Friday, September 7, 2018

Devotion: Breaking the Rules

Rusty A Lang (Pseudonym for Marlene Anne Morphew | @AnneMorphew

Don’t mix genre

My logic mind screamed, “I can’t do that!”

God had given me an idea for my third book and I was not sure if it was okay by the rules of writer engagement with the world. He wanted a fictional story included in a non-fiction book on wisdom.

Have a clear outline

A writer is to know the direction of the proposed fictional manuscript. But my fictional part started as an allegory, and ended up a full blown story of a relationship between a grandfather and his grandson.

I learned the characters could go any direction - people come and go - circumstances and events ebb and flow. As I kept in mind the purpose of the book, living life with wisdom, the concept fell into place.

As the characters lived through the highs and lows of everyday existence, I was swept along with the practical wisdom oozing from an older man overflowing to his grandson.

Instead of a set outline, I chose to trust my characters to direct me. I love this photo. I do not know the man but he is so like my main character I wanted to share it with you.

Write from experience

I am a nonfiction writer so this was new territory for me. I am not a grandmother. I have never had children of my own. I argued with God that it is best to write from experience. He reminded me Jesus was not a grandparent or father yet he understands the hearts and minds of all God’s children.

Christian writers have God’s Word stored in our hearts so it is from there he brings forth words he wants us to write, whether we have experienced the emotion, event or circumstance.

Deuteronomy 11:18, ‘You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.’
I hope you sense the wonder of this young boy discovering God in the pages of the bible - as my boy in the book did.

Format material for easy reading

My book was to fill a void between the shallow and superficial and deeper theological treatises on wisdom - each chapter in three parts. This format sounded confusing to me but for a teaching book to be interesting to time poor readers it had to be different. God reminded me he compiled the Old Testament and it is not arranged in chronological order.

First part was the allegory. The second teaching on wisdom from the Word of God and the third included optional questions for personal or small group study.

The multipurpose format makes people stop reading and think about the contents. Learning rather than getting swept along by the story alone.

Cover design relate to topic

In this I did err on the side of common sense. But the full meaning of the reference to the owl only comes to those who take the time to read the preface. I was told nobody reads the front matter. So at book signings I guide people towards the preface.

Building perusers and scanners into readers is part of a writer’s job.

Obey the rules for success

Breaking man’s rules if binding on creativity is okay, for obedience to God counts for eternity.

‘But Peter and the apostles answered and said, “We must obey God rather than man”’ (Acts 5:29).

Are you writing by the rules or for the glory of God?

About the author

Marlene Anne Morphew/Rusty A. Lang – healed from dyslexia, schooled in brokenness, writing is in her DNA. Discover her testimony in her autobiography, Good Things Take Time: Metamorphosis of a Damaged Soul. Explore her other non-fiction publications on her website Her international ministry takes her away from her writing desk throughout the year but her heart home is still Australia with her husband, Ray.

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