Monday, March 19, 2012

Asking Yourself "What if?" by Marianne Evans

If you've ever wondered the backstory of the people you see outside your writing cave,  you're not alone. If you've made up a history and written it down, you're definitely a writer. In her usual warm and friendly style, guest Marianne Evans shares the key question for sparking inspiration. Enjoy! ~ Annette

Asking Yourself —“What if?”
by Marianne Evans

I believe one of the most frequent questions an author is asked is the following: Where do you come up with your ideas? How does the story come to life?

Almost invariably, I answer by saying: I ask myself the question ‘What if?’

Here’s an example. I was on vacation on Mackinac Island, in the midst of a plotting dry spell that had me frustrated and sad—feeling like inspiration had vanished. While biking the trails of this gorgeous, north Michigan locale, my husband and I came upon a beautiful, lakeside gazebo where a wedding was taking place.

The bride and groom stood facing one another beneath a cloudless sky, with boats drifting past, waves lapping the shore not far away…and a soft gust of wind lifted the bride’s veil, and pulled it free of her hair. The bride shook her hair free, and the groom reached up and stroked her cheek; the moment was a tender, loving exchange as one of the bride’s attendants, fortunately, reached up to catch the veil…

I began to wonder. What led that couple to this moment in time? Where did they come from? How did their story begin? Along came my "What if" moment. What if this extravagant moment began with the humble beginnings of a "down-and-out" woman, trying to care for her daughter, and her boss, a benefactor not too unlike the story of Ruth and Boaz….?

I had always longed to create a Christian inspirational series, but became stymied in the face of what the series should be about. Until, at church one Sunday, I asked myself, again, "What if?" As I watched people come forward for communion, I began to envision parishioners at a fictional congregation. What were their struggles, their victories—what love story framed their lives, and faith walks?

Now I’m at work on a new series, Sal’s Place, triggered by, yes the ‘What if’ of wondering what would happen if I mixed a historical, fabulous diner in downtown Detroit with the lives and loves of the people who cross its threshold.

What if. The next time you’re stumped when it comes to plotlines, take a look at the world around you through that camera lens, and you just might take yourself by surprise. It’s amazing, and unexpected, what trips the wires of the imagination…and the inspirations of a writer.

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From This Day Forward
Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now.


Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that's what she thinks.


For Better or Worse
But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?


'Til Death Do Us Part
When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.

http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/devotion-softcover
COUPON CODE: FALLPREVIEW 2012

~~~~
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories she creates. Her acclaimed novella, Hearts Crossing led to the creation of the four-book Woodland Series. Next, Evans tackles the topic of a loving marriage in turmoil in her Christian fiction debut, Devotion coming in November, 2012 from Harbourlight Books. Also in 2012, Evans kicks off her second Christian romance series with White Rose Publishing. Search & Rescue will be book one of the Sales Place series, which revolves around the folks who frequent a cozy and historic riverfront diner in downtown Detroit. A lifelong resident of Michigan, Evans is very active in a number of RWA chapters as well as ACFW and the Michigan Literary Network.

Connect with Marianne at:
www.marianneevans.com
www.marianneevans.blogspot.com
Facebook Reader Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marianne-Evans/308711716744
Twitter Handle: @marmo212

16 comments:

  1. I can vouch that such lovely stories came from all those 'what ifs'!

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  2. Amen, Tanya, and so can I ... amazing what a simple, two-word sentence can accomplish, yes? :-) God bless, and hugs!!!

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  3. Annette, thanks once again for allowing me to spend some time here at SW. I feel right at home!! God bless!!

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  4. Always such a pleasure, Marianne! You inspire people! :D

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    1. Aww, Annette, you're so sweet - thank you! Anything I 'inspire' is attributable only to God's goodness. I just like to tuck in at my computer and tell stories!! :-)

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  5. What if... yeah my what if moment was a poem called Monday's Child. What if each hero/heroine really did take their character from the poem.
    Now writing book five of seven (sounds like a borg lol) and having fun doing it.

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    1. And I can't wait to read them all, Clare! The series sounds great - amazing what inspiration and 'what if' can accomplish, eh?? :-)

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  6. Great post, Marianne. I love playing the "what if" game. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. :-) Dora, your post makes me smile! Thanks for the support and encouragement!! Can't wait to see you in Chicago!!!!

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  7. Ah, my favorite phrase, "what if." All of my story ideas and characters come from those two little words.

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    1. Me, to, EA! Those are two pretty powerful little words! So glad you visited!! :-) God bless!

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  8. This sounds like a phenomenal story from that amazing place of "what if".

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  9. Marianne, you confirmed it. I need to get out more to study people and the world around me.

    I've secluded myself too much, calling it committing myself to my writing, and thereby lost contact with people, the inspiration for stories.

    How do you manage to strike a balance between writing time and social time? I struggle with it.

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  10. "What If" has saved me more times than I can count! GREAT post, Marianne, and thanks for sharing!

    hugs, Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com

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  11. Thanks, Donna! :-) God bless! I'm delighted you paid a visit!!!

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  12. Oh, Laurean, I wish I could say I manage to strike that balance. This year has been particularly rough because my father passed away somewhat suddenly, and I've spent considerable time and energy on supporting my mom, and focusing on family matters. I have a husband who is incredibly supportive, and helps me free up every spare second I can to write, but it's still a challenge, because I love the distraction, and fun, and fellowship of social networking and promoting like everyone else, but you have to learn to step back from that as well. I survive the disconnect by telling myself, "Marianne, if you don't back away from this and WRITE, then you won't be sharing the stories God gives you...." That's a pretty good motivator!!! :-) Hugs to you, and God bles!!

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