Sunday, May 11, 2014


Ezra the first chapter introduces us to the King of Persia, Cyrus. Even though he was not a follower of God, he was used by God to fulfill the prophecy that Jeremiah spoke. Cyrus gave the proclamation for the Israelites to return to Jerusalem and build the temple.

Proof that God uses who He wants. No one would expect a pagan king to be the one who fulfills God’s will. But, God will do what He says He will do.

Authors often employ this unexpected twist device in their stories to surprise their readers. Can you recall a book in which an unexpected twist was added? Did this increase your interest in the story? Did it motivate you even more to finish the book?

Choose a section or scene in your work in progress in which your main character makes a decision or is acting on a decision. What would the opposite action be? Would the opposite action be a twist the reader wouldn’t expect?

Another way to employ the plot-twist device is to ask, “What if?” What if my character made the wrong choice here? What if some outside, unexpected character showed up? What if a tragedy or natural disaster happened? Write the scene to test it in your story.

How do you handle unexpected twists in your life? Often writers have other careers or jobs in addition to writing as well as other roles such as parent, care-giver, and any number of other possibilities. When unexpected illness or loss occurs, often the writing suffers or is put on hold. Don’t underestimate the messages God can teach for you to incorporate into your stories. To write about the unexpected twists in life, you must often have personal experience.

Think of an unexpected twist in your life. Describe that occurrence in a paragraph or two. Could this experience be weaved into your story? Second Corinthians the first chapter tells us that God comforts us in our suffering so we in turn can comfort others with the comfort we received from God. Could your unexpected twist be a way to give comfort to your readers? God doesn’t waste any experience, nor should Christian writers.

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