On Creative Writing…as a Christian

Besides those tried-and-sometimes-true standards we writer-types have always been taught,* when I approach the whole topic of creative writing from a biblical world view, I have another list:

Let your yes be yes, your no, no. (sincerity, truthfulness, clarity).
Focus on those things which are excellent, virtuous, praiseworthy.

Even though originality can draw in, be winsome, refreshing, needed,
the old,old story is still The Story.

I.e., Sacred Romance is echoed in our romances,
Cosmic Conflict in our smaller wars (and stories about them),
Divine Poema–His Workmanship–is the ultimate poem.

To say it concretely, we put words together because He put us together, we love because He loved us first, we have life because He won against death.


*Show, don’t tell;
put your heart into it (but avoid sentimentality!);
go for the juglar–blood and guts, conflict, war, birth, death, tragedy, humor, gusto in all its forms;
the cardinal sin is to be dull;
use concrete sensory imagery, i.e., avoid abstraction;
a story has a beginning, middle and end,
and, always, "delete unnecessary words," a la Strunk & White’s Elements of Style.

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