Storytelling is Simple, but Writing…

Recently, I sat at one of the dining tables in my friend’s cozy B&B carriageway to discuss my sequel. Afterwards, she asked about my writing process: if my stories are composed at the computer or primarily longhand and if I sit down and start writing. I glanced sideways for a split second, thinking about storytelling. Looking back into my friend’s curious eyes and beautiful smile, I replied, “I write at the computer.”

She nodded and we moved on to another subject.

When I got home, I thought about how simple the process must have sounded. Storytelling is simple, but writing…well,

there are no keyboard strokes, mouse clicks or cursive exercises to make writing easy.

But, there is prayer. No matter how difficult a scene or an awkward sentence stumps me, prayer calms the anxiety within so I can hear the Holy Spirit deliver a solution.

God cares about every aspect of our lives.

He wants us to be the best we can to glorify Him through our endeavors. It’s through those diverse avenues and hard work that our faith and skills are oftentimes stretched. And boy, have my writing skills (and faith) been stretched.

After learning much about proper grammar usage, punctuation, sentence and paragraph length, befuddled sentences or sections, clarification, theme, tightening, plotting, twists, pacing, timeline and organization, point of view, hooks, transitions, dialogue and emotional tags, internal monologue, narrative flow, conflict, element of mystery and surprise, character creation, consistency and believability, fresh descriptions, setting, symbolism, clichés and repetitive usage, backstories, showing and telling, research, proofreading, and attending writing classes, workshops, webinars, finding a compatible critique partner and/or group, beta readers, and an editor followed by more rewrites…the writing process—and this is the short list—is catching up with the ease of storytelling. But it still isn’t as simple as sitting down and just writing.

Likewise, living a life for God isn’t always simple. But, if we stay on the right path, He gives us plenty of past victories to revisit, to encourage and keep us moving forward, assured that:

In time, our endeavors will be less challenging. Maybe even simple.

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Phase Three: Right People at the Right Time

A month has passed since I “braved the journey” and wrote the last sequel chapter. For nearly a year, the characters developed within me like a new-born child. We were inseparable, day and night. Although there is always a sense of sadness when the story ends, my characters and I remain united for the work ahead.

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Once I completed the first draft, phase two (the editing process) began. I ignored most of my responsibilities, including the fresh bouquet sitting on my desk. As I edited, yellow roses, sunflowers, lilies, and flower varieties I don’t recognize faded away, along with useless words in the manuscript.

My desk is littered with dehydrated petals and sprinklings of stamen the color of paprika. The manuscript is the opposite: less cluttered, cleaner with developments that will keep readers wondering what is going to occur next.

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I am now entering phase three, critiques, and as it happened with Ashley’s Gift, God brought two ladies into my life, an editor and an aspiring author. We meet monthly to offer positive feedback of one another’s work. I am excited about this union, to give back and to grow as a beta reader, a critique partner, and writer. I am also eager to place a fresh bouquet on my desk; watch the buds bloom to completion along with the sequel to Ashley’s Gift.

How has God united you with the right people at the right time in your career and/or life. Please share to encourage others.