Thoughts And Ramblings Of A Christian Writer: Part Four (The Final Part!!!)

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. – Richard Bach

Today is the last part in my writer’s series, and perhaps the most dreaded—Editing.


For many writers, editing is the most overwhelming part of the process. Throughout the early first draft, we’re running mostly on creativity and fresh inspiration. The process is new, and oftentimes, we can’t wait to get our ideas down on the page. We can see it all in our minds like a movie, and we celebrate when we make it to the end of our story.

Editing, on the other hand, is different. It’s left brain. It’s practical. It means changing material that sounded really good a couple of days ago. It means reading your work through the eyes of a critic. And most writers don’t enjoy it nearly as much as the initial creative process. In fact, editing can make you feel a little like these memes bellow.

download-3 download-4 (1)

And, at times, we may even feel a little like this guy.


(As a new Dawson’s Creek fan, you had to know this would make its way into one of my posts eventually.😜)

Nonetheless, as stressful as editing can be, it is an absolutely essential part of the writing process. As good as our stories are, they’re never finished at the rough draft. Writing is a journey. And, like every journey, it takes hard work and dedication to make our stories the best that they can be.

According to, there are four different types of editing: Big Picture Editing, Paragraph Level Editing, Sentence Level editing, and Word Level Editing.

Big Picture Editing means taking a look at your writing from a bird’s eye view. It means looking at your story and making sure that structurally, everything makes sense. There are no plot holes. There’s nothing that sounds, weird, or off, or incoherent. Hopefully, most of the big-picture of the book was structured carefully before and during the writing process, but if you have noticeable errors, they can still be fixed as you edit your manuscript. Remember—that’s the whole point of editing. To make your draft as good as possible before sending it to a publishing house (or, pursuing the route of self publishing).

Paragraph Level Editing is a little different. Like Big Picture Editing, it is largely about structure, but this type of editing involves changing sentence and paragraph structure to make the content easier to read and more coherent to the reader. This could mean clarifying sentences, adding detail, cutting fluff, and giving the book an overall “feel” or “tone”.

Sentence Level Editing, on the other hand, is more about mechanics. It’s where we get down to the nitty-gritty of our prose, and fix grammar mistakes and minor details that may have been lost in a sea of words. For instance, is the character’s last name “Jones” in one sentence and “Smith” in another? Does the protagonist’s best friend remain a brunette throughout the story? It sounds silly, but these kind of details can be easy to miss in a three-hundred page novel. It is important, for the reader’s sake, that all of this is addressed before the book is released into the hands of the world.

Last but not least, we have Word Level Editing, which is arguably the easiest and most basic kind of editing. This kind of writing addresses things such as spelling, typos, and punctuation. It is the kind of editing that many of us are familiar with from our days in elementary school, when we learned the basics of English and took standardized tests where we filled-in-the-bubble-for-the-correct-word.

I hope that these last four parts have been helpful and enjoyable to read for you guys! Admittedly, I’m still an amateur myself, but my prayer is that we can all learn, grow, and encourage each other on our journey to becoming better writers.

Writing has always been my passion and I know that I personally have loved delving deep into the world of fiction writing on my blog!

If you have any comments, please feel free to post them in the comments section! I always love hearing from you guys! 


Thoughts And Ramblings Of A Christian Writer – Part Three

Let’s be honest. Each one of us, if we’re telling the truth, wants to write something that leaves a lasting mark on this world.


Each of us, as a writer, has a story inside of us that needs to come out.

Each one of us has a story that we want to bring to life.

Each one of us has something to say.

Each one of us wants to say something that matters.

This is where the concept of a “theme” comes in. A theme, in short, is the lesson, moral, or a concept of a story. And as authors, especially Christian authors, the concept of a theme is absolutely essential to our stories. It’s the meat and depth of our novel. It’s the heart and soul of our prose.

In my experience and observations, a theme can come into the picture in really any stage of the planning process. For some people, it’s easiest to start with the theme and structure the storyline around it. For others, myself included, it’s easiest to come up with the plotline first and than zoom into the lesson that you want to teach. The order doesn’t matter so much as the lesson that you choose to teach through your story. No one else can choose it for you. It has to come from your own heart, passion, and experience. It has to be something universal and unique—something that will inspire your readers in their own real, day-to-day-life. 

