Four Tips for Great Writing

Joseph Pulitzer, after whom the prestigious Pulitzer Prize is named, once said the following about the writing craft: 

“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.”

Great writing advice summed up in four key words: briefly, clearly, picturesquely, and accurately. Let’s look at each one. 

Briefly: The concept of “less is more” applies to writing excellence, especially in today’s culture. We live in a 10-second sound-byte world. In order to capture and retain our reader’s attention, we cannot be long-winded.

Clearly: Communication is the goal of good writing. Seek first to communicate. Otherwise, your writing will be in vain. 

Picturesquely: Readers think in pictures. The more vivid the picture you create with your words, the more memorable your writing. 

Accurately: It goes without saying that our facts must be trustworthy. Do your research meticulously. Check and double-check. One error can destroy your credibility for life. 

So there we have it: BrieflyClearly, Picturesquely, Accurately. Keep these four words posted by your computer. Your writing will shine as you apply them. 

On another note, some of you are following Lia and Peter’s love story. It is such a testimony to God’s faithfulness that I would like to include it below in Lia’s own words. First, however, let me share my own short testimony about this glorious event. 

Ever since I learned that I was pregnant with Lia, I have prayed that God would send her a Godly husband like Daniel – a man who loves God with all his heart, soul, strength, and mind; a man who would deeply cherish my Lia; and a man of personal purity. Well, I prayed faithfully for 35 years (Lia is 35 and Peter is 37), and God has answered that prayer! Glory to His Holy Name!!! 

Peter loves God with all his heart, soul, strength, and mind. He deeply cherishes my Lia, and he comes to her pure in spirit, soul, and body. Glory to God for His faithfulness!!! When we pray in faith, He always answers our prayers. 

And now for Lia’s personal account of her love story. At the end, you will find a picture of her engagement ring.

____________________________

Dear Friends: 

I have some wonderful news to share with you. As of Thursday night, Peter and I are engaged. I wish I could take the time to call each of you individually, but I still haven’t managed to connect with all my family members in person! So, here’s the story… 

On Thursday evening, I had a banquet at the school where I teach. For those of you who have read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” you’ll get the reference to the number 42 or 4/2 or April 2nd. Peter is a numbers guy and 42 is his favorite number, so he had chosen that date as the day he was going to propose. He made plans with me to take me out after the school banquet for our first annual 4/2 celebration. 

First, he drove me to the church where we both attend. He told me we had three secret stops. The first was in the church. On February 14, 2008, we first “met” in the choir room. Actually, that was the day that he first saw me; we didn’t officially talk until sometime after that. Well, on Thursday, he brought me into the choir room and suggested that we pray together. As he was finishing the prayer, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. (fyi…I said ‘yes’). 

Then, we went outside where he had a black stretch limousine waiting for me. In the back were 42 red roses in a beautiful bouquet. Nearby was a smaller bouquet of 6 red roses (to finish out the dozen). He didn’t tell me where we were going, but he planned the limo ride so we could call our families to let them know the news. It took the whole 45 minute drive to make the calls. 🙂 

Our second stop was in Vineland at the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. Peter knows that I dearly love my family, so he wanted to stop by the cemetery so I could put 4 of the roses on the graves. This particularly touched me, because I have often told him that I wish he could have met my grandparents. (My grandmom died about 2 weeks before we met). Next, the limo took us to my parents house where they were waiting with coffee and cannoli to celebrate with us! 

Finally, and most wonderful to me, on the way home, Peter opened his Bible and read to me from I Corinthians 13, the love chapter. 

I’m including a picture of the beautiful ring that Peter bought for me. True to form, he took the time to research diamonds, have some flown in so he could look at them, and then he decided on an amazing stone which he put in a simple and elegant setting. 

It is amazing to me to see God’s faithfulness throughout our entire courtship. We certainly look forward to the months ahead and we especially yearn for your prayers as we begin our lives together. 

With love, 

Lia 🙂

Lia’s Engagement Ring

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6 thoughts on “Four Tips for Great Writing

  1. Thanks Lia and MaryAnn, for sharing this special story. I especially loved the part about placing the red roses on your grandparents’ graves. It reminded me of our daughter’s wedding–we did a memory table with 4 candles and pictures of her with her grandparents.

    April 16, 2009 at 8:45 PM