The Journey

Last time I talked a little about how even though writers love their characters, we still have to give them an identity crisis. We are going to continue that thought today.

So what comes after the identity crisis?

Authors build this up until the character reaches the breaking point, or the dark moment as Susan May Warren dubbed it in her popular coaching class for writers, My Book Therapy. The dark moment is the point when all feels lost, and the character's worst nightmare has come true.

Next comes the epiphany. It's that moment when the character realizes they've been putting all their faith in a lie. The character comes to a realization of the truth that sets them free!

Afterwards the character is a new man/woman! The best way to prove this to the readers is by some type of victory, test, reminder, battle, etcetera.

I was thinking about the stages we authors put our character through. It seems so mean, but really, it's life. We've taken our characters through the steps of salvation, through realizing who they are, and through overcoming the enemy.

Isn't that what God does with us?

Yes. Yes, it is.

We go through seasons of doubt, grief, trial, victory, joy, and peace. God, The Author and Finisher of my faith, takes me through all of that.

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2

Even Jesus went through the same stuff we do. There was joy and an awesome throne waiting for Him, but he had to endure the cross and our shame to get there. It wasn't an easy road for Him, but He walked it with God.

I know that in the thick of life's junk, it doesn't seem like there is some Divine Author with a master plan out there. If anything, if feels like there is some sadistic, angry person writing the story.

Do you guys know the "Footprints in the Sand" poem by Mary Stevenson? It talks about an individual who is having a dream. This person knows that the two sets of footprints belong to him and God, however, in the lowest points of his life, he only saw one set of footprints. The person asks God, and God says that of course He would never leave or forsake him. Really, the times when he sees only one set of footprints it was because God was carrying him. I have always loved this poem.

I saw this floating around on Facebook, and thought, "Yeah, that about sums it up."


"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Despite everything going on around you, hopefully you realize that God is with you, sometimes carrying you, and dragging you when necessary. ;)  Really though, He's got your back, and no matter how difficult the plot twist seems, God has all the strength you need.

Writers take their characters through the same journey that you - a real person - would go through in life. Not because it's easier. Goodness, stories were so much easier when I could get away with saying, "They met, fell in love, and lived happily ever after." When I write a character's dark moment and epiphany, I am riding that emotional roller coaster, too. I do this because despite the fact that life is messy, when you've got God in the equation, there is hope. There is a point. There is a way to make it through life. With God that journey to the Happily Ever After moment in the last chapter is possible. It's how I push through the breaking point in real life and in my character's story.

And in each one of us, He's writing the perfect story. Sometimes the best reminder of that is someone else's fake story. :)

You guys are awesome! Thanks for hanging with me today. See you again on July 20th!! :)

(*Side note: I had to dig out one of my writing books for this post, you guys. You can find this information in Susan May Warren's coaching community for writers, My Book Therapy. Specifically The Book Buddy. This is such a great tool! Have fun!)

V. Joy Palmer