I look at the SG Editor's Six Core questions:
What’s the genre?
What are the conventions and obligatory scenes for that genre?
- What’s the Point of View?
- What are the objects of desire?
- What’s the controlling idea/theme?
- What is the Beginning Hook, the Middle Build, and Ending Payoff?
And for each chapter I look at the 5 Commandments:
Every chapter should have the following:
- Active Turning Point
- Revelatory Turning Point
- The Best Bad choice
- Irreconcilable goods
Once I've identified all those things (which I keep in a spreadsheet) I know fundamentally much more about whether the chapter has all the elements it needs to work, and if it's missing something it makes it that much easier to know what to fix.
- What’s the genre?
A Lesson In Praying
A Lesson In Praying
How is your prayer life? That is a question that many Believers fail to evaluate. If Believers are honest with themselves, they will acknowledge that prayer plays a small portion in their daily lives. I know the “defense reaction mechanism” will be activated when there is even the slightest insinuation that one’s prayer life is not what it should be. We may pray at mealtime with a memorized few sentences. We may pray at bedtime, offering the same nightly phrases to which we have grown accustomed. We may intensify our prayer time when we are facing problems and difficulties, but what I am talking about is not prayer snippets, but uninterrupted sessions with our heavenly Father. The question is not how much time we spend in the Word, but how much time do we spend with its Author. Some of the biggest problems Christians face are brought about as a result of an anemic prayer life. “Fasted prayer” has a direct negative influence on a Believer’s spiritual condition.
There is nothing wrong with praying for yourself unless it is seeking favor during a season of disobedience; e.g., praying for financial deliverance as a result of your lack of monetary discipline. What we are called to do is to pray for one another. Now, this is where many Believers leave the guidelines of Biblical prayer and center their “requests” on the physical, mental, and materialistic needs of others. We should pray for one another, but our outgoing prayers should center on the spiritual needs of the recipient.
Colossians 1:9-11 offers a prayer guideline that, when pursued, will help the army of the Lord “get in shape.” As Paul prayed for the Colossians, we should use the same guidelines in praying for one another. He started out by praying that they might (1) be “filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” How many Believers today know what God’s will is for their lives? Some Believers have an inkling but don’t have the wisdom and spiritual understanding to implement that action. When we fail to recognize His directives for our lives, we become “pew potatoes.” We spend our time going to church, but so little time taking the church to the community. Paul continued to pray that the Believers would (2) walk “worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him…” Christians are to exhibit a Christ-like appearance which shows they are worthy followers of Jesus. We are to be at full capacity in pleasing Him. Paul then prayed that the Colossians would (3) be “fruitful in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God.” Every day should be a day of learning. He stated that the Christians will be “strengthened with all might” as a result of God’s power. Our Bibles are the source of Divine energy which God feeds us through the Holy Spirit. Finally, Paul summates his prayer by petitioning God to give them (4) “all patience and longsuffering with joy.” Believers can be very impatient. While going through spiritual construction we need to exhibit joy, knowing that God is working in our lives.
Christianity is a team commitment. Too many Christians are failing to be involved in the lives of others. Many Believers are struggling to be consistent in their confessed walk. They need the “shoring” up of their actions so they can exhibit Biblical truths. Believers need to pray faithfully for one another. Is our prayer life centered around others? Let us learn that as we pray out the front door, someone is praying in our back door! How is your prayer life?
The Hero Believes In Love
The Hero Believes In Love
From author Steven Pressfield.
If the Villain believes in a zero-sum world, the Hero believes in its opposite.
If the Villain believes in a universe of scarcity, the Hero believes, if not in a world of abundance, then at least in the possibility of such a world.
If the Villain believes in a reality dominated by fear, the Hero believes in one ruled by love.
The Villain is cynical. He or she believes that mankind is inherently evil. The Villain believes in “reality,” in a Hobbesian world of all-against-all.
The Villain is not necessarily “bad” or even “villainous.” In the villain’s eyes, he is the Good Guy. He is simply acting and making choices within a universe of monsters. He must therefore become, in the name of Good (or at least self-preservation or the preservation of those dear to him) a monster himself.
The zero-sum view of life is that of limited resources. Not enough to go around. If you and I want our share (or even simply enough to survive), we must take it from somebody else. However much of the pie we grab, that’s how much less remains for everyone else.
In the non-zero-sum world, on the other hand, resources are infinite. The love a mother gives to her child (and that the child returns) grows greater, the more each loves. There is and can never be a shortage of love.
Compassion is infinite.
Integrity is infinite.
Faith is infinite.
Zero-sum versus non-zero-sum. Which point of view do you believe?
What Makes For A "One Big Story"?
I read this and think, There is One Big Story, about One Big God and His interaction with His creation.
We are exploring the outer limits of His Love and Grace, and we are writing about our little corners of His interaction.
This would lead to redemptive fiction. When we write non redemptive fiction, we have to wonder, what is its worth?
. . . after reading 1 Chronicles 1-3 today
I read the begats in the Bible today,
and it struck me that the reading of every name
set up a moment that put it to humanity's care
to mark what obedience to Jehovah would bear,
salvation for those whose hearts did not stray
away from the covenant shown by Abraham's faith,
or curse at the core of one's bitter fruit
from tasting forbidden things, nameless pursuits.
Some names seemed odd, some odder even,
but each syllable of a lone person given
moved me the reader to one strange conclusion,
that modern monikers are known, too, by the Lord's choosing,
and each one is precious, enough to die for.
Do the syllables of our names say, "I Love You Lord"?