Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How About A Blog Hop?

Attention all my creative Christian writers: How about we have another blog hop?

I would like to ask you to choose an exercise you especially liked or one that produced some writing you enjoyed from CCWCU. All participants will display their writing exercise on their blog, and I will provide a link from here to all of you.

You will post your writing on your blog on Wednesday, July 9th.

Please leave a comment if you are going to participate. I will contact everyone through email. If I don't have your email address, I will request it. I will list all of the blog hoppers' links here. I will also post links from my Facebook. You may promote as well. I will list the links so you can post them on your blog as well.

A blog hop is a good way to bring other readers to your site and "introduce" yourself.

Let's have a little fun and share some of our creative writing exercises.

Who will be first?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Psalm 46:10 is a very familiar verse. In the NIV Bible is reads: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Message Bible translation puts it this way: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
There are times that we must step back from anything that is impeding our vision of God. So much in this world clamors for our attention. We must remove the distractions and focus on God, especially in times when we need direction or peace that only God can give.

In your current story, does your main character come to a moment when he or she needs to take time to come apart from the noise and gain a God-perspective? You might have heard this called a “come to Jesus moment.”

If our stories depict a straying from God or from His plan, we might need to create a scene where the main character steps away consciously and maybe even physically.

Make a list of possible ways to “step out of the traffic” of life to get this renewed and intimate view of God. Here are a few to get you started: go on a short trip, go to a restaurant alone and sit in the back, sit in a park, or get up in the middle of the night while others sleep.

Find a point at which your character has to make a conscious focus on God. Could this be more effective if the character were to do one of the things you listed? Choose one of the ways you listed and write out a scene in which the main character retreats and is given that renewed focus on God. Then, analyze whether this scene would make this moment in your story more effective with its addition.
Do you as a Christian writer take time to “be still” and know that He is God? Not just alone time, but with God. To keep your relationship with the Lord intimate, you have to spend time with Him. This is time just focusing on Him and showing Him what He is worth to you. This isn’t a time of seeking something from Him.

Take time to “step out of the traffic” of life and bask in a God who wants to love on you. While Jesus was on earth, He took time to get away and be with His Father. Shouldn’t we do the same?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Figurative Language

Psalm 23 is possibly one of the most well-known passages in the Bible. David employs the use of figurative language to paint for his readers the picture of God and His relationship with His children. Through the use of metaphor and personification, we can get the idea of just how God cares for us.
Since David was a shepherd, he had a clear understanding of the connection between the shepherd and his flock. He uses this knowledge to give just an inkling of the connection he feels that God has with His children.

Figurative language can be defined as language that goes beyond the normal meaning of the words used. This device is used to make writing more clear or better understood. There are three basic types: simile, metaphor, and personification.

Simile compares two different things using like or as, while a metaphor compares without using the words like and as. Personification is when an idea, object, or animal is given the characteristics of a person.

The use of figurative language can enhance a reader’s understanding. Have you used one of the above devices within your work in progress? If so, check to make sure that it enhances your story without detracting from it. Share the passage with someone and ask specifically if she can understand better than if the figurative language were omitted.

Are there areas in your story where the use of simile, metaphor, or even personification could improve your writing? Sometimes using these devices can help in “showing” a character’s emotions even more clearly than naming the particular feeling.

Consider this from the Psalm: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . .” David could have been literal and said, “Even though I experience sad and depressing times . . .” But, which one causes you to actually feel that sadness?
Locate an emotion in your story. Create a simile, metaphor, and personification for that emotion. Would the addition of one of these enhance the meaning for your reader? If so, add it in. Search out other areas that your story doesn't seem as strong and try this exercise again. Sometimes the addition of a little colorful language can be just what is needed to make your words sparkle.

Because our finite minds have a hard time grasping an infinite God, this is why we see the use of figurative language in the Bible. David used these devices and so did Paul. As Christian writers trying to express our message through our writing, we might find these devices helpful in getting our meaning across to our readers.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Good Guys and Bad Guys

Psalms - David crafted the words to the Psalms during the many ups and downs in his life. Psalm One speaks of the righteous man and the wicked man.

The righteous man delights in God's laws and doesn't follow in the way of sinners. In the end, he prospers, and God watches over his way.

The wicked man will perish, not succeeding in the end.

Often it seems the wicked man prospers and the righteous man suffers. But, God promises that ultimately, the righteous will prevail and the wicked lose.

Isn't this just the way it is in a story involving the good guy and the bad guy? Ultimately, our protagonist will win in the end, but the reader wants to see her work for it. The villain has to make headway and even seem to be winning. This raises the tension.

Study your bad guy. Have you developed him enough? Can your reader get an understanding of why this villain is tugging in the opposite direction than your protagonist? Your villain will be more believable if his motives are more than just taking a victory away from your good guy. The bad guy has goals and reasons for what he does. It's okay for your villain not to be completely bad.

Locate the first time your antagonist is met in your story. Is there more description that should be added so your reader has more of an understanding of your bad guy?

As writers, we sometimes feel we aren't winning in getting our message out for others to read.

Psalm 1:3 says, "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."

As Christian writers we must remain grounded in God and His commands. We will yield fruit in season. We may feel that "the other side" is winning, but in the end, we will prosper.