Friday, January 28, 2011

Funny cat video

Sometimes you just need to laugh. This video did it for me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Biggest Loser

It's happened to me twice now, and the solution was the same both times. I was buzzing along in my latest WIP (work in progress), and I started to write an important scene from the perspective of my secondary main character. Everything was going along so so, but I could tell sometimes was missing. It didn't flow right. I couldn't put my finger on it entirely. At first I wondered if maybe I was way off base on the events that unfolded in the scene. But then I asked myself a question I've heard as advice before: "Who has the most to lose in this scene?"

For writers, this is a question to ask ourselves when deciding the POV (point of view) in any scene we write. Usually whoever has the most to lose is who's head we need to be in for that scene. (I'm sure there are exceptions, but this is a general rule of thumb.)

When I applied this maxim to the above mentioned scene, I realized the other character in the scene, the one who the point of view character was talking to was really the one who had the most to lose. So I decided to start over in her POV. Guess what happened? The scene flowed ten times better, and I no longer felt stuck in how it was to unfold. The words came.

So if you're a writer and stuck in a scene, ask yourself who has the most to lose. It just might be a different character than you first imagined.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The GPS of God

Have you ever gotten to a place in your life where you felt you were completely off track? Like there was no bringing you back and God couldn't use you anymore?

As Christians, I think we inherently believe that God has a plan for our lives. Sometimes we even hear his still small voice give us a picture of what that plan will be---or at least the next step we should take to get us there.

But as is often the case, we mess up. We take a direction contrary to what we know in our hearts we should do. What happens then? Are we too far off the path?

I believe that God has a perfect plan for our lives. That's His ideal for us. But I also believe that if we veer off course He's more than able to bring us back.

It's sort of the way a GPS works. There's a perfect way to get from Point A to Point B, and if we follow the directions the GPS gives, we'll get there. But as often happens, we make a wrong turn somewhere along the way and find ourselves out in the middle of a cornfield wondering where the heck we are. That GPS doesn't give up on us at that point. It recomputes our route and shows us the turns to take that will still get us where we were supposed to end up in the first place. The path might be windier, longer, and crazier, but we still get there.

That's the way God works in our lives too. Sure, it would be ideal for us to never make a mistake, or a wrong turn. But we all do. So rather than bemoan this, we can throw ourselves at the feet of the God who loves us dearly, ask for forgiveness and His help in recomputing our way. He'll give it to us. He's a loving Father.

I had this experience recently in my writing. I had felt for a long time I was to write a fast rough draft in my latest manuscript. I felt like it was God's leading. But I didn't do it. Instead I spent months laboring over my characters, plot and whatnot. Finally I decided to quit the nonsense and just push through and write my story. However, I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd missed God in a big way. I worried that everything I was writing was off track and not what He wanted me to write.

Then I received an e-mail from an author friend that was the answer to my heart's cry. She said some things I'd been needing to hear about writing and following my heart to find the story God gave me. After reading her words I knew the story I needed to write. I began a new draft in the peace I'd desperately craved.

A week or two later God gave me a wonderful gift. It was just a little thought, but I felt it. He told me that right now, I was back to where I would have been if I'd followed those early inclinations I'd had about writing the fast rough draft. He'd re-routed my path. He can do the same for you.