Author with Myasthenia Gravis Offers Hope to Others

Donna Whittaker, author

Photo by Amy L. Whittaker

I wrote earlier this month about the things that drive us to write the books we do. This is especially true for author Donna Whittaker, who this month reaches a milestone of sorts,  60 years of having myasthenia gravis (pronounced my-as-theen-ee-a grav-us).

The word comes from the Greek and Latin words meaning “grave muscular weakness.” The most common form of MG is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that is characterized by fluctuating weakness of the voluntary muscle groups. It can be quite debilitating. There is no cure, and life with MG is [Read more…]

Scrivener for Windows 9 quick tech tips for working faster

Scrivener for Windows 9 Quick Tech TipsMany writers prefer to have a distraction-free screen as they write. For Scrivener users that means working with the binder and inspector closed. But when you need to do specific tasks that can often mean reopening either.

Today, I’d like to show you some Scrivener shortcuts that will help you avoid that.  [Read more…]

Writing Prompt Contest

Many writers are visual creators. In other words, they picture their scenes much like a movie, then write the text.

It’s okay if you don’t create that way—neither do I. But we must be observers of life and then be able to relate those observances to our audience.

To that end, I’m posting a picture today to serve as a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing on this Monday morning. [Read more…]

Renee Reid says lay your marketing groundwork early

Renee Reid interview Lay your marketing groundwork earlyI’m interviewing author Renee Reid today. Her debut book, The Courageous Woman’s Guide to Recovering Life’s Joy: Using Your Spiritual Weapons to Reach out to God, releases September 25.

No doubt, Renee is very excited and I’m glad to have her here today to help launch her book. Her mission is [Read more…]

I have a message to share, but where do I start?

Getting your message organizedMany of us write because we believe we have a message God wants us to share. In fact, our first book is often about lessons learned from a personal experience that we believe will help others. We want to convey information that will help others navigate and conquer a similar problem.

That was certainly the case for my first book, Help! My Husband Has Sexually Abused Our Daughter (updated, revised, and retitled Carried by Grace in 2014).

Communication happens in 3 ways:

  • What we say (which accounts for only 7% of the message!)
  • Tone of voice
  • Body language

But in books, we rely strictly on the written word. In nonfiction writing, tone of voice and body language are communicated through our style of writing. This makes our word choices vital (though our word choices are always vital).

Getting Organized

You have a message to communicate, but if it isn’t done is an organized manner, your message may get garbled.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you seek to organize all the elements of your book:

  • Is there a learning progression to what I am presenting? (like learning the alphabet before one learns to spell and read.)
  • Are there principles that build on one another? Have I presented them in the correct order?
  • Am I assuming a certain knowledge level in my target audience that they really don’t have? Knowing your target audience is essential, and don’t think in general terms, e.g. all Christians.
  • What do I want my readers to learn? Have I presented the material necessary for those lessons?
  • What benefits do I hope to give my readers? Have I fulfilled those?
  • Have I documented my sources so I can cite them correctly and where necessary?

When I sat down each day to work on my first book, I prayed before I did anything else. Because I was communicating God’s Word and principles in what I wrote I needed the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

If you have a Christian message to share, I highly recommend you do the same. I not only pray before I begin to write, but also while I write.

Just as a fiction plot must be laid out in a path the reader can follow, the topics of a nonfiction book must be arranged in a manner that promotes learning for the reader.

Take heart. You are created in the image of God, the master creator, and you have the mind of Christ (Genesis 1:27, 1 Corinthian 2:16). That means you have the capability to create!

What has you snagged in writing your nonfiction book? Leave your comments below.

Snag a Publisher!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Tips to Snag a Publisher with Your Manuscript Submission. Sign up below for your free download.

Get Published!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Things Every Writer Needs to Do When Submitting a Manuscript (make sure you avoid these common mistakes). Sign up below for your free download.
%d bloggers like this: