Tips from a Writer’s Conference

Kathy Collard Miller gave a talk on Writing Devotionals at the Christian Writers’ Conference I attended the end of October. She added some suggestions on writing that I think are applicable to all non-fiction writing. I list some here.

Elements of Strong Writing
1. Be specific—avoid “word blobs,” observe subtleties
2. Use active voice
3. Be descriptive

a. Better in action and dialogue (just like fiction)
b. Must serve a purpose
c. Involve and/or educate readers
d. Take poetic license, but must reflect honesty

4. Conversational—know your audience, write from the perspective of the reader, not the writer
Pose questions in readers’ minds
5. Structured well
a. Use variety
b. Watch pacing, look for points of interest

c. Mistakes:
i. Bad transitions
ii. Bad explanations—make them short, drop into dialogue
6. Be careful how you use quotes. Use in prose, add “punch” quotes

-contributed by Shirley Shibley


3 responses to “Tips from a Writer’s Conference

  1. gloriastockstill

    Shirley, thanks for sharing. Was Kathy in our area? I would love to have gone to the conference. She was my leader when I attended the CLASS conference.


  2. Yes, Gloria, this was the ACW conference I attended last month in Anaheim. Sadly, they said they would not have one next year due to the poor attendance. I wish you could have gone.

  3. Thanks so much for this valuable information. I’m printing this out for my files!

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