Odyssey To Christian Writing Winding Path — Ed Lane
I’m excited to welcome author Ed Lane today as he talks about his writing journey.
I fell in love with a girl when I was 20 and in college studying journalism, English and history. Coming out of high school I dreamed of being a writer and teaching. We dated several years. My senior year she told me there was not enough money in writing or teaching to make a decent living. She said I should apply to law school.
I was shocked. I’d never had any thoughts of being a lawyer. On the other hand, I was terrified of losing her. She was so adamant about this law business, that I knew if I wanted to marry her, I had to at least feign interest in law school. We had become engaged.
So I promised her I’d sit for the law school admissions test (LSAT). It was a spur of the moment decision, and I didn’t think there was any way I’d do well enough on this test to be accepted to law school. I came out of that test, firmly convinced I’d be rejected. The test made no sense to me. There was a diagram on one question containing a diagram that resembled an automobile engine. I had to guess on that one!
I was astonished when I received letters from two law schools accepting me once I graduated from undergraduate school. I had mixed feelings. I made my fiancée happy. However, I had deep misgivings about law school. Surviving the three-year grind of reading ancient casebooks, I began studying for the Texas Bar Exam which is necessary to becoming a lawyer.
As I was awaiting my bar exam results, she informed me she’d met another guy and wished me well. She returned the engagement ring with the marquis diamond and said farewell. While I absorbed this latest turn of events, I prayed earnestly. I’d lost the girl and had only the career she wanted for me. I did feel a little desperate, so I turned to the Bible.
I passed the bar exam and became a prosecutor. Criminal law was interesting, and prosecuting murderers and rapists was fascinating work. However, I still nursed the dream of writing a novel. I read a nonfiction book by a famous Christian leader which convinced me I needed to write a novel which would be interesting to non believers. Maybe the Lord waited until I was ready to tell me I needed to write a book of which He would approve.
I read a passage in John 15 which says, “If you remain in me and my Words remain in you, ask of me anything and I will give it to you.” Since I left the district attorney’s office and started my own office, I can devote most of my time to writing a manuscript which I hope will influence non believers.
Since then I am conferring with other more experienced authors as I work to improve my manuscript. I also have a retired English teacher who advises me on grammar. I used to think my grammar was pretty good!
One of the authors from whom I seek advice said I might consider starting a blog advising other writers about legal issues they may encounter in their writing. A murder case I prosecuted a few years ago was recently televised on ID-Investigative Discovery Channel television as “Murder In The Chat Room.” This brilliant author who helps me, told me a blog about criminal issues might be a way to establish a platform.
In working on this manuscript, I’ve been reading blogs of agents. I’d been writing full speed ahead without any thoughts as to the length of the manuscript. When I discovered from several blogs that 70,000 to 80,000 words was what publishers wanted, I panicked. My manuscript was 144,000 words!
I signed up for a fiction writers’ conference in Dallas (American Christian Fiction Writers) which I attended recently. I was fortunate enough to sign up for a 15 minute critique session with a brilliant author who has given me great advice which I know will improve the manuscript.
I’ve cut out what she suggested and my word count is down to 99,000 words now. There are some other suggestions she made which I feel confident will allow me to reduce the word count to 80,000.
A benefit of the conference was that I became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. A part of that organization is a “loop” containing a group of other writers who bounced ideas off each other. Writers also can invite their colleagues to write guest blogs.
Ed Lane writes from Wichita Falls, Texas, and when he isn’t representing his clients in the legal community, he can be found writing articles for various publications or working on his novel. Ed is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He has received an award for Best Sports Feature and has received other awards from the Texas Interscholastic Press Association for articles he has written for the Midwestern State University school paper. He also won an award for Best Research Paper for “Study of Power Structure in a City of 100,000” at the Southwest Social Sciences Convention in Dallas, which is in the Columbia University Library of International Papers in New York City. Ed has also written several hundred articles published by Examiner.com and has written numerous sports articles for hubpages.com. You can follow Ed on his Facebook page or on Twitter @Maxed49.