Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Never Give Up! By Elva Cobb Martin

Have you ever thought of giving up on getting your book finished and published? Well, I want to encourage you. Never give up that dream. God is in the business of helping you finish what He has begun in your heart, according to Philippians 1:7 “Being confident of this very thing that he which has begun a good work in your will perform it...”

I wrote my first novel, Summer of Deception, after attending a writers' conference. Once I started submitting it to publishers and agents, it was rejected 26 times. But I kept revising and rewriting. Meantime, my husband and I were called into full-time ministry, and the manuscript went into my attic for the next 20 years. End of story. Right? 

Nope. Summer of Deception, an inspirational romantic suspense, was contracted and published in 2017, thirty years after that first draft. It has spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers’ List for Women’s Religious Fiction. A prequel, In a Pirate’s Debt, the story of the pirate ancestor of the hero in Summer, soon followed. November 12, Marisol, a heroine who would not give up, was released.

My Five Steps to a Book Contract

Step 1 – Keep God’s Confidence in Yourself and Never Give Up
Many may reject your manuscript, but someone will love it, if you don’t give up.

Step 2 – Hone Your Craft (Planning Your Novel blog series
Carve out praying time, writing time, sharpening craft time, and reading time in your genre.

Step 3 – Find Writing Workshops and Critique Groups
How about your local American Christian Fiction Writers’ Chapter?

Step 4 – Help Other Writers
This is a spiritual principle. You will reap help you need when you sow into others.

Step 5 – Learn how to Submit to Editors and Agents
 Follow their submission guidelines.

Can you add to my list? What helped you not give up?

Never give up that dream. via @ElvaCobbMartin #SeriouslyWrite #amwriting


Elva Cobb Martin,  a mother and grandmother, lives in South Carolina with her husband and a senior mini-dachshund named Lucy, and a sea green bird named Atticus. She is the upcoming president of her state chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers, a retired teacher, minister, and now calls herself a full-time writer. Better make that rewriter. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. She desires to share exciting love stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. 


  1. Thank you Elva for this encouraging message. :-) I appreciate your wisdom.

  2. Melissa, you are welcome. Have a wonderful day.

  3. Wonderful story! And good advice for so much of life. Never give up.

  4. Elva, thank you for this post. I’m currently rewriting a good portion of a manuscript and at times I want to give up. However, I know I need to persevere.

    Thanks for sharing your story and great tips.

    1. Terri, I actually call myself a REWRITER. That's where our writing really gets good as we edit and refine.
      My plan of writing is to work fast and hard on the first draft and get the major plot points down.(had about 40,000 words in my wip, Book 2 in my Charleston Brides series. In the second draft, I add lots more research, detail, refine DPOV, etc.(I had 60,000 words for Georgia Ann, wip). After that, I print the novel out and read and edit with a red pencil.I'm in that stage right now. My last edit will be to put the entire ms, one chapter at a time, into ProWritingAid editing program. THEN before I send it to my publisher, I have an English teacher friend read it to catch any more errors. I need to write a blog about this! LOL One good thing I tell writers, it's so great to FINISh even that first draft. It means you have FINISHED a ms. Even though there is more editing, rewriting to come. I celebrate each stage I complete. Don't forget to celebrate your milestones, have someone celebrate with you. Email me and I'll do it.
      Hugs, Elva Cobb Martin, VP ACFW-SC Chapter


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