A Step in the Write Direction
January 13, 2014
Update: First of all, a happy birthday to my hubby. After nearly losing him 12 times, every birthday is a blessing!...We’ve attended four funerals at our church the last six weeks, older people who were the foundation of the church—one a charter member, and one I’ve known since I was born. Our pastor called them “matriarchs and patriarchs.” Listening to their eulogies and the influence they had on so many people reminded me of one of my dearest friends who was my Sunday school teacher when I was a teen-ager and continued to be a family friend until she passed away at the age of 101. Clara Bostwick was “Aunt Clara” to everyone. After she moved from Michigan to California, we enjoyed one of her chicken dinners every time we went to Disneyland. In one of her last letters to me she wrote, “It won’t be long before I’ll be going Home. Will you take my place?” I thought, “Take her place? No one could take her place.”
What about you? Is there someone today who has been your mentor and a godly person you look up to? If so, drop him or her a line today and thank them. If they’re gone, send a note to one of their family members and let them know how much this person meant to you! Or are you a godly mentor to someone you know?
Thought for Today: What was intended to "tear" you apart, God intends to use to "set" you apart (Ann Voskamp).
Laugh for Today: “I've just heard from a friend in Alexandria, Minnesota. She says it has been snowing heavily for three days now. Her husband has done nothing but stare through the window. If it doesn't stop soon, she'll probably have to let him in” (Southern Gospel News newsletter, 1/7/14).
Song for Today:
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow—
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
—Thomas O. Chisholm, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
Some more hints from an editing job I just finished:
· Be careful switching back and forth from present tense to past tense. Be consistent, unless it’s a flashback, then use a transition to bring the reader back up to date.
· You can put your scriptures in Roman or in italics, but again, be consistent. However, if you’re using italics, the reference shouldn’t be in italics, just the verse.
· Any verses (or other quotations) over four lines can be indented. In that case, you won’t need beginning and ending quotation marks.
· The word Lord in the Old Testament almost always has the “ord” in small caps, i.e., Lord. You can make the small caps by clicking on Ctrl, Shift, k, then type it in lower case.
· Decide if you’re going to put a comma in series (i.e., red, white, and blue), and be consistent.
· If you want to use a dash (for instance, if a person’s dialogue is interrupted by another speaker), this is made either by typing the word, two hyphens (no space before or after), type the next word, then when you hit the space bar, it automatically becomes a dash. Or, you can click on Ctrl, Alt, and the minus key on the number pad—again with no space before or after.
· Spell out the books of the Bible. If the editor wants to use abbreviations, let it be up to them.
· When you use an abbreviation (i.e., HR), spell it out first, then you can use abbreviations after that—i.e., Human Resources (HR).
· Change paragraphs with each new speaker.
· Don’t use the phrase “I thought to myself”—don’t need the words “to myself.”
· Use the ABC style sheet to jot down any words you look up so you’ll be consistent throughout your manuscript re: one word, two words, hyphenated, etc. I’ll send this sheet to anyone who requests it. Write me at: email@example.com
Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.
Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"