Eddie Snipes has agreed to join me in a discussion of Christian fiction. Eddie’s blog is Eddie’s Word Turnings. Both Eddie and I have been on this journey of writing fiction for the Lord for some time and we’ve had joys and disappointments along the way. We thought hashing some of our experiences out would be fun and informational.
Nike: Thanks so much for agreeing to do this Eddie. It’s a pleasure having you here. I’ve been at this for a number of years and I can honestly say when I started I had no idea how much was involved in writing a good work of fiction.
Eddie: I’m amazed at how much I have learned writing fiction. For most of my writing life, I have been writing non-fiction, and was surprised at how different of an approach I had to take when transitioning to fiction. If you are familiar with the topic, non-fiction is easier to write, since the reader is already looking for specific information. In fiction, you have to present your idea and capture the reader within the first few paragraphs, and at the end of each chapter.
Nike: I recently took a look at my first attempt at Christian themed fiction, a twenty-eight chapter novel set in Brooklyn—where I live. Looking at that manuscript is laughable now. It’s so completely amateurish. Yet, at the time, I thought it was pretty good.
Eddie: My first attempt was, um, well let’s just say that I used it to line a dog crate. I thought it was great, and I still like the plot idea, but the writing was unsalvageable. Sometime in the future, I hope to revive the plot with a little better planning. I’ve written two more novels. By my third attempt, I was able to apply enough fiction strategies to make it engaging. I’m going back to rewrite my second novel. Unlike my first attempt, this one is salvageable.
Nike: What has been your greatest stumbling block/disappointment as you move forward in your writing?
Eddie: My biggest stumbling block / disappointment is closed doors. Rejection is part of the process of writing, and writers have to be aware that they will have to knock on a lot of doors before one will be answered. Fortunately, I read a lot of testimonies before I started submitting, so I was somewhat emotionally prepared. I was surprised at how difficult it would be to get agents and editors to even look at my work. The greatest challenge isn’t to find someone who will like my writing. It is finding someone who is willing to look at my writing. I have yet to find such a source.
Nike: What has gratified you the most, been your greatest joy on this journey?
Eddie: The real joy of writing is the act of writing. It is satisfying to write out something that is creative and expressive. It is like giving birth to something that was once inside – but according to my wife, it has considerably less pain. I find hope in knowing that I have been called and gifted by the Lord to write, and that others will read my work to gain insight, inspiration, and be influenced for the better.
Visit Eddie’s blog, Eddie’s Word Turnings — where you will find humor, truth and fiction. http://gesnipes.blogspot.com/