Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Beauty of the Reader

with guest blogger Rachel Hauck.

Hey Seekervillians! I’m so thrilled to be here again. Thanks to Tina and the amazing bloggers here for welcoming me in.

And to all you readers! 

I blog a lot about craft and the writer’s life, but I’ve never focused much on the most important part of books—the readers! The life-blood of the writer’s life! 

I mean, where would we be without readers? Readers are the reason books exist.

Or maybe it’s a catch twenty-two: readers exist because there are writers.

I love readers. I love being a reader. Reading inspires our hearts in a way television, movies and music can’t because books allow us to imagine ourselves right into the story.

When I’m writing, I try to “leave space” for the reader to become a part of the story. I don’t have to fill in every little detail, overwrite, over tell, even over show because the reader’s imagination can take the smallest description and turn it into what ever he or she wants.

I imagine if the Holy Spirit is writing through me, helping me tell the story then maybe He’s helping the readers. 

Reading is the only sport in which the “consumer” can become a participant. Where elements of their own heart or experience can become part of the story.

Now that can be good or bad… It might inspire the reader to something good, giving them hope. Or it might stir up old memories, pain or fear. 

When writing How To Catch A Prince, I encountered an unexpected physical issue. 

I write pretty close to deadline but this time, the book wasn’t working and six weeks before the book was due, I found myself starting over. 

Then wham! An expected physical set back. I felt very cracked and broken as I stumbled up to my office every day after a sleepless night to hammer out 5000 words. 

By the grace of God, the book came together. But it always felt kind of incomplete to me. Like it had cracks. A few months later I was preparing for worship one Sunday morning and had an impression that God would fill the cracks in my story with His own message for the reader.

That moment expanded my understanding of what a book could be.

Sometimes readers don’t know why they really love, or really hate, a book. That’s the beauty of reading, and of being readers.

Sometimes God speaks to or hearts through fictional characters. All we have to do is pause and ask.

As a writer, my reading is hampered by my own ideas of what makes up good fiction, by my understanding of craft, by spending the last 11 years writing full time, swimming in a world of words, plot lines and craft lanes.

But readers… ah beautiful readers… have the ability to see beyond the craft and words and
love the story.

I learned early on that books readers love stories that ring true. Stories that connected with their hearts. 

I love that readers read. I love their embracing, forgiving hearts. I love that they read for the pure enjoyment without being overly critical of well… everything. 

Last year, I discovered a book that completely swept me away.

From the opening line to the last, I was enthralled. I loved everything about this story. The 1930s time line which alternated between 1931 and 1938. The Rhode Island and New York setting. The story line of a young woman in college falling in love. Seeing her life in 1931 and again in 1938. 

There were secrets. Twists. Surprises. A spunky aunt. A handsome hero.

For once I wasn’t a writer reading but a reader reading! 

I loved the story and writing so much I wrote to my editor and said, “I want to write like this!” She, oh sweet Becky Philpott, read the book to see what stirred me so much. She also loved it. 

Now that’s a good sign for a writer—that her editor “gets her.” 

Having that experience made me a reader again. When I need inspiration as a writer, I pick up that book and return to being a reader. 

If I could create the experience I had with A Hundred Summers for my readers, I’d be the happiest writer on earth.

It’s funny how when starting out, most writers are so scared to show their work to anyone. Will anyone like it? Can they take the criticism? What if they're horrible? What if they don’t know how to fix what’s wrong? 

I can’t wait for readers to read my stories. I want to them to join me on the journey. I hope they love the characters, setting and experience as much as I did. 

Then I hope they write to me and remind me why I loved the story in the beginning. 

By the end of the book, most writers are sick of a story. “What kind of mess is this?” Ha! I call it “the weeds.” We’re so bogged down with details like word choice and phrasing we can’t see the beautiful forest of the story. 

I love hearing from readers. I love when they tell me how God spoke to them, or how they felt His presence. Or how the story reminded them of something or someone they love. 

I am so honored to share the world of words with people all over the world. 

Last year I heard from a woman in Poland who thought the Gospels didn’t have anything for her anymore until she read The Wedding Dress. 

A few weeks later I received an email from a teenage girl in Brazil who was so excited Christian romances existed. She wrote, “Tonight I’m going to pray for you.” Had me in tears.

Those moments remind me this writing thing is bigger than me. So thank you readers! You are all beautiful! 


Now let's talk about you.  Share when a line from a book that impacted you as a reader. If you're a writer, what particular line or scene impacted you AS a reader while you were writing. 



