I have one thing to say about Ron Benrey's book "Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Christian Fiction," and that is, "I wish I'd found it three years ago." When I first decided to devote my work time to studying the craft of writing longer fiction, my knowledge could fit safely in a demitasse. I spent my first few months in a secular writing group learning enough to fill a soup bowl. That is also where I met Margaret Daley who explained the world of Christian fiction writing. Since then I've attended two national ACFW conferences, a FHL mini-conference and three local secular conferences. I've met editors, agents and a score of wonderful writers. My knowledge begins now to overflow my nightime popcorn bowl. (I guarantee that's huge).
Now, I come across this wonderful book. Though I wish I'd found it sooner, and much of the information therein I have learned by hook and crook the last three years, nevertheless Mr. Benrey's words go far beyond what I've learned. Good common sense helps are invaluable such as a list of Christian markets, how to cope with the problem of many gatekeepers along the trail to publishing and why do we need them, what's expected of you once you receive "the call." One section I found interesting is the subject of self-publishing with a list of pros and cons, and why this could be advantageous. (I thought it would be an awful thing.)
One advantage to this "how to" book is the obvious Christian viewpoint. Not that writing isn't writing and helps from those who write other fiction aren't good to read, but Mr. Benrey outlines some problems which only Christian writers tackle. Once chapter is "Dealing with Distinctively Christian Writing Issues." "Have you been "called" to write? What words are no-nos in the CBA markets?
Though maybe three years too late, this book was right on time to help me reach the next rung of the ladder to publication. I highly recommend it if you, like me, have yet to publish a long Christian manuscript even if you've walked years down the road and learned enough to fill a sink.