Writing Update

I have now completed the manuscript of Christ Formed in You. I sent it in to Shepherd Press on Tuesday and have started sending it to various Christian authors and scholars who have agreed to read it in view of writing endorsements.

The last six weeks on this project have been a sprint to the finish line. I was hoping to be finished by the end of September. But I'm pretty happy with mid-October. That means the total time for actually writing the manuscript was 8 1/2 months.

Here are some stats on the book at this stage:

Chapters: 12
Total sentences: 4925
Word count: 76,119 words, plus 13,070 in footnotes – totaling 89,189.
Average sentences per paragraph: 3.8
Average words per sentence: 17.2
Passive sentences: 10%
Flesch Reading Ease: 62.7
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level: 8.4

Translated, that means that this is a medium-length (250-300 pages) book written on a fairly popular level. You won't need an M.Div. to understand it, though it will be more demanding than, say, Max Lucado - who is an incredible author! No disparagement intended.

(For more on Flesch-Kincaid and other readability tests, see this post that a friend wrote. That was my first introduction to these readability tests. I since learned that Flesch-Kincaid is built into Miscrosoft Word, making it easy to test your own writing.)

The next stage is editing by a professional editor. This will be more than just proofing. The editor will work through the entire book, helping with overall structure, congruency, and flow. I'm sure the book will be shortened some, too. I've never done this before, so I'm not sure what else to expect. But I'm excited and am looking forward to this stage. I hope I learn a lot about writing and can improve my skills by working with someone who has more experience than I do.

Thanks for those of you who have prayed for this project. Stage 1 is complete. I'll keep you posted on what happens next.


mwh said...

Do you know what a typical value is for the sentence/paragraph ratio?

Did Donald Whitney agree to review it? Or are your reviewers top-secret?

Brian G. Hedges said...

I don't know the answer to your first question. As for the second, I am keeping names under wraps until they've actually written endorsements. So far there are seven authors who have agreed to give the book a look in view of an endorsement, and one who is considering writing a foreward.

Anna said...


I'm soooo excited for you! Just wanted to say hi, congrats, and I can't wait to see all of you guys!

Amanda said...

This is awesome news!

John said...

I can't wait to have it in my hands!

lisatatj said...

Really VERY EXCITING!! so happy for you!!! What a relief I am sure to be done with the writing part!