Today’s guest blogger is Cynthia Ruchti, President of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association, who also writes and produces the daily 15-minute radio broadcast The Heartbeat of the Home and is editor of the broadcast’s Backyard Friends magazine. Her debut novel, They Almost Always Come Home, published by Abingdon Press, has received rave reviews, including this one by Colleen Coble, author of The Lightkeeper’s Daughter and the Rock Harbor series: “A stunning debut novel. Exquisitely written. Highly recommended.”
A writer wields a “what if . . . ?” as a top chef wields a Santoku knife. To a novel, “what if” has the effect of a starting pistol for a runner. It propels a story forward, launches characters off the couch and into a scene, makes the plot pick up its knees, and stirs up some dust.
|Cynthia Ruchti and Barbara Scott at the Christy Awards|
Applied liberally to a story, “what ifs” turn ordinary into exceptional and make readers buy reading light bulbs in bulk.
What happens when we apply “what ifs” to our writing lives and in particular to [ACFW] conference week?
What if the Lord wants me to wait longer for my next contract because He has a life-changing lesson in the wait?
What if the conference isn’t about finding opportunities but about seeking Him?
What if the writer friends I see at conference need my prayers more than my brainstorming abilities?
What if I paid the price of a hefty mortgage for the privilege of discovering my WIP [work in progress] has a major flaw?
What if it isn’t my newly released novel that impresses people but rather my patience with an overworked waitress?
What if this year I am less awed by the big name authors and more awed by the Name Above All Names?
What if I jettison some ego so I can fit in more Fruit of the Spirit?
What if making a sale and making an impression bowed to making Him known?
What if my great idea isn’t publishable and the book of my heart isn’t the apple of any editor’s eye?
What if I spend the whole conference waiting for an unrealistic expectation and miss the God-carved moments?
What if the attendee who tazers my nerve endings is the very person God assigned me to bless?
What if I give more than I get? What if I pick up my cross rather than whine about its splinters?
What if I spend as much time at conference on my knees as I do on networking?
What if His plan for me includes not winning an award, not having an invitation to send a proposal, not securing an appointment with my top choice? What if He’s smarter than I am about what I really need, what my career really needs? Yeah. What if?
What if the Lord didn’t give me an editor so my book would find a publishing home, but so I would find a forever friend?
Books—and the writing life—get more interesting when writers ask “What if . . . ?”
Visit Cynthia at www.cynthiaruchti.com and www.hopethatglowsinthedark.com.
Please let me know how today’s blog has helped you. This becomes a two-way conversation when you post a comment. Often I jump back on the blog during the day and will answer your questions or respond to your comments. I have both published and unpublished authors who read The Roving Editor, and we’d love to hear from you so that we can learn from your experience. Let’s talk!