore. They tend to be one dimensional, and based on contrived or trite stories, or be Christianized rip-offs of secular material. (Or, y'know, they just rip off C.S. Lewis.)

In this way, only the people who agree with the Christian message are going to be entertained, and even many Christians may not be. Sure, I'm sure the Lord can still use these efforts, and I believe the stories of the people whose lives have been impacted positively by these works. But, let's face it, most people are not going even want to read or watch anymore Christian entertainment after their first round, let alone come back to these stories over and over again.

Am I saying Christian art needs to stop being Christian? Or that Christian movies need to get bigger budgets and be as "amazing" as Hollywood movies?

No. I'm just saying that Christian writers really need to stop being lazy.

*dismounts soap box*

But don't worry people of CM; you folks are all doing great. ouo)b

*disappears*
I Timothy 4:16 says, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."