Today is release day for The Wedding Chapel. To celebrate, Rachel is giving away a print copy to a commenter. Seekerville wants to join the fun by giving away an ecopy. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition!


A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long-awaited secret to hope and reconciliation.

For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty. Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook built the chapel by hand, stone by stone, for his beautiful and beloved Collette Greer, whom he lost so many years ago. The chapel is a sanctuary for his memories, a monument to true love, and a testament to his survival of the deepest pain and loss.

Photographer Taylor Branson left her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee to make a new life for herself in New York. Taylor had lots to run away from, not least of all a family history of broken promises and broken dreams. Love catches Taylor off guard when she falls for Jack Forester, a successful advertising executive, and their whirlwind romance leads to an elopement – and then to second guesses. Jack, in spite of his very real love for Taylor, is battling his own demons and struggles to show her his true self and the depths of his love for her.

When Taylor takes a photography assignment in Heart’s Bend, she is thrown back into her own past and encounters family secrets buried deep beneath the sands of time. And when Taylor and Coach’s journeys collide, they each rediscover the heartbeat of their own dreams as they learn that the love they long to hold is well worth waiting for.


Download a sample chapter here.



Rachel Hauck is a USA Today Best Selling, and award-winning author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince.

She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.


Photo by Rachel Savage
Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

89 comments :

  1. Welcome to Seekerville, Rachel. I love your novels and am eagerly waiting to read THE WEDDING CHAPEL. Thank you for a chance to win.
    TINA on one hand I say, this is cold? Since we had over 7 inches of snow in Northern Alberta on Sunday. On the other hand I say, this is Arizona? At only 60 degrees! Hope your day is warm, ladies

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  2. Ooh ... so hard to choose. I recently read "A Time to Speak" by Nadine Brandes, and there's one part where the protagonist Parvin, like many teens, is struggling with what exactly is God's purpose for her life and another character suggests: "Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. I don't think He wants us to keep asking on dwelling on His specific plan or will. He wants us to dwell on and seek Him. Then our decisions will be made from our love for and our relationship with Him.. We are free to take action in whatever means we want as long as we seek Him and allow Him to guide us."

    Wow. I'm graduating next semester and I'm facing a lot of those, "what am I going to do with the rest of my life?" type of questions ... so this reminder, just to seek God, was really "impactful" to hear at this point in my life. =)

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  3. I have been reading Dr Seuss with my great-nephews. Among all the fun rhymes are gems.

    “Reading can take you places you have never been before.”

    “There is no one alive who is Youer than You!”

    “A person's a person, no matter how small.”

    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."

    Thousands more that just speak to you.

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  4. Mary Preston, I love those truisms, too!!!!!! Big smiles in upstate.

    Rachel, what a perfectly wonderful, beautiful post. This is just stellar, fun, intuitive and downright nice! Thank you for being here, thank you for sharing this gem and congratulations on your successes. Your good heart shines through your work.

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  5. I brought coffee and tea, my friends!!!! And M&M cookies!!!!!

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  6. Jen, your words, that quote, give us life's directions in a nutshell. If we depend on God, he'll sort out the details and provide direction. Wonderful!!!!

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  7. Welcome, Rachel! My copy of The Wedding Chapel was delivered to my Kindle this am!

    Okay, folks, one of the beautiful things of preording your favorite author books is you get the preorder price! Make a habit of doing this!

    So excited to have you here.

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  8. Your post is a reminder of why we write. It's our job to be obedient.

    I often talk about an evangelist who was sent to Australia to speak. He took the long plane ride over and when he arrived the event was cancelled. He asked the Lord why he took him all that way for nothing.

    On the plane ride home he sat next to a man who openly questioned this evangelist about his trip and then God.

    That one man who was brought to Jesus was the reason for the entire trip.

    So it is with our books.



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  9. Hi Rachel,

    Welcome to Seekerville. I think I've read all of your books and loved them all.

    Congratulations on your new book, and of course I want to be included in the drawing. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing!

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  10. Welcome back to Seekerville, Rachel! Oh, for the days of immersing myself in a book without "analyzing" what I'm reading...how did the author pull me in so quickly? How did she pace the story to keep me turning the pages? How did she make me feel that twinge of sorrow when the hero and heroine split?

    I'm always trying to learn from everything I read and don't often totally lose myself in a book as I used to in pre-writing days. When I do, though, I find myself thinking "I wish I'D written that!"

