Letter from Mike

I had no idea what writing entailed when I first started writing out Stories on exercise books at age Nine. I only decided to publish my ‘Novels’ when family discovered the piles of books that had filled a closet. 

I had no idea writing was more than birthing stories, that it was a journey of self-discovery and limitless possibilities.

It might take me an entire life-time to produce one novel but I would cherish every moment because Writing is not just a gift, it’s a calling.

Everyone can write, but not everyone will write because Writing is bleeding.

Today, I want to share the feedback I got from a friend at an online writing group the very first time I posted a Chapter from my novel. 

Here goes, I hope it blesses you.

*

Okay, I’ve read the second part.


I
see you put a lot of work into it, so my recommendation is probably going to rub you the wrong way, but here goes:

Read. Read a lot. Read some more. Then keep reading. After that, read more. Then I suggest you do some reading. Read classics in English like Dickens. Read Faulkner. Read Steinbeck. Kurt Vonnegut. Maya Angelou. Great writers from Africa. Find an author you like and read all their work. Frank Peretti (if I recall correctly) is pretty good – read all his work.

Right now, it seems to me you’re struggling with keeping a handle on the basics of English but you have an imperative to get something said.

Remember Saul of Tarsus – he didn’t take a vacation, he had his butt kicked by Jesus while he was on the way to Damascus to mess with more Christians. (Wanna stone this guy? Okay, I’ll hold your coat – go for it – yeah, I’m workin’ with the Sanhedrin …)

You seek to transform yourself into a writer because you have something to say – that’s a good thing. But … you must do the homework. Think Saul of Tarsus. He paid his dues, and he didn’t become Paul by accident – it took hard work. I think the path ahead of you is a lot like Saul/Paul’s. Picture yourself as someone who has a message to deliver but doesn’t know the language yet, and learn that language by reading well-written things by good authors. Read everything, and don’t limit yourself to Christian writers. Know the world like Jesus did – He did not shy away from helping prostitutes and thieves; He had dust on his feet, and the guy who ran through the Temple breaking stuff was not a wimp, He was a hard-ass carpenter with muscles on his muscles, and He was kicking some ass and taking down names (You wanna change money and sell sacrifice animals in my Father’s house? well, then, watch THIS!) Know the World as Jesus did, read writers who know how to turn a phrase (A LOT,) and when you’ve come to the point where you can say “I might have written that differently” while you’re reading a GOOD writer, write your stories.

I know I’m suggesting a long road (darn near as far as Damascus, huh?  ) … but that’s the way I see it.

Frankly, I’d like to see a Christian writer who can spin a good tale instead of saying “and then there was a miracle and God took care of everything and it was all sunshine and roses …” That stuff is for folks I tend to call ‘Baby Christians’ – those who have not yet realized that life is hard work and Jesus will not fix everything if they sit on their butts and pray.

I think your story is starting on the right track, but I want to see you have a command of the language so you can TELL IT! The only other suggestion I can think of is that you should READ!!!

Okay, my sermon is done …

Have a great day, and READ!


Mike

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