Category Archives: The Bent Tree Path

Developing a Mission Statement for Fiction Novel

Standard

You can help me decide! Here are a few shorter sentences that I’m developing to help guide revision of the upcoming novel, The Bent Tree Path. Here’s your chance to weigh in! Add, subtract, edit, suggest, negate. . . be involved.

A mission statement for a fiction novel helps the self-editing process. It serves as a filter to revise each scene and chapter: if they don’t significantly support the mission, they don’t belong.

The original mission statement draft, shared last week, was nearly the size of one of Ernest Hemingway’s paragraphs! Now it’s time to simplify. Which of these do you like the best?

  1. Interplay stories of ancestral history with modern life to highlight the importance of, and a pathway toward, healthy relationships with God, self, others, and the earth.
  2. Reveal the secrets of generations of women who grew stronger as they overcame oppression and abuse.
  3. Create a path for future generations to find their way through challenges.
  4. Show how generations effect one another; each personal choice bearing on future generations.

I’d love to hear from you!

Joan T. Warren

Writing Through COVID-19

Standard

Hello Faithful Readers!

First, my apologies for leaving you so long! Writing is a hobby for me, and sometimes I fall into placing my beloved hobbies last on my list of things to do!

In the last couple months, though, I’ve been writing a lot more. The COVID-19 scare and distancing orders at first gave me LESS time to write (can you say homeschooling?), but then MORE. Fear of early demise reconnected me to the importance of prioritizing that which is most precious to me. Faith leads me to keep that up even though that fear subsides.

As a result, I’ve been tap-tap-tapping away on the novel I started nearly ten years ago! It’s epic, folks. So far nearly 150,000 words! Which, of course, will get whittled away in the editing process. That’s how I write. I overdo, then slice and dice. I’m in editing mode now, for most of the novel. There are a few chapters yet to write.

An awesome self-editing course I took from Mary Kole set me to creating this novel’s mission statement. A mission statement helps the writer stay on course. Each scene is re-read through the lens of that statement. If it doesn’t support the statement, it either needs to be reworked or sent to the chopping block. The mission statement can also lead into log lines, which help attract you, the readers, to be interested in the book.

So here, I entreat your help! Please take a look at the mission statement and tell me what you think. Does it interest you, bore you? Is it too long, or too wordy, or too whatever? Do tell! It’s better to fix it now than spend another day on something that isn’t worth it.

Here it is:

“Through stories from three centuries, The Bent Tree Path follows ordinary women who overcome oppression, abuse and despair and pave the way for future generations to connect with their rich ancestral heritage, their earthly and spiritual interactions, and their personal and relational health.”

So comment away, no worries about offending me. I can only see through my own eyes unless you share your perspective.

Thanks!

-Joan