    I've ordered "A Hundred Summers"--and am looking forward to cozying into both it and one of yours over the holidays. There's nothing quite like the magic of losing yourself in a fictional world!

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  11. Welcome, Rachel!

    "I don’t have to fill in every little detail, overwrite, over tell, even over show because the reader’s imagination can take the smallest description and turn it into what ever he or she wants." This is what makes you such a wonderful writer. Thank you for always leaving that space.

    Congratulations on your latest book. I'd love to be entered into the drawing.

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  12. Hi Rachel, good to see you here today! I have read ALL of your books and loved them. The Wedding Chapel was just downloaded to my Kindle....can't wait to read it!
    Keep writing, please!!!

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  13. Hi Rachel,
    I get you. I get what you are saying. I've connected emotionally with dozens of writers I most likely will never meet, but have bonded to them through their writing. There is that strangely wonderful thing that happens while reading a book and you feel that connection, like someone else sees life through the same eyes you do. A powerful moment!

    I've recently read an ARC of a book by a friend of yours, Your the One That I Want. I connected over and over with so many things written my e-copy is highlighted, a lot! One of the best quotes that just about sums up everything we know as Christians was,

    "But I warn you, once you embrace Christ, you too become a rule breaker. Because a life committed to God requires us to live uncomfortably. Inconveniently. Accountably. Bravely. Transparently. Vulnerably. It requires us to love without rules. Welcome to grace."

    And that's why I read Christian fiction! To read a great story with an eternal perspective. That's what it's all about.

    Your book description sounds like just such a book, one I would enjoy reading. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you and thanks for sharing today.

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  14. This makes me realize the power of the writer/reader connection through faith. As a reader I so appreciate the Christian fiction that lifts me up. I just recently finished The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate and took away a lot of wonderful quotes from it. Here's one:

    "Sometimes, even when you've spent years ignoring God, there are places where his fingerprint and his intentions seem absolute." (p.170)

    I love this because it illustrates how steadfast God is. He never turns away -- we're the ones who do that. A gentle God nudge in the middle of a captivating read and I'm the richer for it.

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  15. Rachel. Love your books! I love it when I escape into a story for a few hours. Right now I am living in my story hoping to finish it this week

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  16. Rachel, so good to have you with us in Seekerville today! Loved your post on readers. Aren't they wonderful! Without them, where would writers be?

    I related to your mention of writing close to deadline. I do as well. Also nodding as you mentioned going down to the wire on your last story. I'll talk about my push to deadline in tomorrow's blog.

    Too often I read like an editor...or a writer, and don't enjoy the story as I should. Love when a book transports me to that other world.

    Feedback from readers is so important. I love when folks at church will tell me how a story touched their lives. I'm always amazed. God does good work, even when using a flawed instrument like me. He does fill in the lines, as you so ably mentioned.

    In honor of our alma mater, I've brought buckeyes--balls of peanut butter dipped in chocolate--to share! Enjoy!

    Congrats on your success, Rachel, with your music and your writing!

    Go Bucks!

    OH-IO!

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  17. Welcome, Rachel, and thanks so much for sharing your insights with us today!

    I love it, too, when a novel I'm reading makes me forget I'm also a writer and I stop nitpicking every little detail of the craft that I would have handled differently. And I've read a few books that make me sigh and long to be that kind of writer.

    So many other statements you made resonated with me--too many to enumerate! Thanks again!

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  18. Rachel, welcome back to Seekerville. Thanks for the thought provoking post! Sometimes being a writer gets in the way of my enjoyment of a story, but when I'm totally unaware of craft and caught up in the story, I'm only a reader and truly loving the book. I must check out the book that resonated with you. Not all stories, voices, characters are for everyone. But they're for someone. Someone God knew would need that particular story. Isn't that wonderful?

    I admire your gifts for writing, teaching and leading worship. God is blessing you as you are blessing others.

    Janet

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  19. Rachel, I'm an IU fan. We battled Ohio State hard but alas lost. One day!! :-)

    Janet

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  20. RACHEL!!! Welcome back to Seekerville, my friend, and WOW, what an encouraging post!!

    You said: "If I could create the experience I had with A Hundred Summers for my readers, I’d be the happiest writer on earth."

    As writers I think we always tend to compare ourselves with other authors, which is so very wrong, but SO very human! I look at a successful author like you and think, wow, here's a woman with her head on straight and more Holy Spirit confidence than the law allows. And then I read your statement above, and I smile, because the truth is, we are all human beings who can never truly be satisfied with what earth has to offer -- be it success, talent, what-have-you -- because our ultimate joy and confidence is only in Him, not in ourselves, and sometimes that's a hard concept for fallible beings. I always laugh when I hear an author say they felt the book they just completed was not their best, and then it goes on to touch hearts and souls like none of their others.

