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.

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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!




Thirty Day Blogging Challenge #2: Day Twenty-Three


Day Twenty-Three: A Book I’d Recommend 

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’m a huge bookworm. I love reading to see stories unfold and learn new things. Some of my favorite authors range from Karen Kingsbury, to Neta Jackson, to Charles Dickens, to Emily P. Freeman. I love seeing characters come to life and getting the opportunity to live a thousand lives all from my small, humble bedroom. Nonetheless, in the midst of all of the books that I love, there’s one that stands out in particular.

The Bible. 

Topping bestselling charts, the Bible is a piece of literary art. But, it’s so much more than that. It’s God’s written Word—and an account of His faithfulness in so many lives throughout decades of time. It’s His promise and a portrait of grace—promising Salvation to all who believe it and follow it. Mixing history, with poetry, with God’s words—I think even a skeptic would have to admit that it’s one of the most dynamic books of all time. 

It also contains all of the elements of a great story—even though it’s a recording of real events. It has action, with Paul’s dangerous missions across the world. It has romance, with Ruth and Boaz. It has raw emotional honesty, as King David’s laments in the Pslams. And, it challenges the status quo, as Jesus reaches out to the most marginalized of His time, bringing hope and restoration.

It also contains literary elements, such as foreshadowing within the Old Testament laws. It’s clear to see with a little bit of study that the sacrificing of lambs was a symbol, one that the people of that time would later understand as they learned of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It also contains alteration, anthropomorphism, and apostrophe—elements commonly found in many great works of literature (I’m geeking out big time here, y’all!)

Most of all, the Bible is a love letter to humanity—professing God’s sacrificial love for each one of us and pleading to adopt us as His children into one big family of believers. God used hundreds of authors throughout history to write this book under His divine inspiration, and it is up to us to accept this call. It is up to us to read the greatest story of all times, written by the Author and Creator of each of our stories. 

The Bible is the book of my life. It’s the book I live with, the book I live by, the book I want to die by—N. T. Wright



The Future Of Our Faith: By Ron J. Sider and Ben Lowe

Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t posted in a while! I promise to get better about that moving forward! 

A couple of months back, I read a book called The Future of Our Faith by Ron J. Sider. and Ben Lowe. This book is an “intergenerational conversation on critical issues facing the church“, and throughout this book, we see commentary on important social issues through the eyes of a baby-boomer and a millennial.

Ron J. Sider is seventy-six years old, a professor at Palmer Theological Seminary, and the author of over ten books, including Living Like Jesus, Just Politics: a Guide for Christian Engagement, Churches That Make A Difference, etc. He is passionate about social justice and has been working within the Christian community for years to help Christians better engage with the world around them.

Ben Lowe is a Christian author (Green Revolution, Doing Good Without Giving Up, and The Future of Our Faith) and Senior Advisor with Young Evangelicals for Climate Action. He has worked in the Christian community to try to raise more awareness for Biblical environmentalism and once ran for congress in 2010.

Reading this book, it’s clear that both authors have done a lot of research on trends and problems facing the modern day church. Deeply frustrated with our current dysfunctional patterns, they strive to pave a new way forward in our approaches to topics like race, wealth, homosexuality, politics, gender equality, the environment, social sin vs. personal sin, divorce, etc.

The chapters are broken up into nine chapters, each addressing a separate topic. They’re both well-researched in different stances on important issues and strive to present their views with sensitivity and grace—especially on some of the more controversial topics. They don’t always stick with popular opinion and are quick to call out dysfunction when needed, but they always remain Biblical and stick to God’s Word as their number-one-source.

The Future of Our Faith remains relevant throughout, and addresses some of the very questions that we’re asking as a Christian society right now in a very nonpartisan way—avoiding siding completely with either political party. It avoids focusing on legislation and is more concerned with how we, as the Body of Christ, operate in the world around us. I appreciated this, as I believe that the current hyper-political atmosphere of the church is damaging our witnessing and making the us look bad.

At the end of each chapter, each author comments on the other’s points, and despite the extremely wide age gap, they tend to wholeheartedly agree with each other’s perspective. It was clear that they each valued the other’s opinions and appreciated the unique perspectives of their counterpart.

Personally, I believe that every Christian should read this, as the choices that we make at this point of history have the potential to shape the “future of our faith” (No pun intended). The authors have an excellent and consistent worldview and present a positive framework for how we can move forward in a changing world. It was easily one of the most insightful books that I’ve read in a long time.


To conclude, I would easily give this book a five-out-of-five stars and I’d highly recommend it to any Christian interested in engaging Biblically with the world around them. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Three Day Quote Challenge: Day 2

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”-To Kill A Mockingbird 

I have always loved this quote from one of my favorite classics, To Kill A Mockingbird. The book, in all honestly, isn’t really about mockingbirds. The book’s main theme is doing the right thing even when everyone else is against you, and putting everything on the line to help another person. In order to do this, the main character (Atticus Finch) is forced to put himself in the shoes of a lot of different people, as he strives to defend an innocent man accused of crime.l-114822.jpg

Oftentimes, it can be easy to consider things from our perspective, but difficult to understand life in another’s shoes. Look no further than Twitter to find that too often, human beings are better at speaking than listening. As a society, we criticize other’s choices without taking the time to understand the motive behind their actions. While we may not always agree with the decisions that someone makes, we’re bound to have more compassion when looking at the world from another’s perspective.

I believe that the best way to “climb into someone’s skin and walk around in it” is to listen. Through listening, we validate that the person we’re listening to matters, and that we care about their thoughts and feelings. James 1:19 says “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

Imagine what would happen if everyone took the time to listen and really hear the stories of those around them. If everyone did this, so many of our social ills, such as hate, racism, and violence, would fade away. Our entire world would be turned upside-down, simply by practicing the art of seeing life through another’ eyes; taking the time to listen and care and love people where they’re at. ❤️

We can be a spark that starts a fire.

Let us start a movement of love.

A movement of listening.

A movement of walking in another’s shoes. 

If you want to read more about this topic, I wrote something similar a while back. You can find it in the link here.

Since I forgot yesterday, I’m going to nominate six people today. 

Concealed Foundation 

Only Way 2 Hope 


Passion and Pixels 

Victoria Favor