Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I'm Not Published Yet

Respecting the Message
Anyone with aspirations of becoming a published author has at least one story idea that excites us every time we think about it. When we share our ideas with others who seem intrigued by our creativity, we get an adrenalin boost. But when it’s time to write that story, we have to remember that every story to tell has a message that we writers have to respect.

Respecting the message means we should be willing to learn how to tell our stories. Yes, God may have given you a vision for your story, but it’s your responsibility to educate yourself on how to make the story the best it can be.

Would you like to be known as a writer who is difficult to understand, or one who is straight to the point? Would you like to be known as a writer who uses lots of words but really doesn’t have much to say, or one who keeps the reader’s interest from the first sentence to the last?

What do you want your reader to learn? Is that lesson clearly coming across, or is it confusing to the reader?

Say you make out your grocery list and write down bread. If you are the one doing the shopping, you already know the exact brand of bread you want. But what if you hand that same list to someone else to do your shopping for you? That person then has to interpret the type of bread you want because reading the list doesn’t make it clear. If you write down one loaf of Veronica’s Heart Healthy Wheat Bread, then the person reading your list knows exactly what you want.

Think about letters or emails you’ve written to another person. Consider the times that you’ve searched for the right word to express your emotions. You know what you want the reader of that message to feel. Whether you are trying to encourage them or admonish them, you know what words do the job. Writing a story is no different.

Respecting the message also means respecting oneself. Do you really want to sign you name to writing that is shabby, unclear and confusing? Don’t allow pride to keep you from asking for help when you need it, or from heeding advice from another writer or an editor you respect when it’s clear that changes they suggest would make the story better.

Finally, respecting the message means respecting your audience. A reader will know if you are a person who takes the time to research your setting, your character’s occupations, or historical facts. A reader will know if you care about their time because you have labored to give them a story worth reading and remembering.
About the Author

Veronica Fields Johnson is a freelance writer, trivia buff, game show enthusiast and avid reader. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and the President of the Visions in Print chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters and is currently working on her first novel.

1 comment:

Missy said...

Excellent topic I was just browsing my Google reader to see if I had anything interesting to read and your thread has certainly satiated my hunger.

Just recently I was anticipating the release of a book. The marketing of the book piqued my interest from the very beginning. I thought the book synopsis was something I would enjoy. The color scheme of the marketing company came across as calming. Needless to say when I opened the book there on the very 1st page was 2 typos.
I immediately got tense and said no its ok; its only these or I was hoping. Well from the 1st page to the last there was typos throughout the book.

The sad thing is I will be very reluctant to purchase any future books from the company & author.

Because I'm not only an avid reader I also review most books I read. I was conflicted with do I tell other readers or just write the review. The Holy Spirit convicted me with this. I wrote my review and then posted it omitting the fact that the book was filled with typos. It wasn't my job to alert other potential readers or at least I didn't think it was. However I did alert the author and she brushed it off like it was part of being an author.

I say all that to say I appreciate you Rhonda because you have integrity in your writing. You care about giving us the most bang for our buck.

Thank Q