    You said: "As a writer, my reading is hampered by my own ideas of what makes up good fiction, by my understanding of craft, by spending the last 11 years writing full time, swimming in a world of words, plot lines and craft lanes."

    SOOOO very true!! In the beginning of my writing career, I remember loving each book I'd written, but then the "hampering" thoughts slithered in, distorting my vision of something God could use for His glory whether I liked it or not.

    You also said: "Then wham! An expected physical set back. I felt very cracked and broken as I stumbled up to my office every day after a sleepless night to hammer out 5000 words. By the grace of God, the book came together. But it always felt kind of incomplete to me. Like it had cracks. A few months later I was preparing for worship one Sunday morning and had an impression that God would fill the cracks in my story with His own message for the reader."

    WOW, what a beautiful "impression," Rachel, and one all writers need to embrace because God's anointing IS enough, again, whether we like what we've written or not.

    WONDERFUL post, Rachel!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  21. Mmmm ... you asked, "if you're a writer, what particular line or scene impacted you AS a reader while you were writing?"

    Well, since my latest release, ISLE OF HOPE, is somewhat biographical as far as the heroine's estranged relationship with her father, this book was the most personal book I've ever written because I lived and bled the forgiveness theme that is so prevalent throughout. As a result, I have TONS of lines that impacted me when they appeared on my laptop screen, wringing tears from my eyes because God proved each and every one true to me in my relationship with my own father. So obviously, I have more than one to share (of course I do!). ;) Here are just a few:

    "Forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves."

    "When guided by love, the truth never ruins hope, it only sets it free.”

    “One never knows what one will do given the weight of circumstances beyond our control, which is why the grace of God—and His forgiveness—is as vital as air.”

    "You should know better than anyone—there is no hope without forgiveness.”

    “I believe that the truth spoken in love is not only the best gift I can give, but the most critical as well.”

    “This is the moment you’ve been praying for -- because it’s never too late to love.”

    Thanks for allowing me to share lines that I hope and pray touch anyone who reads IOH as much as they touched me.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  22. The Artist Librarian said...
    Ooh ... so hard to choose. I recently read "A Time to Speak" by Nadine Brandes... I'm graduating next semester and I'm facing a lot of those, "what am I going to do with the rest of my life?" type of questions ... so this reminder, just to seek God, was really "impactful" to hear at this point in my life. =)

    RH: I am a living testament of God speaking and leading our lives when we feel utterly lost. No less than 5 times I've prayed in my life, "God, I got nothing!" Or, "God, lead me where you want me." AND He answered. That's who I got my corporate job. How i met my husband. How I started writing. How my career has endured. How I started leading worship.

    Trust Him! He's got this.

    Rachel

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  23. Julie, those lines are so good! Isn't it great when the Holy Spirit speaks to us through our own words?! Love it.

    Thanks for your comments on my post too. Means a lot!

    Rachel

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  24. Janet, well, in that case, Go Big 10!

    Hugs,
    Rachel

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  25. Debbie, you rock!!

    "In honor of our alma mater, I've brought buckeyes--balls of peanut butter dipped in chocolate--to share! Enjoy!"

    YUM!! Enjoying one now! ;)

    Love and Go Buckeyes!

    Rachel

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  26. Thanks Myra!! Great to be here with you all!

    Rachel

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  27. Walini! Good luck with your book. I'm finishing one too.

    Kav, that's such a GREAT line from Lisa's book. She's an amazing writer.

    Rachel

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  28. Tracey, ah, the great Susan May Warren. What a GREAT line. She's fabulous with truth.

    Rachel

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  29. Jackie, wow, thanks so much!

    Rachel

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  30. Jill, thank you so much. That means a lot!

    Rachel

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  31. Glynna, let me know what you think of A Hundred Summers. ;) Yea, it's hard as writers because we become analyst but how glorious when we find a book we adore.

    XO,
    Rachel

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  32. Tina, thank you so much for having me!! Love this place. And such great words to readers and to authors!!

    That's amazing about the evangelist! Makes me think how kind and generous and CREATIVE God is...

    XO, Rachel

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  33. Ruth, thanks so much! ;)

    Mary, who can beat Doc Seuss?

