TITLE: Tips on writing good short Christian articles!
By Mark E Crossley
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The word limit is a bit longer than I would normally write but it is giving people tips so forgive me for not being in alignment with my suggestions in the article!
Your thoughts are much appreciated.
This article is about how Christians should structure an article to make it meaningful with substance and to attract a great following of readers. Remember it is a privilege & honour to write for and on behalf of God, never forget that it is for HIS Glory not ours.
Writing is a gift from God, we can write things in the natural but until we reach heaven we will never know what impact in the supernatural our works has achieved if any. Faithwriters.com is great because we can receive critiques from other writers and also has an indication of how many people have read our articles which can encourage the heart of any Christian writer.
The suggestions below are only guidelines to which I encourage you to use and try!
1) Choose a catchy headline/title
A catchy title will grab the reader’s attention, if they like the headline there is every chance they will read the next line of your article. Be creative & witty and think about it as you look at what others have done through Faithwriters.Com. You can do it!
2) Opening line
The first line of your article is paramount in my view, choosing a good opening quote from a famous person, or a verse from scriptures that is short but is relevant to the article. What you decide can make or break your contribution to that article even if the rest of the article is of good quality. Think about it!
3) Main body suggestions
The tips below are some of the things that I try to incorporate into my articles as you have probably noticed and hope you will find these of some use to you as you minister through various communication channels to others:
• Try to ask relevant questions that are direct, uncomfortable & challenging.
• Keep it topical, simple, short, real & bring in some of your personal experiences & testimonies that shows how the subject you are writing on can be outworked practically.
• Use bullet points to break sentences up, make it easy for the writer to follow where you are. Use points like 3 P’s or 3 C’s to make it easy to remember. It also looks better when you look at it for the first time rather than lots of text – a perception issue.
• Make sure just as you are feeding other people you receive input either from bible study, other Christian writers, conferences or you can get stale in your writing.
• Write your article to your target audience whether it be Christians, non Christians, children, adults and use words and language they will understand.
• Find out if there a niche market, niche subjects no one else has covered that you can write on?
• Make sure the information is accurate and up to date especially if using statistics or describing characters of the bible etc.
• Try to keep your thoughts relevant without going off on a tangent.
Do not repeat words or phrases
Do not ever plagiarise, its cheating, not clever and not using your God given gifts wisely, keep it natural and of your own works.
Do not use long, heavy, jargon & biblical doctrines. Your target audience may or may not understand it, if you use it make sure you explain it in simple language. Write it as you would want to read it and understand the article.
Try not to be too heavy with your own thoughts and opinions after all it is the bible we are promoting not our thoughts.
4) General Tips
• Pray 10% of your time, research 40%, write article 30%, review 10 & then pray again for the remaining ten 10%
• If you get writers block write another article and then come back to that one and finish it off, have about 10 – 15 articles on the go at any one point in time as it can take days or weeks to finish just one article.
• Ideas may not necessarily come as you sit down to write an article, generally it does but take a note book because ideas can come into your head while you are doing exercise, watching TV or anything or anywhere you may be. How exciting hey!
• Structure your articles by putting ideas down first, then sourcing quotes and bible verses, reviewing your article till the article is finished, do it bit by bit.
Try to vary your ending by leaving on a challenge, something positive, a prayer, an open ended question. Be creative as you can.
Use a bibliography if you reference from other people i.e. use Harvard system (The author’s or editor’s name (or names); The year the book was published; The title of the book; If it is an edition other than the first; The city the book was published in; The name of the publisher).
Always spell check and grammar check your work, if you find grammar hard try to get someone to proof read your work. Use the computer for it.
Word Limit - Try to limit your word limit to 300 – 500 words. Any longer and people do not have the time or inclination to read it.
Praise God when you have completed an article after all God enabled you to write it and pray about the next one. Keep praising and praying regarding your writing.
Other sites to write for or get your work published:
The following two sites are useful in gaining bible verses:
www.wikimedia.org (Research Enclyclopedia)
Lord Jesus, I pray for every Christian writer that each person you would use them for the greater purposes of your gospel, you will show them the words to write and your will be done in and through them regardless of where they are in their Christian faith others will be touched and ministered to.
I pray you will raise up a new generation of writers to be published in existing & new books, websites and magazines and you would bless them in their calling in as many ways as is possible as their heart is to share Jesus with masses of people. Amen.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.