Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Journey to a Book Contract - Five Vital Steps (Part 3 Theme)

By Elva Cobb Martin

Today I continue my series on "My Long Journey to a Book Contract - Five Vital Steps."
You can get the full blogs in my archives on Part 1 and 2 but here is a fast review:

Here are the five steps I listed in Part 1:

1) NEVER give up!
2) Keep Honing Your Craft
3) Importance of Conferences and Writing Groups
4) Help Other Writers 
5) Learn how to Submit to Editors and Agents

In Part 2 I covered four ways I've learned to plot a novel. 

Today, in Part 3, I continue with "Honing Your Craft" and important things I learned that helped me on the way to a contract. 

Plug into a Theme - A story’s most basic element
The author’s worldview, their core values and outlook on life, drive the theme. Here are 10 central themes in film and books constantly repeated which describe an opinion about society, human nature, God, or life in general.
1) Good vs. Evil   - Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia,
         The War Room
2) Love Conquers All 
 - The Notebook, Love Comes Softly                      series, The Passion
3) Triumph over Adversity – The Blind Side, Facing the Giants
4) Individual vs. Society – Schindler’s List, The Elephant Man
5) The Battle – Braveheart, The Patriot, Attila
6) Death as a Part of Life – The Shack, Driving Miss Daisy
7) Revenge – Cape Fear, Revenge of the Nerds
8) Loss of Innocence – Sixteen Candles, Toy Story 3
9) Man vs. Himself – Gone with the Wind,The Godfather
10) Man vs. Nature –Jaws, Armageddon, Jack London stories,               Survivor shows
A quick check of stories in the Bible will reveal many universal themes. In fact, the Bible hasn’t left out any nitty-gritty issues mankind faces.
■ Husband and wife join in wrongdoing (Adam/Eve, Ahab/Jezebel, Ananias/Sapphira)
■ Jealousy/sibling conflict (Cain/Able, Rachel/Leah,                       Joseph/brothers)
■ Love/hate triangles (Abraham/Sarah/Hagar;                                     Jacob/Leah/Rachel)
■ Arranged marriages (Isaac/Rebecca, Jacob/Leah/Rachel,               Christ and His Bride
■ Rape (Dinah and Shechem; Tamar and Ammon)
■ War and its mighty men (Joshua, David, Gideon, Samson)
■ Women’s rights (the daughters of Zelophehad Joshua 17:3-6)
■Adoption vs. Infanticide (Moses)     
■Adultery/Murder (David/Bathsheba) (Hosea)
■ The perfect love story – Ruth and Boaz
■ The Wrong Kind of Sex  – Sodom & Gomorrah, the Levite’s concubine (Judges 19), Samson & Delilah
■ Redemption and Forgiveness – (the Prodigal Son and                        numerous stories)

Because I'm an inspirational writer, I want my novels to reflect my Christian worldview, core values and outlook on life, through whatever theme I choose. That's the legacy I want to leave with my readers and future generations.

Can you discern the writer's worldview in the movies and/or books you have read recently? So much being written and filmed today is in a secular worldview, but I do love to read and view stories with a strong Christian worldview. How about you?

What is your theme in your current WIP? Can you add to our theme list? Please leave a comment and share this blog on your social media if it helped you.

Be blessed today!
Elva Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels contracted with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in Anderson, South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site,
her blog 
Twitter; Facebook;  and Pinterest
Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:

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