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While attending Proverbs 31 Ministries’ She Speaks Conference, an annual speakers and writers conference, I had the pleasure of sitting in on one of Lysa Terkeurst’s sessions where she gave a talk about her writing process.
She shared how she loves to critique all kinds of books to better her own writing style. If Lysa Terkeurst, one of Christendom’s best writers that I have enjoyed over the past several years, does this, then why would I not, if I also aspire to author books? So, I’ve increasingly done this to improve my own writing style.
While on vacation late last fall, I read Liz Curtis Higgs’ It’s Good to Be Queen: Becoming as Bold, Gracious, and Wise as the Queen of Sheba (Waterbrook). I could hardly put it down. But more than I enjoyed the anticipation of the Queen of Sheba discovering the greatness of the God of Israel, I was equally inspired by all the nuggets of good writing that I discovered through the glorious read.
Here are some of my writing craft take-aways from Liz:
- She weaved her own story into the one that she was telling. In Page 74-75 she shares a moment from motherhood. And later on, she goes back and picks that same story up to further make her point. Brilliant!!!
- She made good use of quotes from online questions. See page 50 for how the women who follow Ms. Higgs in social media about godly mentors. Repeatedly Ms. Higgs shares surveys that she used to help her with this project for additional insight.
- She makes good use of other Bible translations. Page 59 is a good example of this. In helping the reader visualize the “uniforms” of Solomon’s staff, she dissects scriptures with several translations.
- She shares her fun-loving personality that endears the reader to her like a long-time girlfriend. See page 91 to hear more about her perfect lips, just as one of many examples.
- She demonstrated her in-depth study and wisdom of the subject-matter. See the introduction of Chapter 4, pages 55-56. The girl can preach!
- She creatively included fictional components. I loved reading the fictional journal entries of the Queen of Sheba. It gave the reader a unique experience in understanding what the queen may have been experiencing herself. The one tucked in just before chapter 6 was just one of my favorites. It shares how blown away the queen was by the king that was appointed by a God that was now blowing her mind, and heart.
- She held strong to scriptural integrity and literacy. Many of the chapters and sub-chapters takes the reader verse by verse through the whole visit with King Solomon, and expounds on them in such a way that the reader will leave the book, believing that they had personally witnessed the queen’s visit.
- She poignantly ended with a brilliant “the rest of the story” conclusion. See page 153-154 regarding Solomon’s sad ending in life. Heartbreaking!!!
I loved it! I loved it!! I loved it!!! I loved the well-written story, but I also loved the well-written piece by Liz Curtis Higgs. If you are an aspiring Christian writer, I highly suggest that you read this book and glean from it.
I am about to release my first eBook, Publishing Dreams: Everything You Should Be Doing RIGHT NOW to Get a Book Deal Without an Agent. If you are an aspiring author, this book is worth your time, as it lays out a plan to help you with your publishing dreams. Check it out! It will be available on Kindle February 21, 2016.
Gina Duke is the award-winning author of Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray (Abingdon Press), that introduces the gift of structured prayer journaling. You can enjoy her weekly #ShePrayerJournals weekend workshops on YouTube, and follower her on Twitter and Instagram at @TheGinaDuke.