    :) Rachel

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  34. Marianne, thanks for being here. And wow, Alberta! Brrr. I'm in Florida. We're still in the 80s!

    Rachel

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  35. HELLO RACHEL! Congratulations on your release of THE WEDDING CHAPEL. The cover is GORGEOUS. One of my favorite lines is "Sparrows soar on high; they are light and agile. They fly through the clouds, unafraid... That is strength on little wings. A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron.

    Please put me in for the drawing.

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  36. LOL Rachel, "Go big 10" is nice. I'd better play nice, too, or you and Debby can team up on me. :-)

    Janet

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  37. Rachel, Your books are amazing! I'm a reader and proud of it! :

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  38. Rachel, Your books are amazing! I'm a reader and proud of it! :

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  39. Welcome, Rachel! It's so nice to have you here sharing your wisdom. What a great post.

    I've had trouble being a reader, especially early in my writing. I picked apart everything. Now I'm getting back to enjoying reading more. The most recent book I read that made me want to cry, because I wanted to write that well, was Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate. Her characters sucked me in and wouldn't let go.

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  40. CS Lewis - Lion Witch & Wardrobe :)
    "Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you."

    Oh I love this. Narnia is a great series & I love the imagery of God in them! Would love to win a copy of your book Rachel :)

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  41. Have y'all ever read a book and known immediately that if you met the author, you'd want to be her friend? I've had that happen on more than one occasion.

    Marianne, that may be sort of what you were talking about. That connection. :)

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  42. Caryl, thank you! And yes, Kristy Cambron's books are wonderful! :)

    Marsha, sweet! Smiling big here. Thanks!

    Janet, LOL. What? We're nice Buckeyes. ;)

    Missy, great to "see" you. Yea Lisa's a killer wordsmith and story teller. :) But God's gifted you too!!! Love, Rachel

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  43. Hi Rachel:

    I think I'll love your writing.

    You've hit on the theory of my WIP:

    How to Reward Your Way to Writing Success!
    RPP -- Rewards Per Page".


    So I'll just give some quotes from that book which you just might find simpatico with your own experience:

    "The novel really only exists as it is being played in the mind of a reader. The novel is a creative performance art. The writer is only writing the 'sheet music'. It's not yet music until it is played in the mind of a reader. If you judge a song only by reading the sheet music, then you miss the whole point and you're really only writing for other composers."

    Shakespeare was such a great writer because he was also a stage actor. He rewrote parts of his plays after each performance based on the audience reaction. I've read the three existing versions of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy. The first version was so ordinary that I felt I could have written it better. The second version was better than I could have ever written it. And the third version was immortal Shakespeare.

    These were just the three versions as published at the time that survive. There were new revisions after each Hamlet performance.

    Again: the writer is writing sheet music. The outcome as a 'novel' depends on the reader's instruments and skills.

    Moral: get some little theater live stage experience. In my judgment the best writers, from a reader's enjoyment POV, are those who have stage experience and who thus judge what they are writing, page by page, based on how the reader will react to those pages. There are no sagging middles if each page provides a highly rewarding reading experience.

    Vince

    P.S. Please place me in the drawing for an ecopy of "The Wedding Chapel".

    BTW: there is such a chapel in Bella Vista, Arkansas. See it here,

    http://www.beautifulbellavista.com/chapel.htm

    It's called the "MILDRED B. COOPER MEMORIAL CHAPEL" and I think it is one of the most naturally beautiful chapels in the world.

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  44. Breeze, yearh, that's a picture to behold. :) Thanks for stopping by!

    Rachel

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  45. I often wish I could turn off my "writer" self and just read as I used to. Of course, whether you are a reader or not, you notice what works and what doesn't, but I've trained myself to critique, and it's hard not to.

    These are a couple lines from my Christmas novel I hope will be out this time next year - ones I enjoy on reread:

    "Or accepting the mistakes of a good man, who not only notices me, but treats me like I matter—to him and to the whole world. I spent years living backstage, waiting for the spotlight to hit me when the whole time I was supposed to be part of the crew bringing the story to life."

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  46. Vince, great quotes! Thank you.

    I do think writers need to act out some parts of their stories. i think we have to crawl into the skin of the character and BE them... But the novelist experience, IMHO, is so very different from a play or acting out a scene in front of the audience.

    Writing and reading are solitary. There's no vocals or music. No "other reader" responding. It's that quiet, private place of just the reader and the story. But there are great things to learn from acting and plays, a lot of novelist study screen writing for structure.

