Welcome guest blogger, Donna Wichelman
As a fiction novelist, you may have experienced a very disconcerting sensation. You’ve got a an amazing story—maybe even a killer idea. You’ve written the synopsis to what looks like a best seller, and you’re ready to take off on the journey.
Each day, you’re typing away, making great strides, seeing the plot fleshed out, your protagonist getting into all the right kinds of trouble. You’ve managed to advance the story perhaps a third of the way into the novel.
Then bam! Writer’s block sets in big time or your writers’ critique group doesn’t get your vibe, and the universal sentiment is the story just isn’t working for them. You feel like you’ve just been booted off the bus and your coat thrown out the window for good measure.
My new release, Undaunted Valor, was that book for me. It went through three iterations before it found the right plot for the characters to bring depth and meaning to the story. Then I listened to a couple of my beta readers about how to fix some of the loopholes I’d left open along the way.
The phenomenon of heading in the wrong direction isn’t new for God’s chosen emissaries. Paul experienced a roadblock on his second missionary journey through present day Turkey. He’d passed through the region, strengthening the churches in their faith, their numbers increasing. Then bam! The Holy Spirit forbade them to enter Asia. Moreover, when they tried to go into Bithynia, the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them.
The Scriptures don’t tell us how the Spirit prevented Paul from going the direction he had planned. We just know God closed the door. Yet He opened the door into new territory—Greece and Macedonia—where the people were ripe and ready to hear the message.
I know the discouragement, the utter feeling of failure. For a little while, I want to find a deserted island somewhere in the South Pacific where no one can find me and I can wallow in the deep waters of despair.
Yet if we look back at Paul’s journey, we notice he didn’t crawl under the nearest rock like Jonah under a tree pouting about rival in Ninevah. He moved on to Troas and set sail for Greece.
I think we writers can learn a lesson from Paul’s missionary journey. When we hit that roadblock in our work, perhaps it’s time to listen to where God’s leading us rather than trying to ram the locked door with a log or sitting down on the road and throwing a temper tantrum. God may be opening the door to new territory that hasn’t been explored yet, and He’s ready and waiting to show you the way.
Blurb for Undaunted Valor, Book 2, The Waldensian Series
For nature lovers, ski aficionados, travel enthusiasts and history scholars, the French Alps offer some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in all Europe with its majestic mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, unspoiled forests and quaint mountain villages. People come to get away from the daily grind and rejuvenate their spirits.
But when Alessandro Marianni’s grandmother Luciana is kidnapped during a church conference in Chamonix, the same landscape becomes an ominous height to scale, and Jamie Holbrooke and her fiancé Alessandro have difficulty distinguishing between friend and foe on the race to find her. They will have to weather a rainstorm on a mountain trail, negotiate a dangerous waterfall, outmaneuver a car chase, and defy an assassin’s gun in their search.
Will they find their beloved Luciana before it’s too late? Who will die on the way to the finish line? Who can they trust? And where will Jamie find the courage to confront her adversaries?
In this sequel to Light Out of Darkness, the answers will lie in unanticipated places and with unexpected allies and require Jamie to discover what it means to trust God with undaunted valor.
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