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    Writing the Word on the Web

    Christianity is becoming one of the fastest growing venues on the Internet. There are literally thousands of sites devoted to God and Christ, with more being developed everyday. That's where we writers come in, but where do we start? Well, that depends on how much experience you have.

    For the professional who's been writing for half of their life or more, the possibilities are virtually endless. The more credits you have to your name, the easier it is to find someone willing to publish your work. For those new to the online writing game, it can seem no one is willing to even read your work, much less publish it. This holds true in the Christian community as well as the secular. So what do you do?


    Write What You Know

    First of all, as any professional writer will tell you, write what you know. If you've been raised in the Methodist church, it probably isn't a good idea to write an article on how the Pentecostal church works. Unless you've done extensive research on the subject, someone is bound to show you where you've gone wrong. Also, study your Bible. When writing for Christians, it's always a good idea to have scriptures to back up your opinions.


    Find a Friend

    There are many wonderful critique groups and writing groups throughout the web. By joining one or more of these, you can pick up on some of the best techniques used by authors who have been published in any of the various genres. The Christian market is expanding into many of these areas, including the fiction genre. When writing for this market, we are no longer restricted to devotionals and sermons. These markets are still new, however, and not easy to break into.


    Keep the Faith

    Remember why you're doing this. If you're only in it to make money, chances are you'll end up very disappointed. Not only because of the fact that writing on the web isn't a highly paid profession, but because as a Christian writer, your top priority is to glorify God, not the almighty dollar. As an editor, I not only look at what is written, but how it's written. Read your articles or stories out loud to see if they sound like a normal conversation or if they sound rigged and uptight. The best way to get a message across to most readers is to talk to them, not at them.


    Read, Read, Read!

    Read everything you can about your intended subject. If you're writing devotionals, read everything you can get your hands on that contain this type of writing. In every church I've ever been in, there is a small rack hanging on the wall with those tiny pamphlets in them. These are wonderful works that can give you an idea of what editors are looking for. Go to your local library and check out the books you think will help your career. This is the best way to find exactly what you need. A kind of "try it before you buy it" type of deal.


    The Idea List

    Finally, I suggest keeping a list of ideas or a journal. As we all know, writer's block hits at the most inappropriate moments. Keep a notebook close by just for this purpose. Anytime you come up with that "perfect" idea, jot it down. Keep records of everything God has done in your life and how it's effected you. Here are a few prompts to get you started:

    • How old were you when you first knew you were a Christian?
    • Describe what angels are to you.
    • Has writing for the Christian market changed your life in any way?
    • List the five most positive things you've accomplished.
    • Write a short fiction story with a Christian theme.

    As Christian writers, it's our duty to spread the good word to as many people as possible. We honor God by telling the rest of the world what He's done and still doing in our lives. We give others a chance to see for themselves just how Christ can influence the world around us today. With the Internet, we have a chance to speak to everyone, instead of just a few people in our own backyards. He's given you a gift, use it to the best of His ability.

    Copyright © 2001 Christine Senter

    Christine Senter publishes the weekly e-zine, The Prompt Writer (thepromptwriter-subscribe@yahoogroups.com)

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