Here’s an important tip for anyone writing a novel, (not just Christians who write fiction for young people!):

You need to introduce your theme, your main characters, and your setting at the beginning of your story, so readers know where the story is heading.


Every so often I’m sent a story that has a page or two of unnecessary preamble. Such beginnings set the scene in one way, but once you get into the story, you find the beginning has little to do with what the story is actually all about. This is confusing for readers.

If, for example, your first chapter starts with a child in a school talking to a teacher about bullying, we assume that’s what the book is going to be about. If the story actually has nothing to do with the school, the teacher or bullying, we have to think – is this a good way to start this story?

Check your manuscript: does your beginning tell your readers what the story is going to be about, or does the real beginning start later? You may find you need to make some changes.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if a scene was omitted, would it matter to the story? If not, cut it. Your readers will thank you!


Trust that helps. If it does, please share with your friends on facebook and twitter. Thank you – it’s good to share!

Janet WilsonMay the joy of the Lord fill your hearts this Easter!




P.S. If you would like to give a child/teen you love a Christian book for Easter, do take a look at the Dernier Publishing website. We publish Christian books for 8-12s and teenagers. I don’t need to tell you how helpful stories are to encourage and inspire our precious young people to follow Jesus. Any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me – always delighted to help.


Getting Straight To The Point
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