• 70°

Christian Writers are building the guild

By Martha Tallent

The Orange County Christian Writers Guild held their monthly meeting on Tuesday. Dr. Charlie Starr was the guest speaker. Dr. Starr wrote his doctoral theses on C.S. Lewis and has written several collaborative books with other authors on the classic literature icon, as well as several other books on his own. Dr. Starr gave our group some wonderful tips on writing and publishing.

The first tip he gave is that the definition of a writer is somebody who writes. It is not necessarily someone who gets published, whether in a trade publication or a book, or even online. It is simply someone who takes great pleasure in putting words down in some form.

Tip number two is that the best writing is re-writing. When you can no longer remember the number of times you have edited something, then you are finally getting to a finished product. Never underestimate the editing process.

Tip number three is that the best writing is collaborative. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein were friends who, along with others, met once a week for a group they called The Inklings. They each would read aloud a section they had written, and then the others would provide critiques and encouragement to help improve their writing. Dr. Starr encouraged us to find a group such as our writer’s guild, or one more like The Inklings, to help us along our journey as writers.

Tip number four was that to be a good writer, one must first be a lifelong reader. He encouraged us to not only read the genre of book we like to write, but to expand, including fiction and non-fiction in what we read, with a specific emphasis on the classics.

His fifth tip was to understand the difference between reason and imagination. Imagination is a word not completely understood these days. It is not imaginary. Instead it is a way to teach truth without it being preached at you. He brought up that in the Bible we find stories that give us a picture. This is important in that the writer teaches the truth through the story they are drawing for you, the reader. Writing is a form of art, and art is not meant to say, it is meant to show.

Dr. Starr went on to give us some basic tips he has learned in the various ways he has published his books. Most importantly, we need to remember to give it to God and let Him lead us where He would in our writing career. Dr. Starr has done everything from self-publishing to being picked up by both small and larger press companies, and he gave some insights into his journey through each of these very different processes.

For more information, or to check out the various books Dr. Charlie Starr has written, you can visit his web site: www.CharlieWStarr.com

Our writer’s guild website, can be found at: www.OrangeCountyChristianWritersGuild.wordpress.com

Our monthly meeting for December will be a Christmas party. All are welcome to join us for the party, or for future monthly meetings. We have some exciting guest speakers lined up for the next few months, so check out our website for more information in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions or want to join this free Christian guild, please contact: Publicity Director Sarah Jonson at sarah@sarahjohnsonbooks.com or Resource Director Martha Tallent @ 409-238-4978