Thursday, July 31, 2014


One of the well-known verses from Isaiah is when the prophet is before God, and God is asking who shall go for us. Isaiah states, “Here am I, send me.” This speaks of a call or purpose resting on his life.

Sometimes as Christian writers we might include a character who is answering a call to do something for God. This call can be played out in their vocation or even by having to leave their normal life and venture into a whole new job or location.

Choose a character from a work in progress. Consider this scenario: Suppose that character had to change jobs, going into a new situation with new co-workers. What challenges might she face that could jeopardize her Christian witness? What kind of stand would she have to make? What kind of affect could she have on those around her? In what ways could this new situation cause her to grow in her faith?
It can be hard to stand up for Christian morals and principles. Just as you might portray your character experiencing the unpopularity that often comes with sticking with the call of God, you as a writer of Christian literature may experience the same. But God still asks, “Whom shall I send? And, who will go for us?” We must still answer that we are willing to write His message even to a resistant world. It is our calling as Christian writers. It is our calling as Christians.

What message do you feel God wants you to get out in your writing? Are there certain truths that burden you? Write His message!

Monday, July 28, 2014


The Song of Solomon portrays words between two lovers. One might say it is a book of romance, showing some of the physical aspects of lovers.

As Christian writers of romance stories, we strive to show the romantic feelings of our characters without going too far. We want the reader to see the attraction between our heroine and hero and yet we relegate sexual acts to behind closed doors. This means that physical intimacy beyond kissing, holding hands, or embracing is not played out on the page.

Though it takes more work, a good writer of romance can cause sparks to fly simply by the look in a character’s eyes or the tingle emitted by holding hands.
Create a romantic scene between your heroine and hero. Start like this: His hand edged closer to hers …

What would the anticipation of their hands finally touching make her feel and think? What sensations would she experience when his hand encloses around hers?

God is the author of romance because He is the one who created marriage. He realized it wasn’t good for man to be alone, and He intended a godly marriage to be a little slice of Heaven.
This fact does mean that as Christian writers even though we may have characters who have had sex outside of marriage or even committed adultery, we work to make sure our readers know God does not condone those things. We strive to have the message of our work be in line with God’s Word. Because of this fact, we must be in a constant attitude of prayer, letting God lead us when we write.

Many skilled Christian romance authors exist and give us numerous examples of how to write these romantic scenes. Seek out books written by these authors that stand as good role models for writing romantic scenes.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Ecclesiastes is probably most known for the passage that says that there is a time for everything and every purpose under heaven. This message proves itself in our everyday lives. We experience times of laughter and times of weeping. We see times of sowing and harvesting. The list could go on.

Though the subject of timing has been mentioned in an earlier lesson, a writer can never learn enough on any given subject and improvement is always the watchword.
The timing and pacing of your story must be a balance between moving the story along and yet not speeding by too quickly. By making things happen too quickly the reader loses out on some of the anticipation that can be created for the reader. But, if the writer puts in too much of this anticipation-building time, the reader could lose interest.

The writer needs to keep the story moving, showing the characters’ actions. However, there is no need to bog the reader down by showing every action. For example, the reader doesn’t need to read all about the car ride to a destination unless there is something significant revealed during the car ride. To explain that the character puts the key into the car and puts it in drive and pulls from the parking lot into the traffic might slow down the pace. The reader doesn’t have to see all of that. They know that the characters had to do all of these things to drive the car to their destination.

Another pace killer is providing too much description of setting and character. This tempts the reader to skip ahead because they feel the action slow and may even feel like they are removed from the story.

Randomly choose a scene or chapter from your work in progress. Read the section aloud. Could you sense the pacing in this section? Did the pace feel like what you set out to create? Or, did you notice a slowing with too much description? Or, did you notice that the culmination of the scene happened too quickly? Rework accordingly.

