Wednesday, January 30, 2013

O’s Wisdom for the Journey: Three Parting Tips

Happy Wednesday, my writing friends,

What joy I’ve had contributing to Seriously Write each week! I’ve learned so much as I’ve shared my small offering of writing knowledge and experience with you. I’m sad to say, my schedule—both in writing and family life—have made it necessary for me to move on. This will be my last Ask O Wednesday.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve shared a wide range of writing topics, from characters to plot to self editing. For my last Wednesday post, I want to narrow it down to three.

Seek Christ
First things first! It’s easy to seek being published. Let’s be real: it’s easy to obsess over being published. I understand this longing. I’ve felt it too, but through the years, I’ve learned to go back to Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (ESV)

Putting my hope in publication either leads to disappointment or pride. Seeking Christ reminds me that my goal is to glorify Him (not myself) and to love through words as He’s called me to do.

Deep POV
Now for a more nuts-and-bolts tip. For me, the key to creating real characters who emotionally connect with readers is to plunge into the deepest possible POV. I’m learning to lay aside my own self-consciousness and tap into my deepest emotions, (O’s blubbering time) then pour these out through the character.

I try to remember: The heroine of my story is not a stranger, not a friend, not even a family member. She’s me. The more I become her, laugh as she laughs and cry as she cries, the more real and relatable she becomes.

Strong Verbs
Tossing those to-be verbs (and other weak culprits) opens my mind to more creative thinking. And, therefore, a higher level of excellence. For example:

She is beautiful.
Compared with:
Her hair cascades over slender shoulders as her hand gently touches the scar on her face, yet Marcus can’t see the scar, only the shining love in her eyes.

I can’t tell you how many hundreds (thousands?) of my sentences have gained sparkle simply by reworking a weak verb. New characters even show up (like Marcus—who’s that guy?) and plots shift. It’s such a simple step, but so important!

Well, my dear writing friends, there you have my final tips: Seek Christ, Use Deep POV, and Find Strong Verbs. Keep strong on the journey, and if you need me, feel free to keep in touch at or Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…

God bless and happy writing,



  1. Ocieanna, Thanks for the wisdom you've shared. Godspeed on your continued journey, both in writing and with your family.

    1. Thank you, Richard. And thanks for your comments over the last months. It's been great "meeting" you here.

  2. Oh, Ocieanna! Your love for Christ and for the craft of writing brightened each Wednesday and I'm going to miss it so much. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to know you through SW and the wonder of the Internet!

    Many, many blessings on your writing journey and yes, I'll be sure to keep up with all your successes!


  3. Thanks, Angie. I'll miss being here each week, but I'm sure I'll stop by now and then to visit. It's been a joy getting to know you, too. Maybe someday we could meet in person! God bless!

  4. Ocieanna, such wonderful hints! The reminder to seek Christ first really hit me between the eyes today in terms of my own motivations... hasn't been an easy start to the new year. Thanks for the good words and reminders.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Tanya. I'm sorry you've had a rough year. Trusting the Lord will see you through.

  5. I'm so thankful for all you've given to Seriously Write, O. We'll miss having you as part of the team! But I'm one of the blessed ones. I still get to keep you in my life as a writing buddy and dear friend. I'm excited to see where the Lord takes you next in this journey. Hugs!

  6. Thanks for your investment of time and energy ~and awesome writing tips!~ here on Seriously Write, Ocieanna. I hope we meet in person some day. Praying God's blessings on your journey. :-)

  7. We'll miss you, O! We've loved having you here! Thank you for sharing your heart and craft tips with us. Hugs!


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