Insert With Caution

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Friends of ACFW, tips, writing 2 Comments

By Lynn Hobbs

A quote from Herbert Hoover:
“The whole of the inspirations of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if his quote were shared in today’s public school system? No chance that quote will be known from public school with today’s rules against Christianity. But wait a minute, as a Christian fiction writer…is it possible to include a moral, principal, or quote into my text?

Of course it is possible after first addressing a few important areas.

  1. Did you pray about it first?
  2. It must flow with the story.
  3. It cannot be preachy.
  4. Is it inspiring, or does it tie in with an inspiring moment?
  5. Can it be condensed and used as a summation?
  6. Will it be something the reader will skip over?
  7. Will it be something memorable to treasure or pass on to others?
  8. Is it necessary to the story?
  9. Are you giving God the glory?
  10. Is this an opportunity to inform others where they normally would not hear whatever it was you wanted to include?

If it appears this inclusion will work, proceed with caution.

I would include it in a story describing a woman’s daily life with an unruly child.

Perhaps the child has attended Church but refuses to attend Sunday school. His friends do not attend either.

The mother may have recently moved to a new area and is having difficulty finding friends herself.

She could volunteer a day off of work to mentor at her son’s school.

He could become interested in lessons from the Bible and American History if we use Herbert Hoover’s quote as an example. This child could be impressed by hearing what Herbert Hoover said years ago.

His innocent realization could spill over to the reader. Many in today’s world could be surprised that Christianity was indeed part of America’s roots.

A quick insert having a short summary of the quote could be the point needed to push the story forward to more positive outcomes.

The key is not to dwell on it.

All success takes practice.

Another example: Mother’s conversation with child {Yes, this is contrary to show not tell, but this conversation is necessary.}

“You’re going to be late catching the bus, hurry.”

“Who cares?”

“I care, and I care about your future.”

He gives her a sly glance and grabs his back pack.

“Hey, even a man who died years ago cared about your future.”

Pausing at the door, he cocked an eyebrow.

“You sound like some teacher.”

“A man learned lessons from the Bible and used them every day.”

He raced down the steps as the bus approached the sidewalk.

“It was Herbert Hoover, and he valued God’s Word.” The mother shouted over the roar of the idling bus.

“Herbert Hoover’s in my history book.” The boy yelled wide-eyed climbing aboard.

She watched the bus drive away, a slow smile spreading across her face.

“And I planted a seed.”

We made our point with the quote, but how can we illustrate scripture?

Again, we must be cautious.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.

Inserting scripture must flow with your story. It could be the summation of what your character is experiencing, especially after the reader ponders the characters normal strengths and weaknesses

I encourage you to continue writing as God leads, and happy writing!

One way to push a story forward for positive outcome. @LynnHobbsAuthor #ACFWBlogs #write #writetip Click To Tweet

Lynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series: Sin, Secrets, and Salvation, River Town, and Hidden Creek, and won 1st place Religious Fiction in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by Texas Association of Authors. She is also the author of Lillie, A Motherless Child, which won 1st place Biography 2016, TAA, and the American Neighborhood Series: Eyes of a Neighbor. Visit Lynn on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.


Comments 2

  1. The Almighty lives in every tale,
    the sun by whom the flowers bloom,
    righteous forces that prevail,
    and the elephant in the room.
    He leads us by His own example,
    and by a quiet steady urging
    that we rise though torn and trampled
    as a part of holy forging.
    These are the folk we have to write,
    who steady, stubborn walk of grace
    is not preachy, is not trite,
    and is seen in a neighbour’s face.
    Our characters may not know much Scripture,
    but in knowing them, our faith is richer.

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