As with any historical novel, it is often difficult to discern where history ends and fiction begins. The details of battles, army movements and even the weather are as accurate as could be ascertained from existing sources. I have taken no liberties with the facts, and there are no historical epiphanies. For example, the execution of two deserters took place very much as I describe it, except that the men of the Fourteenth Connecticut took no part in it except as observers.
AA: What were the most important lessons you learned along the way? KB: About writing, I had read of the importance of approaching my writing from three perspectives—as writer, as character, as reader—one at a time, of course. First, as a writer, I must create a compelling story and tell it in a forceful manner using all the gifts I have been graced with to make my writing attractive to the reader. Next, I review my story as the character.
Am I conveying the proper aspect of this character's growth or decline that is needed at this point in the story? Is this person's vocabulary fitting to his character? Are the emotions genuine and believable?
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Finally, I try to analyze what I have written as if I were reading it for the first time. I either read it aloud, or copy the text into my text-to-speech reader and listen to the words. This might seem like a purely mechanical exercise, but it has certainly helped me find errors and avoid repetition, and to generally improve the quality of my writing. Author Karl Bacon Regarding the writing life, I am in no way experienced in this, as I am just now learning what it is to be a writer.
The best lesson I've learned is to treasure the words of the Lord Jesus, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Countless times during the writing of An Eye for Glory I prayed, "Lord, what would you have me do now? Yes, diligent research revealed many possibilities for incidents in the book, but it was after the book was finished, that I prayed, "Lord, please show me what to do with it," because I didn't have a clue.
Within a week or two, I found the American Christian Fiction Writers ACFW website, became a member and made plans to attend their annual conference, where I had the unique opportunity to pitch my novel. It was with great trepidation that I sat down across a table from the senior acquisition editor for Zondervan. She loved my story and asked for a proposal my first and only , and a month after sending it in, I received the exciting news every author craves, but I had never dreamed of.
My point is simple. In all my asking, seeking and knocking, God was always faithful—answers were given, information was found, doors were opened—and it was all His doing. I was fairly knowledgeable about the American Civil War before I ever thought about writing a novel, and I knew the Civil War was the most cataclysmic event in the history of the U. But prior to the in-depth research required for this novel, I never truly understood what a terribly taxing and grinding war this was for the armies in the field.
Being deprived of proper food, clothing, shelter and basic hygiene, coupled with the rigorous physical hardships of hard marches, exposure to the elements and deadly combat taxed men to the limits of their endurance. A regiment of 1, men could be ground down to one-quarter that number after only six months. Filling the ranks with able-bodied soldiers was a persistent concern throughout the war. As to publishing, even Christian publishers must make a profit, and profit potential is a powerful motive in deciding which books to publish.
This means the right story must find its way to the right publisher at a time when that publisher has a need for it. It requires some homework, because the various Christian publishers focus on different genres and subgenres. My case was somewhat unique, but is illustrative. Both Zondervan's mission statement and the fact that they publish historical fiction put them at the top of my list of possible publishers.
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