Personally, when I’m in the process of discovering my story’s themes, I do some soul searching—as I try to figure out what message I can convey through the storyline and what God has put on my heart to incorporate into my story. Oftentimes, I can even draw from my own life, as I think of things that I wish that I had known when I was younger. A theme, in short, can be anything from the importance of close friendships, to the problem with censorship, to the transforming power of faith in God. 

According to an article on,html, “Theme is the deeper layer of meaning running beneath the story’s surface. While the surface story entertains the readers, the theme helps them to reach a new understanding of some aspect of the human condition.

Thus, while the story’s surface intention is to entertain, the story’s theme adds an extra, hidden dimension to a novel. It gives it depth, and helps us recognize things about ourselves and our world—much like how Jesus’ parable’s teach us important lessons about God and the world that we live in.

As humans, we’re all different, but we all experience many of the same experiences, hopes, and desires. Stories with strong themes capture this, and help us to see that we’re not alone. We find that other people have shared our same struggles and challenges, and have come out on the other side. When we delve deep into a novel’s theme, we often find that we’re not as alone as we think. 

As Christians, we have a guiding source of truth, which is God and His Word. Through spending time with God in prayer and reading our Bible regularly, we can develop strong themes and guiding principles for our writing (and life!). Thus, if you’re writing a story, I’d highly encourage you to look to Scripture for inspiration about your story’s theme. Like with anything else, God’s Word is always our best place to start. 

Some books that have gotten it right

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

Some movies that have gotten it right 

Do You Believe? 

Soul Surfer 

Freaky Friday 

Inside Out 

Dangerous Minds

How about you? What are your thoughts on creating a “theme” for your novel? Is there anything you’d like to add to this discussion? If so, please feel free to share it in the comments section below! Discussion is always encouraged here!😃


Finishing What You Start: More Thoughts And Ramblings Of A Christian Writer (Part Two)

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great night last night and that you have an awesome and blessed 2018! 

For those of you who don’t know, I started a blogging series last year that I sort of never finished. Yeah, I know. Bad blogging etiquette. But, the good news is, I’m back! And I’m ready to continue the series!

The truth is, right after I started it, a lot of craziness happened in my personal life that you can read about in previous blog posts and on my Instagram account here. Nonetheless, things are finally getting back to normal and I’m feeling healthy and happy—ready to jump back into blogging!

Today, I would like to continue this series by discussing the topic of plot, and how it plays into the fabric of a story well told. It’s is one of the most important aspects of a novel and it can literally make or break a story. Further, while this blogging series is about books, I’d like to use two movie examples that I believe demonstrate my point well. I will then, branch off those movies and discuss how I believe a plot can be best formatted.

The first movie that I would like to talk about is the movie Footloose, with actors Dennis Quaid, Kenny Wormald, and Julianne Hough. I watched a few months back for the first time and was honestly seriously impressed with the storyline. It starts out with three characters who are all grieving in their own ways.

There’s the small town reverend, who’s grieving the loss of his son—who died in a drunk driving accident, his daughter Ariel, grieving the loss of her older brother, and Ren McCormick, grieving the loss of his mother. The reverend grieves by banning things that he considers dangerous, like dancing, music, and books in hopes that it will discourage the reckless behavior that killed his son. Ariel grieves by engaging in reckless behavior. And Ren grieves by dancing and listening to rock music. Needless to say, worlds collide when Ren comes to live with his uncle in Georgia and tries to host a dance in the very town that the Reverend outlaws dancing in. Things come to even more of a climax when he falls for Ariel, the pastor’s daughter.

I don’t want to give away every detail of this movie (in case you want to watch it for yourself), but the story progresses as the characters learn to understand each other—and they each find that none of the others are as bad as they initially assumed. It’s story about forgiveness, dealing with pain, and trying to see life through another’s eyes. This kind of story was what most authors would consider to be character-driven, as the characters are essential to the storyline.

The second example that I would like to use is the box office classic, Star Wars. In Star Wars, the characters live in a galaxy (far, far, away. Sorry. I had to do that) where their community is torn apart by war and ‘the dark side’. Meanwhile, a young Luke Skywalker is called to be trained in the ways of a Jedi to save his galaxy. So, with a little help from the ever memorable Yoda and Han Solo, he fights Darth Vader and redeems his homeland. There’s more to it (and a lot of sequels), but that’s the basic idea of the first movie. Many authors would consider Star Wars plot-driven, as it is more driven by the fight against good and evil than it is by their characters and their various quirks and individual issues.

