Wednesday, June 17, 2020

10 Tips for Irresistible Writing, Part 3

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Have you ever been watching a movie and it had a great beginning, but then it petered out somewhere in the middle? The middle must be the toughest to write. You decide to get some extra popcorn to help you keep watching because you want to know what happens. The ending is pretty satisfying, but (as a writer) you think that the middle could have used some extra TLC.

In this post, I would like to share three tips that will not only help the middle sections of your writing, but make all of your writing infused with “punch, zip, and wow”—to say something that is both inspiring and powerful, to-the-point, and enriching.

Tip #6: Don’t just rehash Scripture in your writing—find a unique way to present it. 

Anyone can provide a summary of what Scripture says, but irresistible writing presents Scripture with creativity. Does your Bible passage have its own word picture? Share a personal experience related to that metaphor as you explain the verses. Is there an intriguing slant that you can use to introduce a familiar story? Keep the reader’s interest by using that angle to introduce and explain the passage. 

For example, in John 10:27, Jesus talked about His sheep recognizing His voice and following Him. If I were to write about this passage, I would share about the time in Europe that my family sat in a restaurant overlooking a valley. We watched as two shepherds came together in the valley to chat and their flocks mixed. How would they ever separate their sheep? As the shepherds headed in different directions and called to their flocks, it looked like the parting of the Red Sea. Each sheep knew who it belonged to and didn’t hesitate to follow. 

Tip #7: See if any paragraphs, sentences, or words can be left out and your message is still clear. 

No, don’t say that! I cringe inwardly when I hear a faculty member at a writer’s conference say, “We have to kill our darlings.” I prefer to gently paste them into a cozy Word file for later. 

To create irresistible writing, read every paragraph, and see if it’s needed. Copy and paste those precious paragraphs that aren’t, into a new file. Then see if every sentence in the remaining paragraphs is needed. Delete whatever doesn’t detract from the clarity of your message. (The reader will never know.) Then look at each word in your sentences. If something can be said with fewer words, go for it. If a word doesn’t serve a good purpose, say good-bye. Make sure every word, sentence, and paragraph progress your main idea and don’t just take up space. 

Tip #8: Track your flow of thought by reading the first line of every paragraph.

This helps your main point to be understood from beginning to end. The first lines of your paragraphs act like stepping stones for the reader. Whether I am evaluating someone else’s submission or my own writing, I often read the first lines of the paragraphs to see the progression of the main point. My heart is quite satisfied when my own first lines show the flow of thought traveling in a straight line (not the kind of line that meanders on the side of a mountain). 

We want to take our readers from Point A to Point B on the fastest route possible. They’ll appreciate it. We can definitely make the trip beautiful, but having a straightforward flow of thought will help keep our writing enjoyable and irresistible. 

Which do you appreciate the most in someone else’s writing—unique insights about Scripture, streamlined writing, or an understandable flow of thought? Tell us in the comments below, and join the conversation!


Don’t Miss the Rest of This Series!

Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies. She loves connecting with writers and working alongside them in compilations, such as Feed Your Soul with the Word of God, Collection 1 which is a 2020 Selah Awards finalist. Lighthouse’s newest compilation, The Power to Make a Difference, released January 2020. 

In addition to online magazines, Katy’s writing can be found at,, the Arise Daily blog, and two blogs on writing. She loves spending time with family and friends, making jewelry, and hunting for the best donuts. Connect with her at her blog, The Scrapbooked Bible Study, and on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Katy,

    I love these different tips--especially #6 about looking for a unique way to present Scripture. I've found this in particular with the titles of my children's books. Like my book about Jesus and the children was called NEVER TOO BUSY. Thank you,

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

    1. Thank you, Terry! I am grateful Jesus isn't too busy for us adults either. Book titles are so important! Thank you for your comment.

  2. Thank you Kind, Katy. You never cease to help me write and love the Lord more deeply. Always.

    1. I'm so glad you found this helpful. And you're so sweet. As always. Thank you! Happy writing.

  3. Katy, thank you for your writing tips. As usual, they're right on (to borrow a 60s term).

    1. Yay! Thanks, Evelyn. It's nice to be "right on" at least once in a while. :)