1. Beware those too cute, too concise, or too formulaic tips about writing. Dont treat them as magic talismans.
2. On the other hand, dont take tip # 1 too literally occasionally a short, catchy phrase is truly a key to good writing as an example, heres one you may have heard, and in which I believe to the marrow of my bones: the art of writing is rewriting. (Sean O Faolain).
3. Start writing about what you know.
4. But perhaps even more importantly, know what you are writing about. Dont wallow around in the subjective world of your words, and your intentions, and your feelings about what you think you are writing. After you have written something, be ruthlessly objective. Ask yourself, what would the guy in the check out line at the food store, or the lady over there on the subway, or farmer on the tractor in the fields
what would they think about my story, the way I have written it up to now?
5. Concision, concision, concision. One of my problems when I started writing in college was that I was too in love with the power of words. I didnt realize that the power comes in the STORY dont let the words get in the way. If they do, chop them out of your story. In my humble opinion, elegance of prose comes not just in what is finally said after many polishings and rewrites, but what is eliminated by the delete button.
6. Following up on #5, we can liken the writing of a story to building a house better to start with simple construction and then add on later, than to over-build in the first instance, and have to tear down walls (did I just violate tip #1?)
7. Consider your audience the reader who doesnt know you, and may not even care who you are. What are they going through in life? What do they find meaningful? Jesus was a master story-teller in his parables, because he was able to present his stories in a circumstantial context that his audience could relate to. People were his target he wasnt simply spinning some abstract, Platonic truth.
8. Ask yourself, early on what is my story REALLY about? If you cant reduce it to a simple headline in a newspaper, you may find yourself in trouble half-way through.
9. Are you a writer who is a Christian or a Christian writer?
10. Aristotle made the astoundingly obvious declaration that a story contains a beginning, a middle, and an end. But his observation was true look at the structure of the Bible, and the entire plan of human redemption from in the beginning, God
in Genesis to I am coming quickly
in Revelation. Story telling, in this light, is a holy work. It is powerful calling. One literary critic once said that the story educates the imagination to higher moral resolve. But I say, that Spirit-filled writing can illuminate the soul, and impact eternity. God could have laid out His plan for salvation in a ten-volume theological treatise and then could have required all of us to read it. Instead, he told us a story a true story and wonder of wonders, we are in it. How great is that!