What did you say?

I’ve started reading The Little Red Writing Book by Mark Tredinnick as recommended by Tony Payne, and it is fabulous. He speaks about writing that ought to ‘sing’, and his book does exactly that. As a pastor and preacher, however, I found the following quote striking.

Writing that works is like the best kind of conversation you never heard. It’s talking tidied up. It’s speaking compressed, clarified, enriched and heightened by thought and art, and set down on paper.

If what you write doesn’t sound like someone could speak it, write it again so it does. If if doesn’t sound like a spoken thing, it’ll probably never be heard. Or if it is heard, it will soon be forgotten. Or if your reader can’t forget it, she’ll wish she could.

Surely there is some wise counsel in these words for preachers and our preparation for speaking.

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