    But do all you can to tap into the emotion of the character. Write and then rewrite!! :)

    Thanks for stopping by!!

    Rachel

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  47. Carolyn, great lines! Love that truth!

    Rachel

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  48. Hi Rachel! SO happy to see you here in Seekerville today, and CONGRATS on the release of THE WEDDING CHAPEL! No need to toss me in the drawing as I plan to purchase it.
    Author Tamera Alexander's books have touched me so many times--just something about the way she creates her characters and their feelings. Actually, there are LOTS of awesome authors out there (including YOU, of course) whose books inspire me to keep reading and working hard on my own writing. :)
    Thanks for sharing with us today, my "Phi Mu Sister"!
    Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

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  49. Rachel,

    Congratulations on your new book.

    How blessed are we who love to work with words...to touch...to ignite...to confront...to heal. And thanks for your encouraging story of how the Lord let you know He'd fill in the cracks! I had a similar understanding when our children were little...and growing up so quickly. I felt inadequate, overwhelmed, and without confidence...I'd never done this before. In my prayer time, I sensed the Lord reminding me that they were HIS children, and He holds them in the palm of His hand...now...and forever!! Whew...I LOVE spending time with Jesus!

    Even though writing is a struggle for me...the Lord encourages me...and, of course, all my precious friends keep supporting me!

    I tend to read more than one book at a time...and mix it up...fiction and non-fiction! My favorite lines so far, (I'm not finished with it yet) from the non-fiction book, Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, by Shauna Niequist:

    “I have also long held the belief that one's tears are a guide, that when something makes you cry, it means something. If we pay attention to our tears, they'll show us something about ourselves”

    Would love to be in the drawing, and I've brought Jamaican Banana Scones...they're good with tea or coffee!!

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  50. I love any book by Amy Harmon. Her book, Running Barefoot" was one of my all time favorite books. One of the quotes from that one.
    "You can't build walls and then be mad when no one wants to climb over them."

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  51. Candice, I'll have to check that one out! Thanks for stopping by!

    Kathryn, So good how God speaks to us, encourages us, especially with something like raising HIS kids! I love your thoughts about tears. I tear up a lot when I'm in the Lord's presence.

    XO, Rachel

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  52. HI PattiJo! Welcome! Good to see you here. Tammy is a great author! She inspires many. Hugs, Rachel

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  53. Missy, Marianne and Tracey, I love that feeling the opposite way, as an author, knowing I'm on the same page with people... and that instant connection flows like an electric current, back and forth.

    So nice.

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  54. I tried to comment earlier, but something wasn't working. So, here goes...take 2!

    What a beautiful post, Rachel. Before I was a writer, one book that really impacted me was The Debt, by Angela Hunt. In it, one of the characters lived way outside my box. The way he lived out his Christian life challenged me to view my thoughts about living out my faith, and how I view others differently. I'll never forget that story.
    Happy Release Day!

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  55. Vince I love the way you put things. So many parts of writing are just hard to explain. Which is why Seekerville can keep going for eight years.

    I think of the 'acting' as more 'keep it moving'. Don't stop your story dead in it's tracks by abandoning forward motion.

    Which doesn't mean you have to be shooting and riding and diving for cover in every scene (those scenes are usually best--and I know, they are hard to work into some books. Amish for example. Shooting is waaaaaay underused there) :)

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  56. Rachel, thanks so much for being here. Great uplifting post.

    My favorite line from a book ever

    The Matchmaker by Jude Deveraux
    "I have always fantasized about being likable."

    That just cracks me up.

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  57. Jeanne, I remember that book! it's good to be challenged through a story! Thanks for coming by!

    Rachel

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  58. The other line that popped into my head is by Alex Kava, a native Nebraskan who writes suspense novels. I believe it's the book A Necessary Evil....but I've been reading her books for years and this was a while ago.
    Funny I'm sure about the line but not about the title.

    --There's just no good way to pick up a human head.--

    I think that's about the best more riveting line ever written. How could ANYONE not read on?

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  59. Mary quoted: --There's just no good way to pick up a human head.--

    I think that's about the best more riveting line ever written. How could ANYONE not read on?

    Mary, that line would have me tossing the book and go screaming into the night.

    Janet

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  60. I am an avid reader, and MANY stories have touched my life, but as a mother, this quote from Tristan's Gap by Nancy Rue impacted me in a big way:
    "Please, God, bridge the gap between what I am and what she needs."

