Monday, December 28, 2009

Choosing a Biblical Writer as Role Model

By Les Stobbe, Literary Agent
2010 FCWC Faculty

Who is your writing model?

As part of celebrating 90 years as a magazine for writers the Writer’s Digest introduces the “secrets” of best-selling writers whose writing appeared in the magazine. For decades many of them have become models for writers.

While I agree that we can learn a lot from these writers, early on in my writing career I decided to focus on biblical writers as my primary role models. I loved the transparency, the honesty of David; the lofty, God-centered writing of Isaiah that inspired Friedrich Handel, composer of The Messiah; the purpose-driven writing of the apostle John; and the reader-focused writing of the physician Luke, which inspired my address, “Earning the Right to Be Published.”

Yet it is the apostle Paul that I turn to most often when considering my writing style. I never get the feeling that he is writing solely for the sake of spilling his guts or unloading information. In every letter he figuratively looks the reader in the eye and focuses on issues raised in a communication that came to him.

Consider his opening statement in Romans 1:8-10:
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times, and I pray that now at least by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.”
In the next verses he continues interacting with the Romans before he gets to what he has heard is troubling them.

That’s why I chose to interview the apostle Paul on becoming “The Authentic Christian Writer,” one of my workshops at the Florida Christian Writers Conference.

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