The Spiritual Side of Creating a Novel by Janet Chester Bly #amwriting

My special guest today is author Janet Chester Bly. She is a city girl with a country heart. She doesn’t corral horses or mow her own lawn. “I’m no womba woman,” she says. But she followed her late husband award-winning western author Stephen Bly to the Idaho mountain top village of Winchester to write books and minister to a small church. When she lost him, she stayed. She manages the online Bly Books bookstore, rakes lots of Ponderosa pine needles and cones, and survives the long winter snows.

PrintJanet Chester Bly has authored and co-authored with Stephen 32 contemporary and historical fiction and inspirational and family-themed nonfiction books. She and her three sons—Russell, Michael and Aaron–completed her late husband’s last novel, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot. The story of that family project can be found on her website blog under the series topic “Finishing Dad’s Novel”:

Her recently released novel Wind in the Wires is Book 1, Trails of Reba Cahill. It’s a Contemporary Western Mystery. It’s a road adventure with a touch of romance.

Get Wind in the Wires paperback or download on Kindle here:

Now for our guest post by Janet:

4 Disciplines of the Christian Novelist

The Spiritual Side of Creating Fiction

Janet Chester Bly

For the Christian fiction writer, the spiritual dynamic impels the process of creating a novel. Whatever the outcome, the whole project involves a walk with God. The work is done in tandem with a heavenly Father who a) provides the idea, b) enables the writing gift, and c) empowers with ability to start and complete the project.

4 Disciplines of Creating Fiction

1.) You pray. The act of creating a story with impact begins with God providing the kernel of an idea. Then talk through with Him the development, the follow through of crafting story and scenes. Prayer means depending on Him each step of the way.

A sample writer’s prayer: “Heavenly Father, make this a story created by You. Bring it to life for Your purpose. Work through my mind. Challenge my heart. Give voice to the characters to reveal something You want to say to readers. Minister to me, through me, and in spite of me. Keep me going as life happens. Produce a story for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

2.) They pray. Ask others to intercede. A savvy writer realizes he or she can’t do it alone. A team is needed. Sure, the daily discipline of the hard sweat and strain of actual writing is up to you. Part of the process of creating is discovering what the book is about. Partners who pray you through to the end are a precious gift. Send out reports on your progress. And the setbacks. Let them share in the results of God’s work through you.

“As you help (me) by your prayers … then many will give thanks on (my) behalf for the gracious favor granted me in answer to the prayers of many” (1 Corinthians 1:11 NIV).

3.) Wrestle a theme. In my recently released novel Wind in the Wires the characters thoughts and actions and the evolving story line little by little revealed recurring issues. On the negative side: deceit, lies, and bitterness. On the positive end: confession, truth, and forgiveness. Staying with that thread with each scene throughout helped me find the place to begin, what defined the middle, and how to reach the conclusion.

4.) Borrow the Bible. Whether you list it or not, be inspired by at least one Scripture passage that conveys the essence of what’s happening in your story. Early on in the process I envisioned the main characters in Wind in the Wires on a journey to the desert. They were headed to the region around Goldfield, Nevada. One day reading the minor prophet Hosea, these verses popped out for me as describing protagonist Reba Mae Cahill.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope”

(Hosea 2:14,15 NIV)

Thanks, Janet, for stopping by today.

If you want to win a copy of her new book, see below!


Question for Writer: How do you make sure you keep God as part of your work?

Question for Reader: What was the spiritual message of the last novel you read?

Leave a comment and be entered in the drawing for a free giveaway of paperback or PDF copy of newly released novel Wind in the Wires.

For a sneak peek of the chapter click here, WIP Reba 1st Chapter Preview PDF!

More about Janet:

Sign up for the Almost Monthly Newsletter:

Keep up with the Wind in the Wires 4-month blog tour & giveaways here:

Published by Sherri Wilson Johnson

I am a wife/mother/writer/speaker looking to be used by God!

8 thoughts on “The Spiritual Side of Creating a Novel by Janet Chester Bly #amwriting

  1. Thank you, Janet for a very important reminder for those of us who wish to honor God in our writing. May He bless you (and your readers) as you continue to write and honor Him.

    1. Greetings, Marie: You are the winner of a copy of Wind in the Wires novel. Email me at janet(at)blybooks(dot)com and send your snail mail address if you’d like a paperback edition or I can attach a PDF file. Blessings, Janet

  2. House Of Secrets by Tracie Peterson was one of the latest novels I have read. (Trying to patiently wait for Wind in the Wires). Some of the spiritual messages were letting God lead in all situations. When mental health issues are intertwined in problems, seeking God is all the more important and poignant. I am excited you are going to give one very lucky person a copy of Wind In The Wires. I have always been excited to see how Janet has followed what God wanted her to do in writing and all areas of her life. Blessings, Connie Sue

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: