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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Start At the End

I've seen a lot of movies lately that had unsatisfactory endings. Some books, too. (I wonder how they got published?)
It's really exasperating. I mean, really! I spent two hours, waiting to see if the girl is going to get away from the stalker. Then it turns out that in the last two minutes of the movie, she suddenly gets the gumption and physical strength to overpower the bad guy, grab his gun, kill him, then shoot two FBI agents, steal the money (When did they even mention money?), and wind up on some jet headed for an unnamed Caribbean island. Huh?

By the last two minutes of the movie I'm sternly lecturing the characters, the writer who wrote the screenplay, the director, the producers, the Network. I think seriously about writing a letter in which I threaten to boycott the channel forevermore.
If it's a book, I write a whiny, negative critique on the back blank pages of the book, then throw the book in the trash. I vow that I'll never read another of XXX's novels.

I suspect that many of these screenplay writers and authors of novels haven't really thoroughly engineered the ending. Let's say they're halfway through writing their novel and they're still wondering how the Sam Hill they're going to end it.

Wouldn't it be great if these writers could write more like God?
God's Book has:
  • a promising beginning (beautiful creation)
  • an almost immediate inciting incident (the serpent and Adam and Eve's temptation)
  • painful personal consequences (expulsion from the Garden)
  • the ripple effect on other humans from the original characters' bad choices
  • hints of God's solution (redemption)
  • lots of action (even in the middle)
  • the great revealing of God's plan (Jesus's incarnation)
  • the carrying out of God's plan (Jesus's death and resurrection)
  • then the final battle which leads to the great, victorious ending (which of course for the victors is just the beginning)
God is such a greater author because He knows exactly how His Book is going to end. You can even read the end first and still go back and enjoy reading the beginning or the middle of this Book.

I wish authors would take their cue from the greatest Author. Know the ending, then go back and compose the rest of your story. 

"If you have something of importance to say, for God's sake start at the end." (Sarah Jeannette Duncan)


  1. Oh Dena -

    I love this post! I'm going to link to it at a future time. :)