In 2005, the members of the elite group ChiLibris, (consisting of multi-published authors,) wrote a book to prove that ideas can't be stolen. Dispelling this fear for new authors, each of the 21 stories had to have five elements:
- The first line: The wind was picking up.
- Mistaken identity
- Pursuit at a noted landmark
- Unusual form of transportation
- The last line: So that's exactly what she did.
Because of the diversity of each author, none of the stories were even remotely similar. And that's what I'd like to address. Diversity.
When ACFW first began several years ago, they were ACRW, the R for Romance. Within the romance genre, there were, of course, sub-genres. Mystery, suspense, historical, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi...but the focus was on romance.
Then, in a brilliant move on the part of the board, the decision was made to open up the group to all Christian fiction. This caused our membership to explode from the low triple digits to now over 1700 and counting.
And I suspect that not one author thinks, acts, or writes the same.
However, we do all have one purpose. As Christian authors, our purpose is to present the Gospel to a lost world. Some do this subtly in the ABA (secular) market. Others include conversion scenes in their CBA (Christian) books. More diversity.
Whether they write fantasy, speculative, thriller, romance, or comedy, ACFW members' one purpose is to be an instrument for their Lord.
I find this fascinating. One purpose, one goal, many different ways to reach that goal.
This idea is not new by any means. In Ephesians 4, the Christian's purpose is laid out in a similar fashion.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. ~Eph 4:1-14
May we all continue to be in unity, the umbrella that covers our diverse talents. And, hey, March is the month where the wind picks up. Let's all get out there and fly a kite this week!
Click here for a list of online vendors to buy What the Wind Picked Up. It's full of diverse authors, many ACFW members.
Kathleen E. Kovach has been an ACFW member since 2002 and is the Rocky Mountain Zone Director. Visit her blog on the craft of writing through movies at http://www.craftcinema.blogspot.com/ and her website at http://www.kathleenekovach.com/.