Both of these types of stories are good options and both movies are phenomenal in-my-humble-opinion. The type of story that an author chooses to write is really a matter of personal preference. There are good stories in both styles. Personally, I’m usually more drawn to character driven plots, but I can also think of some great plot-driven books and movies that I love—including Star Wars and The Left Behind Series.

However, it is important in both styles that there’s a consistent flow to the story. It should gradually rise in action throughout the story and have some kind of resolution at the end. I also believe, that while a story should remain interesting throughout, there shouldn’t be a catastrophe on every page. Sometimes, the reader needs a chance to breathe, and recap earlier events. Too much at once can be a little overwhelming for the person receiving the story. Thus, a story should have natural ups and downs.

Here’s an example below


It is also important for stories to be original. Too often, I find books and movies that seem like an exact carbon copy of something, with a few minor changes. This seems to (sadly) especially common among Christian fiction. When something has been done well, and has gotten a good reception, I can see how it’d be tempting to want to make something like it. We get ideas from other great works, and naturally, there are going to be elements in our stories similar to other stories out there. That’s sort of inevitable, and there’s nothing wrong with being inspired or having some familiar tropes in your own novel. 

Nonetheless, as writers, our job is to create original storylines that touch people emotionally and intellectually, which means we can’t copy line for line. There is so much potential out there for great stories—especially stories from a Christian worldview. There is so much that has never been done that we have the chance to explore. All we have to do is a little soul surfing, to figure out exactly what that is, and what it looks like for us.

Movies and books that have gotten it right.

God’s Not Dead. 

The Christy Miller Series.

To Kill A Mockingbird.

Miracle On 34th Street.

The Left Behind Series.

How about you? What do you think makes a good plot? Is there anything you’d like to add? If so, feel free to share it in the comments below! 


Thoughts And Ramblings of The Christian Writer (Part One)

“The Christian in the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars.” 
― Francis A. Schaeffer

From the time I was a little girl, I’ve been an author at heart. I have always loved telling, creating, and reading stories. Whether it be a book I found at the library, a movie that I just saw at the local theater, or a real person’s growth and testimony, stories fascinate me beyond belief. Being a storyteller is an integral part of who I am.

As most of you (hopefully) also know, faith is an integral part of who I am. If I was to rate each part of myself, faith would always come up on top, as my relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. And while there are many great Christian authors who do not include their faith much in their stories, I cannot imagine keeping my faith out of my stories. One way or another, Christianity is bound to play some sort of role in my writing—it is simply the way God has called me to write.

Nonetheless, like many other people have pointed out, Christian art doesn’t exactly have the best reputation right now. Some may pin it on the fact that we live in an increasingly secular society and others may blame it on small budgets, but a fact still remains.

Oftentimes, faith based stories come out sub-par. And as a Christian and a writer, this is something that I find quite sad. 

I don’t think it is because Christians are inherently bad at storytelling. I also don’t believe that it’s because Christianity makes for a weak storyline—look at the Bible! I believe most of our problem is in our approach, and that with a little hard work, we can create stories that are both well made and and reflective of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Thus, I have decided to create a short series on writing good Christian fiction—and the first part of this series will be on writing good characters.

One of the most important things in writing a good story is creating a strong cast. For me, characters are the first thing that draws me to a story. That said, one of of the biggest problems that I’ve seen in (some) Christian fiction is that the characters exist for the story—not the other way around. 

In real life, we live amongst a wide variety of personalities, narratives, and temperaments. Ask me to name my five closest friends and I can point out specific traits that make them unique and special. However, in a lot of Christian novels, I have only seen a few personalities represented—and they’re often in extremes for the point of showing a character come to Christ.

Elaborating on this, many character only have struggles that are dramatic, cliche, or too-subtle-to-notice. I have seen female protagonists who come across like a damsel in distress, but rarely female protagonists that battle stubbornness and hard-headedness. I seen male protagonists who struggle with lust or anger, but rarely male protagonists who struggle with overeating, or self image.

