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Posts Tagged ‘SCBWI’

I am still on a major high from the SCBWI Western Washington writer’s conference I attended this past weekend.  I rubbed shoulders with authors, writers and agents, heard inspiring presentations, and attended sessions to hone my skills.  I feel like a hot fudge Sunday – drenched in rich, thick, sweet chocolate and trying to hold up under the heavy sweetness of it all. 

Most helpful for me were the first page sessions.  Writers were allowed to submit first pages of their manuscripts and a team of agents critiqued them.  Their final judgment was, if they received the submission in the mail,  would  they be inspired to read beyond the first page.  The key is grabbing the reader firmly enough in the first few lines they can’t help but want to read on.  So much has to be packed into your opening paragraphs – excitement, character development, intrigue, setting, and theme.  Not an easy task but a critical one.

I can’t help but compare those tips to my witness when I’m trying to introduce Christ to hurting people.  If I can’t hook them in the first few lines I’m probably not going to hook them at all.  Most people God gives me an opportunity to witness to are in crisis.  Their attention span is short and logic doesn’t often appeal.  I’m glad I know that though they may have a myriad of problems and some are huge, there is only one answer and He is even bigger.

The character development in my first paragraph isn’t difficult when the character is Jesus Christ.  The theme of love, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and healing has universal appeal.  The intrigue is in why He would love us so, the excitement is in what He did to prove that He does. The setting – anywhere, anytime.   

God knew how key a captivating first page needed to be so He wrote this one:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Or as the Message Bible puts it:  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”

Who, especially if they are in crisis, doesn’t long for a whole and lasting life?  I’d read a book with that tag line, wouldn’t you?

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