I’m not a fiction writer. I do know that I can hone my skills as a non- fiction writer by learning fiction techniques. Also, I have been to author Terry Burns workshop, “Writing to Reach Nonbelievers.” I knew there was at least one nugget for me to learn. I wasn’t disappointed.
Writing in Obedience is more than the techniques of writing, although that information is included. The book starts right out with a more important matter for Christian writers: Do you write because God has called you to write? Or do you write as an offering to Him? This subject takes up the first ten chapters are devoted to why we write and who we are writing for.
Terry Burns and Linda W. Yezak, authors of Writing in Obedience, have a different reason for writing; one is called, one offers writing to God. The techniques are the same for both. The type of writing and the way they approach their projects is different. Through their individual sections, the reader learns their “reason” for writing and how they use that reason to be a better writer.
Chapters such as “How Much Christian Content?” “Writing to Nonbelievers,” and Writing for Different Types of Readers” apply to all writers. No matter your genre, as a Christian writer these are important questions. These chapters, as well as, others helped me through hurdles I have had writing for the secular market as a Christian.
I believe that non-fiction tells a story. So I found the chapters on the techniques of writing fiction offered by Mr. Burns and Ms. Yezak useful to making my non-fiction more readable. Since Burns and Yezak write for different reason and to different audiences, they approach story telling in different ways. The basics of a good story are the same, but the different approaches is educational.
In the section about publishing, Mr. Burns, a literary agent as well as writer, offers a balanced view of the industry. He offers the pro and cons of having an agent, self-publishing, and other details that writers need to know. Again, these chapters are valid for both non-fiction and fiction writers.
Burns and Yezak each write their own chapters, or sections of chapters, which are clearly identified. Once you discover whether you writing as a gift or offering, don’t skip to just the writer you identify with. You will miss valuable information.
I may not return to this book for the how-to chapters, but I will certainly go back to the first section to be reminded of my reason for writing and inspiration to continue. Don’t skip this book because it is a primer for fiction writers. You’ll be missing valuable insights for your writing.