Furthermore, I haven’t often seen characters who have quirks or interests that aren’t essential to the story or lesson. In The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, Tibby loves filmmaking, Bridget is impulsive, Carmen is introspective, and Lena is noticeably introverted. Those details aren’t necessary to the book (though, I suppose Bridget’s impulsiveness could be argued as essential in the first book) but they added life to the characters. They made them feel real and they made them relatable to the audience. Meanwhile, in The Hunger Games, there was a guy named Peeta who’s a baker. Corny? Maybe. Memorable? Absolutely.

In short, it is important to know your characters intricately, and for them to be written as if they have a life outside of the story. It’s important that they feel like characters we can get attached to and relate to. And, considering the vast diversity that we have in our churches, it is important that they represent a variety of different personalities and people. The kind of books that I love the most are the ones that  make me feel like the characters are my best friends. This is something we must do if we want our stories to feel real. Interview your characters. Stick them in various situations and see how they react. Consider how they would think or fall in love. Or how they would dream.

The kind of characters that become the most memorable are the ones that feel the most real. It is our job, as authors, to breathe as much life into them as we can.

Christian books/series/movies that get this right.

  • The Christy Miller Series by Robin Jones Gunn
  • The Left Behind Series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • SouledOut Sisters Series by Neta Jackson
  • There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
  • October Baby 
  • Do You Believe

How about you? Do you have any tips on how to create good characters? And have you read any books that you feel do an exceptional job with this? Feel free to share in the comments section below!




Some Writing Tips From 1 Timothy 4:12 Girl

Hey everyone, I’m back again with a new Thursday post – but this week, we’re changing things up again! 

Typically on this blog, I run posts about belief, inspiration, and current events. Nonetheless, this week, I decided to do something different. I still intend to keep this blog predominantly about those things, but this week I decided to write about one medium we can use to live confidently in Christ—writing!

  • More than likely, if you’re reading this, you’ve done some writing yourself, or have at least dabbled with it at some point. Personally, for me, writing has been a passion since my childhood. Thus, I would like to take this time to give some of my very own tips on writing. 
  1. Know Your TopicThis is vitally important to the process of writing. Whenever your writing, it’s important to know your topic like the back of your hand. If you’re writing an essay on photography, research photography, if you’re writing an article on the challenges of Christians in college, research what it’s like to be a Christian in college. This even applies to fiction—maybe even more so. When you’re writing a book, you need to have intricate knowledge of your characters, settings, and storylines. Oftentimes, I’ll even write character profiles, to learn even the minor details about my characters. The information may not all be used, but it never heard to have it on file for safekeeping.
  2. Get FeedbackOne of the most helpful things for me as a writer is getting feedback on my work. It’s pretty easy with blogging, as you’ll sometimes get comments on your work from fellow friends and bloggers, but it’s honestly helpful in every form of writing. I often ask my mom and close friends to read my writing and give honest feedback about their thoughts and opinions. As a writer, it can be easy to get “stuck in your head”, reading your work so many times you can’t even tell a period from a comma. It can be helpful to get objective feedback when this starts to happen.
  3. Silence Your Inner Perfectionist We are always our own worst critics. There have been countless times that I’ve either written something and obsessed over whether or not it was right or written nothing at all. When we’re writing from a place of perfectionism, it can be almost impossible to write authentically and creatively. Oftentimes, God will take our work in a place different than we expected, and that’s OK. Listen to that inner voice. Go with it. There might just be something beautiful there.
  4. Get In The Mood – Obviously this one could be turned into a form of OCD if taken to extremes, but many times, it can be helpful to write when we’re in our element. This means knowing when to take a break, and being aware that oftentimes, our moods can seep into our writing, for better or worse. It also means making your writing environment comfortable and natural. Oftentimes for me, it can be helpful to play music fitting to the tone of my writing, having the right amount of lighting, and being comfortable, but not the point that I want to fall asleep. For me, these things combined create the perfect writing atmosphere.
  5. Have fun with itMy number one rule of thumb for writing is that if I’m bored, the audience probably is too. Thus, I try to write things that I would want to read myself. Does it sound like the kind of book that I’d pick up? Would I grow to love this character if it weren’t my own? Does this topic sound like it would make an interesting article? These are the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves as we go through the writing and idea process.