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  61. LOL Janet, okay, we all have our own likes and dislikes.
    I suppose picking up a human head is easy to dislike. LOL

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  62. Rachel! You're telling us to give you a line from a book that's impacted us! Just one? How can we choose? There really are quite a few. In different times or stages in my life, different quotes have a different meaning for me. (O, does it have to be fiction?)

    Here's a few:
    From my lost times: "In life, we all take different paths, some more difficult than others, but in the end, all that matters is whether or not they lead you home." from Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

    From my early faith many years ago: "You struggle in your faith simply because it is faith. Dying to self is a painful process. If you care about your life, surrender is impossible without lamenting. When you lose something precious, it hurts and it is both natural and biblical to complain to God." from Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Anonymous

    And recently: "...there isn't a person alive who can't be softened by the love of God." from Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman

    And there's so many more.....

    PS/ no need to enter me in the giveaway. I'm part of the book tour and should be getting it in the mail soon.

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  63. LOL Easier than you can imagine, Mary. Obviously.

    I suspect you need food so I whipped up a variety of flavors of protein shakes, all guaranteed to give us a lift.

    Janet

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  64. Hi Rachel!
    "I want to write like this!"

    That was my sentiment after I read The Wedding Dress :) The scarlet thread you wove into that story was beautiful! When I finished reading I was spiritually edified!

    I was inspired as a reader and encouraged as a writer! Thank you for that, Rachel! Write on!

    Rachel (we are name buddies:)

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  65. Thanks for the post, Rachel. I am an avid reader and writer working on my first novel. I can't think of any particular lines right now.

    I laughed at Mary's line from Alex Kava about no good way to pick up a human head. I met Alex Kava this summer and she is such a nice person. So far from somebody who would need to think of things like that. I guess that is part of what makes a good writer. Thank goodness all the suspense writers out there haven't all had personal experience with their subject matter.

    Please enter me in the drawing for the book. Either paper or e-copy will do.

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  66. Oh, Mary, this could have come from MY mouth!

    The Matchmaker by Jude Deveraux
    "I have always fantasized about being likable."

    I think I will just skim right over the one about picking up a human head.

    Although, oddly, I do enjoy watching Bones.

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  67. Sandy, blessings on your book!!! Rachel

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  68. Rachel, my name buddy, thank you! Wow, you blessed me!

    Rachel

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  69. Just Commonly, those are GREAT lines. :)

    Rachel

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  70. Rachel Holiday, fabulous line!

    Rachel

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  71. Yes. I am with you, Rachel McDaniel. I am a huge fan of The Wedding Dress. It was my first Rachel Hauck. Hard to resist that gorgeous cover.

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  72. Reading is the only sport in which the “consumer” can become a participant. Where elements of their own heart or experience can become part of the story.

    Your post, and those sentences particularly, impacted me :-) Thank you!

    Nancy C

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  73. Hi Rachel! I haven't stopped by for a while, but I just wanted to let you know that I LOVED The Wedding Dress when I read it a few years ago. I lent it to my mom and several other people, because I loved it so much.

    Hmm, a line from a book? I'm at work and can't quote directly right now, but Kate Morton is one of my favorite writers. When I finished The Secret Keeper, I remember sighing and saying "THAT was a satisfying ending." Her books often end bittersweet, but the last few lines, and the set up for them, was just so perfect and in keeping with the rest of the story.

    Some of my favorite lines and descriptions come from the Anne of Green Gables series, such as this scene from Anne of the Island, after Gilbert proposes to Anne. SO romantic!

    “'But I'll have to ask you to wait a long time, Anne,' said Gilbert sadly. 'It will be three years before I'll finish my medical course. And even then there will be no diamond sunbursts and marble halls.'

    Anne laughed.

    'I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU. You see I'm quite as shameless as Phil about it. Sunbursts and marble halls may be all very well, but there is more `scope for imagination' without them. And as for the waiting, that doesn't matter. We'll just be happy, waiting and working for each other -- and dreaming. Oh, dreams will be very sweet now.'

    Gilbert drew her close to him and kissed her. Then they walked home together in the dusk, crowned king and queen in the bridal realm of love, along winding paths fringed with the sweetest flowers that ever bloomed, and over haunted meadows where winds of hope and memory blew."

    Have a wonderful day!

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  74. I love your books! Just read your blog. It's amazing how God works through your writing. I am a teacher and read mostly on my summer break. I look forward to your books every summer! Thank you for what you do and give to your readers :) P.S. I am also a graduate of The Ohio State University! Go Bucks!

