7 Writing Tips from the 3 Kings

Permalink

Wise Men Give Writing Tips

For the last few years, Fiction Notes has offered writing tips from famous holiday or winter characters. In keeping with that tradition, we offer this year 7 writing tips from the 3 Kings.

Happy Holidays!


As our holiday gift to you, We are offering all 5 Winter and Holiday Writing Tips series posts as a free pdf:

Download Winter Writing with Kids Pdf Now – Free.

Happy Holidays! Included are:

  • Santa Claus’s Top 5 Writing Tips
  • 12 Days of Christmas Writing Tips
  • The Gingerbread Man’s Top 5 Writing Tips
  • Frosty the Snowman’s Top 6 Writing Tips
  • Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’s Top 5 Writing Tips

800px-Edward_Burne-Jones_Star_of_Bethlehem

We Three Kings

  1. We three kings of Orient are
    Bearing gifts we traverse afar
    Field and fountain, moor and mountain
    Following yonder star

    Orient the reader. Character, setting and goals are immediately set up here. We know WHO (Kings), WHAT (bearing gifts and following star), WHERE (afar – over many different terrains), and WHY (to follow the star and deliver gifts). When you write, try to orient (pun intended!) your readers right away, so they aren’t confused about what is happening in the story.

  2. O Star of wonder, star of night
    Star with royal beauty bright
    Westward leading, still proceeding
    Guide us to thy Perfect Light

    Verbal Play: This refrain or chorus is playful and fun to repeat. Try to find places to play with language as you write.

  3. Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
    Gold I bring to crown Him again
    King forever, ceasing never
    Over us all to rein
    (Repeat Chorus.)

    Specifics: It’s important to be specific in a story and give details, The next few verses will give specifics of what gifts are being brought to the newborn King: gold, frankincense and myrrh.

  4. Frankincense to offer have I
    Incense owns a Deity nigh
    Pray’r and praising, all men raising
    Worship Him, God most high
    (Repeat Chorus.)

    Use Sensory Details: Even in a song, the writers recognize the importance of including sensory details, things you see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Here, the smell of incense is highlighted. Make sure you highlight other senses, too!

  5. Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
    Breathes of life of gathering gloom
    Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
    Sealed in the stone-cold tomb
    (Repeat Chorus.)

    Summarize when space is limited–but do it with verbs. The summary of the life of Jesus is amazingly compressed into about nine words. Notice the importance of the verbs in this compression. Verbs hold much of the action of a story and by emphasizing verbs, you can strengthen almost any writing.

  6. Glorious now behold Him arise
    King and God and Sacrifice
    Alleluia, Alleluia
    Earth to heav’n replies

    Epiphany/climax: The word ephiphany originated in religious literature as a moment when God/heaven is revealed in a splash of light and glory. Singing about the resurrection of Christ is indeed an epiphany moment. In your story, did you actually WRITE and climax of your story? It should change everything for the characters involved. Here, Christ’s resurrection changes the world as he offers a new way for men to have a relationship with God and the response of the song is, “Alleluia, Alleluia.” A true epiphany.

  7. O Star of wonder, star of night
    Star with royal beauty bright
    Westward leading, still proceeding
    Guide us to Thy perfect light

    Denoument: A final repetition of a chorus is a fitting end. It repeats the verbal play, while replaying for the reader/singer the travel of the Magi.

Fiction Notes by Email

When a new post appears on Fiction Notes, we'll send it to you by email.
We love to make it easy for you!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

3 Comments
  • Kathryn Jankowski
    December 8, 2010

    This is so clever! I love how you’ve taken this song–one of my holiday favorites–and applied it to writing. Well done! Now I’m off to look at your previous posts of holiday writing tips.
    ;-)

  • Ann Finkelstein
    December 8, 2010

    Darcy, this is brilliant! It inspired a post on my blog (http://annfinkelstein.blogspot.com/2010/12/three-wise-guys.html). I hope you don’t mind.
    Happy Holidays,
    Ann

  • Darcy Pattison
    December 8, 2010

    Ann:
    What a hoot! Well done!
    Darcy