How about you? What writing advice do you have to share? Tell me about it in the comments section below!⬇️


Thirty Day Blogging Challenge #2: Day One



I am officially starting a new thirty day blog challenge for the month of January. Since I got such a good response on my challenge this past summer, I decided to do another one—with a whole new set of questions to answer. I hope you guys enjoy reading these and I hope  you stay with me throughout the series. I always love reading comments from you guys, so feel free to jump in and give feedback.

Now, for the first question: “what, why and where I write.

What: Honestly, I have a pretty huge variety of things that I write. I love sharing my thoughts with the world and there are a variety of mediums in penmanship that you can use to do that.

One of my favorite forms of writing has always been fiction. I love creating characters to meet and different worlds to explore. It allows you to live a thousand different lives without even leaving your house. Like reading, writing gives you adventure, wonder, and suspense—as you lead characters through a host of different situations. Currently, I am working on a fiction series for teenagers that I hope is released sometime before I’m thirty. I don’t have all of the publishing logistics figured out, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated if anything changes with that!

Another form of writing that I love is songwriting. It’s very possible that this one could have emerged from watching too many movies (Remember Camp Rock and Lemonade Mouth?) but it’s a form of writing that I’ve found to be extremely therapeutic. It allows you to write about feelings, situations, and people in a much freer manner than most forms of writing allow. Songwriting is basically a musical diary of your life, your experiences, and your beliefs. This is also another form of writing that I would like to dabble in professionally in the field of lyricism.

Last but not least—I enjoy blogging. This one is probably a bit obvious, as I am writing a blog right now. I am a semi-new blogger, as I started in the summer of 2015, but I have grown to love the art of blogging. As an extravert, it is super exciting to see people actually respond to your writing and make friends through the blogosphere. It is perhaps the type of writing that gets the most immediate feedback, which makes it a unique and exciting venture.

Why: I suppose the obvious reason is that I absolutely love it. I love seeing words emerge on a screen and I love telling a stories and teaching through the power of the pen. Nonetheless, the biggest reason that I write is to make an impact. I’ve always dreamed of impacting the world and writing gives me the oppertunity to do that. It gives me the chance to share my faith, help others grow in theirs, and help people think about important issues. If you look throughout history, you can see the impact of writers like Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, and Ray Bradberry. I want to leave that kind of legacy.

Where: This one honestly differs from day to day. I have found that certain writing spots “work”, while others simply do not. One of my favorite places to write is in my bed with good music playing and the lights dimmed, leaving the Christmas lights above my bed to shine solo. I also sometimes write on the downstairs couch just outside the living room or in waiting rooms. The life of the author can be quite sporadic at times.

How about you? What, why, and where do you write? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments! 


Thirty Day Blogging Challenge: Day 4


Guess what guys ? It’s day four of the blogging challenge! Today’s topic will be…my dream job! 

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved stories. I begged my mom to teach me how to read when I only three years old and from that point, I haven’t stopped. When I was little, it was board books. When I got a little older, it was chapter books. Now, I’ve moved on to novels and blog posts.

But, I didn’t just love reading stories, I loved telling them too. When I was a child, I used to enjoy playing pretend with my dolls and stuffed animals. After school, I would frequently disappear into my room, which in my mind was a transport to another land far, far away. Pretty soon, I discovered the ‘power of the pen’ and wrote short stories with a pencil and paper. I illustrated a “cover” and stapled the pages together. Those were my earliest days of writing. 

I moved to the computer eventually (After taking the ever dreaded typing class), and I’ve been typing up stories since I was about eleven years old. I self-published two nonfiction books (Teen Impact and Know Jesus Know Peace) during my younger teenage years and am currently working on a fiction series that I hope to publish. I have also moved onto other mediums of writing-namely blogging and writing song lyrics while still staying true to my first love: Books. 

As you probably figured out, my dream job is to become a successful writer. I’ve had that dream since I was a little girl and it’s persisted into adulthood. I’ve grown in my craft through writing this blog and also through the blogs of others (Shoutout to all my blog friends!). I don’t know my future holds, but I do know that God holds my future in His hands. Thus, as I continue this journey into college and a future career, I’m going to trust God and continue sharing my random thoughts with my awesome, faithful readers and through blogging. 😉

So how about you guys? What is your dream job? Feel free to post your answers in the comment section!