Wednesday, July 24, 2019

God's Pop-up Windows

             I love advent calendars. I like popping open those little windows every day to see what’s behind. My kids liked the books that had those little flaps that you would open to find surprises pictures. One of the best parts of writing a novel is all the unexpected surprises that pop up along the way. Most of us have to submit a synopsis to our editors when we start a new book which mean we have to know the beginning, the middle, and he end of the story. There’s a lot of detailed thinking that goes into that synopsis. Not only does the plot have to be laid out, but the characters have to be crafted too with all their good and bad qualities, and their internal hang-ups that will keep the couple apart until the end. Those twists and turns and happily-ever-after’s have to be designed ahead of time. Some of us are plotters, which mean we like to have a clear road map to follow when we start writing. Others are pantser’s – seat of the pants writers who let the story come to us as we write. Either way we can’t know everything. This is where the pop up comes in.

            As Christian writers we believe we are called by the Lord to share stories that encourage uplift and enlighten fellow believers. We also believe that he has his hand in our work. He gave us the desire to write and he whispers the ideas to us that we put down on paper. And he does it sometimes through those pop-up windows as we write.
      It’s one of the most exciting parts of putting a story together. Here’s how it works. We know our plot and we know our characters but as we write, sudden new information will pop up. We learn something unexpected about our character, or we realize the plot should go in a different direction. Sometimes the characters will refuse to go or do what we have planned and we have to take a step back and rethink, only to realize the new direction is exactly what the story needs.
Those moments are both exciting and inspiring. We are reminded that we are not writing this book alone. We’re being watched over and gently guided to craft the story He has in mind for us.
A short while ago I was writing the second book in a series I was struggling to get it to come together. My deadline was close and my editor offered to extend it but I refused. I wanted to meet my obligation. Besides, I had a feeling that someone, somewhere needed to hear this story. I’d never had that feeling before. I always pray that someone will be blessed and encouraged by my books. We all do but this was different. That week I heard something in the sermon that greatly encouraged me. I went back to work, it all came together and I made my deadline. Another pop-up gift from the Lord.
            These small moments of divine inspiration are the moments that give a writer joy. It’s hard work writing a book and receiving insights into our story and our characters make it possible for us to eagerly look forward to the next one.

            There are many pop-up moments from God in our lives if we look for them. A song lyric can shift your point of view, an article or a blog post can offer hope or maybe a solution to a problem you’ve been struggling with. Even television episodes can sometimes suggest present and idea for growth or change. And don’t forget the endless inspiration and insight from nature. And of course books.  

            The Lord is always in our plans, and when we get stuck He’ll quietly hand us a light for our next step or our next inspirational story.

            When has the Lord popped up a window in your life?

 Have a blessed day.  Lorraine Beatty

1 comment:

  1. Lorraine, thank you for sharing. I love the analogy of comparing pop-up calendars to writing synopsis, how cleaver. That was so cute and so true. It expresses exactly how the process goes, or should go. My pop-ups get a little stubborn at times. But loved your post!


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