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  75. Melissa, another fabulous Buckeye!! So happy to meet you! Thanks for your kind comments! Have fun reading this summer! Go Bucks!!

    Rachel

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  76. Stephanie, what a great scene from Anne of Green Gable! Thanks for sharing!!! Glad you loved The Wedding Dress!

    Rachel

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  77. Thanks Chill N. :)

    Ah Tina, thank you friend!!!

    Rachel

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  78. Hi Rachel & Mary:

    Live stage acting does not change your novel writing skills. It changes your frame of reference from a focus on the technical needs of the novel and an editor's acceptance requirements, to a focus on the immediate reading enjoyment for the reader of what you are writing at the time you are writing it.

    Even with the same writing skills, if you change your frame of reference, you can change your world of writing.

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  79. .
    I forgot to contribute a quote! Here's one I really love and remember:

    "Sisters are overrated, she decided. Not all of them, of course, only the beautiful ones who never let you forget get it.

    Julie Lessman. A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, Book 1)

    This quote says more about life than it does about sisters. I just love it. : )

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  80. Welcome ,Rachel Hauck. I have never read any of your books but I know I am really missing out. I must change that : )

    " At times like this,you have to draw down deep,Elsie. Deep inside where God's stored up strength you don't even know you have. I don't think I have that kind of faith. Faith isn't a feeling or a ticket that buys what you need. It's a decision--- a matter of the will-to stretch out your hand to receive what's being offered."

    Look-Alike Lawman by Glynna Kaye

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  81. Hi Rachel,

    I read this much earlier today but was unable to comment. I can totally identify with your reaction to reading a book that moved you so deeply. For me, the saddest thing about becoming a writer was losing myself as a reader. I know a book is superb if it can make me read it for the story and not notice the craft.

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  82. Thank you so much, Rachel! "It’s funny how when starting out, most writers are so scared to show their work to anyone. Will anyone like it? Can they take the criticism? What if they're horrible? What if they don’t know how to fix what’s wrong?"

    Wow, you nailed it! I loved the whole post but these lines really spoke to me. As a former (small town) journalist I've definitely felt these concerns as I've worked on my first book of inspirational fiction. Glad to know I'm not alone. Thanks again.

    Congratulations on your new book, and please enter me in the drawing!

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  83. Rachel, Thanks for such a wonderful post. I've been an avid reader all my life. My father was an avid reader and he passed the love of reading on to me and my sister. I love fiction books that allow me to relate to the characters, to become a part of their family, but also teaches me a lesson, increases my faith, or occasionally even shows me maybe I'm not so far off base after all. And there are also the books that I enjoy as a reader but also learn so much as a writer.

    Congrats on your new book and please add my name to the drawing!

    Blessings!

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  84. Thanks Edwina! Good to see you here! Rachel

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  85. Laura, isn't it funny though how you go from shy to "please read this and love it!" Blessings on your writing!

    Rachel

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  86. Deanne, thanks for the quote. Good one.

    Vince, nice quote.

    Julie Lessman has some fans here!! Well done!

    Rachel

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  87. Well I can't really come up with a book quote (and there are HUNDREDS that resonated with me) but I can come up with a few examples of scripture that has impacted my life while reading it! I know some people write down their favorite book quotes or highlight them on a Kindle or eReader or create cute memes on Facebook....but I guess that's just not my thing, lol! Now that's not to say that an author hasn't impacted my life nor am I lessening all their hard work at all, it's just too hard for me to keep track of ALL the wonderful things they say! There have been SO many times that an author has been used by God to encourage me, helped me to work through something in my life at that time, or just reminded me of what God says to me in His word. You don't know what it means to this reader when an author can point me to the heart of THE Author of my life. I can't express how much it means when an author doesn't try to lessen the faith theme in a book, "let your light shine for Him in your writing", I say!! That attracts this reader like a lighting bug to a bug zapper :-)
    As for the scriptures, I'll share a few of my favorite ones: Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." This one has always guided me since I've given my life to Christ, such a burden lifted when I don't have to be in control all the time. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." This blesses me to know He has me safely in His hands. And one last one Romans 5:8 " But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Not only does God SAY He loves me, but He SHOWS He loves me (even before He saved me).
    So there you have it....my book "quotes" that have changed my life :-) Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Rachel's new book. I'd love to have a copy!

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  88. Can't wait to read this one Rachel - it has been on my TBR list for awhile! Thanks for the giveaway Seekerville 😉

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  89. Trixie, those are amazing quotes!! Thank you! Love me some good Bible!

    Sharon, thank you!! :)

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