Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Friday, March 15, 2013

SHARP WRITING (Deuteronomy 27)

Today I found more words for writers: Write all the words of this Revelation on the stones. Incise them sharply. (Deuteronomy 27:8, MSG)

"Incise them" throws me for a bit of a loop. Imagine a pair of gigantic teeth chomping down on the stone and carving letters, something like the Rock Biter in Never Ending Story.

I know the verse refers to God's revelation, and the memorial stones of the covenant. But I still think writers can find some lessons here.

Let's think about it. Write all the words. That doesn't necessarily mean to write long books. It means--as I tell aspiring writers all the time--a writer must write. Do you want to improve? Write, write, and write some more. I have improved in large part because I have written almost every day for over two decades.  And I've written plenty of words.

Incise them. Carve out words from my heart. One of the most humorous quips about writing goes about like this: "Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed." Writing that comes from my head is less effective than writing from my heart.

Incise them sharply. Find the right tools to make those words sharp, clear, unmistakeable. Choose the right genre. Mine, for reasons only God understands, is primarily historical romance. Choose the right words. Use grammar properly.

Sharpen your tools. Choose the right colored pencil, the right word. Take classes, read books, accept criticism. Get better.

One final note: Set up the stones. As my friend Reggie McDaniel said, "God didn't give you that story to keep it in a drawer." In these electronic days, I suppose that would be in a computer folder. Share your words. In blogs, letters, articles, books, among friends. Publication is a scary process, but risk it anyways.

Remember I wrote for fourteen years before I got my first book contract!

Okay, writers. Get ready . . . set . . . write.


  1. Even though it took you fourteen years to get published, I'm so thankful that you didn't give up. Your words are balm for the heart, at least for me. Thank you for not given up on what God had meant for you to do ~ write!


  2. I was published before 14 years, but that's when my first book came out. Yeah, I was too stubborn to give up. :) I'm so glad we met, Kameko.