Do you believe there is a time for everything? It is hard to accept that our timetable doesn’t always match up with God’s. But, think of it this way, that rejection you received may mean that your manuscript isn’t supposed to be accepted now. The Bible says there is a time and a purpose for everything. The purpose He has for your writing may not be ready at this time to be fulfilled. Matching our pace with God’s can be difficult because we like to pull ahead, but He sees the full picture. Christian writer, you can trust God’s timing and pace.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Proverbs is packed with many wise sayings from King Solomon. These verses show the results of God’s question of the king of what he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom. He was known as the person who had the most wisdom in making decisions, more than anyone before or after him.
In an earlier exercise, we discussed the sage or wise character that we as writers often include in our stories. This character influences our hero or heroine in hopefully positive ways.

Now, let’s focus on the actual wisdom we might impart through our stories. As Christian writers, we want to make sure that any truths we share are in line with God’s Word. However, we should also strive to insure that our stories don’t become preachy.

Let’s consider an example. Suppose we want to base a section of our work in progress on Proverbs 19:3 which states: “A man’s folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.” In The Message this same verse is quoted this way: “People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?”

In this case, the writer would first show the character and her flaw. Then, that character would be involved in scenes in which she would blame God through internal dialogue and through dialogue with others. As the story unfolds, that character would somehow encounter the truth of the fact that she was responsible not God. This truth could be driven home by the character finding scripture that tells this or maybe a friend speaks openly with her. She could even learn this vicariously by observing another person going through a similar circumstance.

Two keys here: Make sure that the truth is in line with the Word of God. And, make sure that excessive dialogue or scripture quoting doesn’t occur, sounding preachy.

Why not give it try? Open your Bible to Proverbs. Skim for a truth that your character could learn. Now, create the scenario in which your character either shows the flaw or does something wrong which will have to be confronted or changed. Now, how can you get the truth presented to your character naturally and truthfully?

Let’s face it. An entire book could be based upon one truth from Proverbs learned by your main character.

As Christian writers, we are faced with the responsibility of presenting God’s truths correctly. How can this be accomplished? We must follow the advice given by our Lord when He says, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask for it.” We must always be in an attitude of learning from God. We must utilize His textbook daily to ingest the wisdom and truth. A Christian writer will find it difficult to write the truth if he or she isn’t being nourished with it.  

Monday, July 14, 2014


“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:10-12 NIV

Restoration and renewal are often needed in our spiritual life. These verses from Psalms are almost like listening in as the Psalmist prays to God to accomplish these tasks in his life.

When a person experiences some type of restoration, there are outer and inner evidences. For example, a person might have a relationship restored and would show evidence of this through facial expression or body language. But, that person would also have internal reactions that might not be clearly seen by others. For example, if the person experienced stress with this strained relationship, the restoration might alleviate that stress, maybe settled stomach or calmed nerves.
These inner and outer reactions to circumstances are necessary to show to our readers as well.

Make a list of restorations. Here’s a few to get you started: restored health, restored marriage, restored friendship.

Now choose one of the above. Label two columns: Inner and Outer. List possible inner and outer indications of that restoration.

Write a scene sharing a few of each, inner and outer, occurring with your character.

As Christians, there really should be inner as well as outer evidence that we have Christ. What inner and outer evidence do you notice in your life of being a Christ-follower? After thinking about your own inner and outer reactions and evidences, could you more effectively show those through your writing? Have you experienced some restoration in your own life? If so, those inner and outer evidences you experienced can make it easier for you to show this through your characters.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Let me re-introduce you to Creative Christian Writers Crank Up. Wow, that's a mouthful!

What can you expect from this blog?

First, you will travel through the Bible and encounter different events and passages. These will be used to inspire some kind of aspect from writing.

Second, you can expect to get some mini-lessons or tidbits about those writing aspects.

Thirdly, you will be given a prompt or some kind of creative activity to practice your writing in that area.

Lastly, I will leave you with some kind of encouragement or challenge from one Christian writer to another.

If you aren't already a subscriber, please consider signing up to receive these short lessons into your email inbox.

Take a moment to scroll back down through the earlier posts to get an idea of the creative sparks I like to light in you, the Christian writer. I post each Wednesday and Sunday evenings. I urge you to leave comments on the exercises that you find helpful or encouraging.

Now, what are you waiting for? Let's crank up the creativity!