Tag Archives: testimony

Summing it all up

“What’s your story about?”

It’s a question that I’ll have to answer when I get to the American Christian Fiction Writers convention in Dallas next week. Shouldn’t be that hard…right?

The problem, it seems to me, is that I have a tendency to go from one extreme to the other in attempting to answer the question. It reminds me of the preacher who preached a thirteen point sermon one week. Afterwards he realized he’d overdone it, so the next Sunday he began his sermon by saying, “In light of last weeks thirteen point sermon, this morning’s message will be pointless.”

I’m really trying to get my answer to fall in between the multi-pointed and the pointless response. I want to say enough, but not too much. I want an agent/editor’s eyes to open wide, not gloss over. So what am I going to do?

Simply this:  I’m going to practice, practice, practice. Not that I’m going to strut around ready to spot my elevator pitch to anyone who even appears to be forming the question, but I do want to be able to be clear and concise.

My testimony as a Christian should be much the same way. When someone asks me a reason for the hope that is in me, I should be able to give a short and focused answer. AND I should be prepared to follow that up with a more detailed explanation if the opportunity presents itself. Both require preparation.

Two sentences or less:  Why are you a Christian?

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life

Writing From Pain

Writers write from their brokenness. Our stories are littered with characters who understand pain and disappointment, not just because “that’s life,” but because difficult times have been–and still are– a part of our lives.

Sometimes the hard times are self-inflicted, and other times they are the product of someone else’s doing. There’s a point where knowing the source doesn’t matter. We just have to deal with the pain. And writers often write as a way of dealing with troubles.

But isn’t that why some readers read? To either escape–even if briefly–from the rat race and be carried away by a good story, or to find a story that will show them characters that dealt with similar trials?

It may sound crazy but there have been times, when I’ve been writing a scene involving certain characters, and I’ve had to walk away from the keyboard for a while because the turmoil and pain in the scene was too raw…too real. But after some time, I found that the experience of writing that scene was good for me…perhaps even therapeutic.

It’s great to know that God has an answer for our pain. He doesn’t just redeem us, He redeems our broken-world experiences too. He cleans it off and says, “Now use this as a testimony of my grace and love.”

Praise God for His ability to make beauty rise from ashes. So if the pain I experience in life makes me a better writer, than glory be His name.

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Writing