Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Enhance the Wonderful in Your Writing

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Use this valuable acronym to enhance your writing.
“Wonderful” sticks to the heart as much as it does to the mind. Memories of fun-filled travels, time with family and friends, and special moments make a home within us forever. Books can do that too.

Wonderful happens when a book speaks to us about a heartfelt need, when it answers a plaguing question or solves a challenging problem, when it refreshes ours spirits and reminds us that hope is alive and God is with us.

Use this acronym as a checklist to enhance the wonderful in your writing.

W – Write from the heart.

Let the words flow from within. Bring out the life experiences that have shaped you, and share in your nonfiction book or novel the lessons that have influenced who you are and how you live. Write from a passion for your subject and a compassion for your readers.

O – Organize your thoughts into a straight line.

A meandering walk in the woods is inviting on a bright, sunny day. But a book that meanders through unrelated or semi-related thoughts will bring gloomy clouds and send a reader packing. Don’t make it hard on your reader to follow your flow of thought.

N – Never save the best for last.

Give your reader a reason to read every chapter. Even the preface. I put brownies in the lead-in of my preface, and my friends haven’t forgotten it. While most books may put their best principles or scenes at the end, spread your best material throughout the book, so that every page is turned and every line is read.

D – Develop an encouraging voice.

Talk to the reader like an encouraging friend, not a nagging one. Some of the most captivating books I’ve read had the conversational voice of a friend. As the authors shared insights and stories from their lives, I felt like I was getting to know them, and that developed trust.

Allow your reader to believe in you as an encouraging author, and believe in them. Don’t assume your readers aren’t living right or they have major problems. A we mentality will go a long way in creating a captivating, helpful book.

E – Edit distractions and detours.

The oomph factor dramatically increases in any book when the author whittles away distracting paragraphs and unnecessary detours. Editors and agents will love a book that stays on track, and so will readers.

R – Read your writing aloud before submitting it.

I wish I had done this for my latest manuscript, but fortunately I could edit the book after I read the proof. If you’re shy about reading your work in front of others, cozy up in a chair in an isolated room, and read your book aloud. You’re more likely to catch missing words or typos than if you only read the book silently.

F – Fill your reader’s heart with take away.

This puts the wonder in wonderful. What can the reader take away from your book that will stay with them long after they’ve read it? If you’re writing Christian living books or Bible studies, make sure each of your chapters is filled with take away that helps readers to walk closer to God. If you’re writing devotions, use the main point of your story or illustration in your ending paragraphs. If you’re crafting a work of fiction, create characters and struggles that readers can relate to and learn from. Perhaps the story will reveal a missing piece of life’s puzzle and bring them wisdom, hope, or freedom.

U – Use words that deliver punch, zip, and wow.

Don’t just look at a word, but “listen” to it. When you say it to yourself, do you hear blah or hurrah? Choose words that grab the reader’s attention—vivid nouns and verbs that describe an action you want the reader to take, an idea, or a scene.

How do your words sound to your inner reader’s ear? Do they stir you to action or put you to sleep? Polish your wonderful factor by infusing your writing with picturesque words and the best phrasing. Choose wording that evokes an emotional response from your reader.

L – Launch the reader’s interest with an intriguing title.

Create an attention-grabbing title that makes potential readers stop and investigate. Launch their interest by using a slant from your book in your title. Can you build on a word picture from your book, like gardening, running, or painting? Is there some call to action that is a common thread in every chapter? Using your book’s slant in your title will help it to stand out from others like it and more readily grab readers’ attention.

What makes a book absolutely wonderful to you? Tell us about those wonder-working qualities in the comments below, and join the conversation!

TWEETABLES
Enhance the wonderful in your #writing - @KatyKauffman28 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Put the W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L. in your #writing with this acronym from author @KatyKauffman28 (Click to Tweet)

Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies, a ministry which seeks to connect people to God through His Word. She has taught the Bible to women and teens, and has published two Bible studies on winning life’s spiritual battles. Her newest release, Breaking the Chains, is a compilation on how to overcome spiritual bondage. Katy is also an editor and a designer of Refresh Bible Study Magazine. She makes her home near Atlanta, Georgia.

13 comments:

  1. Katy, Great article. Love the acrostic. I will start reading my writing out loud. Thanks for the tips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am very glad you liked it, Cherrilynn. I know you like acrostics. May God bless your writing!

      Delete
  2. Wonderful acronym and fun article. Great post, Kathy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ingmar! I appreciate your comment.

      Delete
  3. Wonderful acronym and fun article. Great post, Kathy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you Katy. I'm going to hang on to this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Jann! Thanks for reading this and wanting to keep it. I am glad it was meaningful to you!

      Delete
  5. "Fill your reader's heart with take away" makes a book wonderful to me. I've read two fiction books recently that I find myself still thinking about. I love when that happens! (Just in case you're wondering...A Man Called Ove and Before We Were Yours.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for telling us about those, Karen. I'll have to look them up. "Take away" is really what it's all about. Thank you for sharing!

      Delete
  6. i love to read aloud, and do readings at my book launch events! current one is loads of fun as thee are several French words and phrases tossed in, an Irish fellow, a couple of Italian peeps, and a lady from Mexico. (German dude doesn't show up til next book... ) did i mention i love doing accents!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds interesting. A melting pot of a story, it sounds like. Or at least, of characters. What is the title? I love different accents, although I'm not too good at any. Except maybe Russian.

      Delete
  7. Superjob, Katy, as usual-- love the acoustic, and would use the device myself except that it's not as impressive when you can't come up with enough stuff to cover more than three letter words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron, I'm glad you read this post and thanks for your comment. Three letters? What are you talking about? :)

      Delete