Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How Every Word or Action is an Opportunity

Every moment is an opportunity.

A second could save a life.

A single conversation could lead someone to Christ or at least plant a seed.

One word can paint tens of emotions and communicate far more that the spoken utterance.

One action can soothe a soul or break a heart.

Everything we do reflects who we are and what we stand for at that moment. I added the last phrase because we change over time. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

Recently, a friend said she has mornings when she takes her dog outside to do his business while still wearing her pajamas. A lot can be seen in these words. Clearly she feels comfortable in her neighborhood. Her neighbors are friendly and show the same level of comfort. She has a busy morning with hubby and children.  

Recently, this same friend received copies of her new release on her doorpost. I am confident the neighbors quickly learned about the delivery before she said a word and celebrated with her. 

A lot of meaning can be conveyed with only a few words or actions.

For writers this concept has two applications:

1. Our writing.  
Writing tight is a phrase we've all heard. (If you would like to learn more about this topic let us know in the comment section. We're here to help.) The difficult part is to find the perfect balance. We are not asked to write cryptically, or to wax eloquently. Write tight means convey the action or dialogue with only the essential words. Use each word as an opportunity to move the story forward.

A key to finding the essential words is to provide layers. The first page should let us know basic traits of the main character. 

Refrain from long passages describing the character's physical and inner character. Just write the basics. Over the course of the book, consistently reveal more about the character to round them in the mind of the reader. There should be points when sentences like this convey much more than the words on the page:

Ralph pushed past her leg as she stepped out the front door. The leash yanked her hand forward spilling a few drops of coffee from her cup. She hadn't taken the time to change out of her pajamas. Couldn't. Ralph's whining at the door meant there would be a mess to clean within seconds.

From these few sentences we know a lot about the dog, the character, and even her neighborhood. Snuggled between appropriate paragraphs, this example could even appear on the first page and paint a picture of the setting and the character without using a grocery list of details.

2. Our marketing.

Social media is an easy place to get caught up in expressing our views, jump on bandwagons, vent, etc. 

When on social media, caution is crucial.

The difficult component of social media is we can't see to whom we're speaking with and they cannot hear or see us. 

Our words can easily be misinterpreted. Another person's message can have a completely different meaning than we think.

Misunderstandings. Sigh

Our first priority as writers of Christian Fiction is to keep God first. This does not mean to be a wimp. John the Baptist stood boldly for his concerns. What this means is choose your battles. Know that everything you say and do will make a difference in your writing ministry.

One person saw a photo of a sunrise I had posted. Months later the person messaged me, I haven't seen a sunrise picture from you lately. I had made a connection. A good connection. One that caused the reader to seek me out and send a message. This is what we want to do on social media. 

We are not there for ourselves.

We are engaged in social media to make good connections with God's people. Once the connections are made we can then minister to them through story.

Our posts. Our every presence. 
Is marketing
What we are truly marketing is seen in
Our posts. Our every presence.

How has something you've said, done, or written open an opportunity door?

I can't wait to read your comment(s)


If you found any typos in today's post...sorry about that. 

Mary writes young adult mystery/suspense Christian fiction, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids. She has finaled in several writing contests.

Visit Mary at her websiteblog, and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter

All subscribers to Mary's newsletter will receive a Christmas gift - her new short story 14 Mornings ’Till Christmas, an intriguing Christmas suspense/mystery. Based on real events in Denmark. Sign up at Mary's website.  Come enjoy a good story.


Debra E. Marvin said...

It certainly has become a test to post FB comments these days. Babies, kittens, and chocolate are still safe!

And no one knows the importance of each word than writers. A wonderful reminder today (and thanks for being such amazing representatives of Christ, ladies!)

Mary Vee Writer said...

You have given us the greatest compliment. Thanks, Deb.

Kathy R. said...

As an aspiring writer, I have greatly enjoyed following your blog for the last several months. Thanks for the information, inspiration, and congratulations on all your success!

kaybee said...

Mary, this is good. We need to monitor ourselves and be the best representation of Christ we can. I have a very dry sense of humor and I need to be really careful on social media. If you could see my face you'd laugh, but when it's just words on a screen it can be and has been misinterpreted.
I was going to post something on Facebook today but after reading your blog I think I'll pass, it wasn't all that positive and there are better things for me to say. Not all opinions need to be expressed, especially by me.
Thanks Mary!
Kathy Bailey

Mary Vee Writer said...

I'm so glad you've visited with us. We've loved having you here!

As for success we seem to be flourishing. Several Alley Cats are waiting for news. We're looking forward to closing out an awesome year.!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey, Kathy B.
Yeah, I have the same problem. I've lost track the number of times I've edited, tossed, and changed my mind about posts that seemed really funny, brilliant, snarky, or well, you know. The second read through didn't seem quite that way. Sigh. The person will take my words seriously and ...okay fine....delete. You and I will have to share some snark together. ;)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Wonderful post, Mary. And I still have my Munchkin shirt, do you? :) Your words are spot on today. Our words, in our writing and on social media should be words of life. It's not always easy (especially on Social Media) to speak these, but when we do, others notice. And I agree, we must remember our first priority is to keep God first.

Thanks for your words, and for your encouragements over the years, my friend. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks Jeanne. You've been a great friend as well.
And yes. I still have my Munchkin shirt. Sure was a fun evening at My Book Therapy.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Love this, Mare! :) im constantly in awe of how my post (and my words) affect people on a grander scale. When I posted about the foster boy in my son's class getting adopted there was such an outpouring of heartfelt emotion! Truly awesome to be a part of!

Mary Vee Writer said...

It was a story we could all feel a part of because you drew us in. That's the key of posting.