Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Heart of Your Story by Patti Jo Moore

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! When I realized my blogging day would fall on February 14th, I knew I wanted to write a post featuring “love” or “heart” in the title, and after much thought and prayer, decided on this one. 😊

I’m sure some of you have more writing experience than I do, but what I’m sharing today comes from either my own experience or what friends have shared with me over the years. And…this also enabled me to incorporate heart in my post. 😉

Sometimes writers (primarily fiction writers) can become bogged down by the mechanics of writing. If you’ve been writing for any amount of time, it’s likely you’ve read numerous books and articles on the craft. It’s also likely that many of you have attended writers’ conferences, which can be excellent both for learning and networking. We’ve learned all about the basics: creating hooks, point of view, structure, plot, adding conflict, dialogue, and the list goes on and on. All good and useful information.  

But, if we’re not careful, we can become so focused on all of the “dos and don’ts” of crafting a good story that we gradually drift away from the heart of our project, and if we’re not careful, we can lose heart in our project. Now I’m not saying that writing is all fun---on the contrary, writing is hard work! I know I’m not alone in saying that I’ve gained a much deeper respect and admiration for authors after seriously pursuing publication myself. 

Sometimes we might need to block out distractions, including all the writerly terms we’re supposed to be applying to our work. Our focus has turned to, “Did I do this? Have I included that?” These concerns can grow like pesky weeds in a garden, until we’re so frustrated and overwhelmed that we’ve completely lost sight of why we’re writing the story and what we want our readers to take from the story. We need to stop and ask ourselves about the heart of our story. And maybe just as importantly, is my heart in this story? 

Now I’m not advocating giving up whenever we become frustrated or “stuck” in our writing. We’d seldom complete any projects if we did that! But if our heart isn’t truly in a project, or we don’t think this is the right time for that project, then maybe—just maybe—we should put it aside and pray about the story we should be writing. And when that idea nudges you and won’t let up, then get busy and pour your heart into it. 😊   

            For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Matthew 6:21
 An Unexpected Romance
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Gracie Norton loves her life on Florida’s gulf coast. When a handsome widower with adorable twins moves in next door, Gracie’s life soon changes. As Gracie helps her neighbor during a crisis, she must face her biggest fear. Could young twins be the matchmakers for an unexpected romance? 

Patti Jo Moore is a retired kindergarten teacher and now a full-time writer. She’s a lifelong Georgia girl who loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee. She’s published two books with Forget-Me-Not Romances, with her third book releasing soon. Patti Jo enjoys connecting with readers and other writers. You can find her on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore. Or visit her blog at   


  1. Yes, THIS, Patti Jo!! For the past year or so, I've been so bogged down in the mechanics of the plot. Do I have the inciting incident in the right place? What is my middle moment? Is it in the MIDDLE? It's all bogged down my ability to get the story out. I've finally had to say "Just write!" and worry about the rest later. Easier said than done though. :)

  2. Hi Sandra! Yes, all those mechanics (important though they are) can drag us down if we're not careful.
    Telling yourself to "Just write!" is easier said than done, as you commented. Sometimes I'm tempted to make a big sign that reads, "Just Write your Story!" and place beside my computer, LOL!
    Thank you so much for commenting, and Happy Valentine's Day!
    Blessings, Patti Jo

  3. Patti Jo, your post comes at just the right time. Don't you love God's timing?

    I'm revising...going through all those "did I include"..."does this stage have..." questions. Fortunately, I do still love my story, but focusing on my story HEART is so important.

    I always LOVE your heart, my friend. Thanks for the purr-fect encouragement today. Wishing you many Valentine's Day blessings!

    1. Hi Sherida, You are always so sweet!
      Yes, I love God's timing - - He never ceases to amaze how He orchestrates even little things in our lives.

      I'm so happy I could give you a bit of encouragement, and I'm looking forward to reading YOUR story one day. :)

      Happy Valentines Day to you, and I'm sending special hugs!

  4. Happy Valentines Day, Patti Jo! Thank you for blogging on the heart of writing. I get so caught up in trying to make sure I include everything I've learned that I take the heart right out of my story. I'd like to say no more but I'm sure it will be a trial and error process to get back on track.

  5. Hi Terri! I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day - - I did, except ate a bit too much sugar, LOL.

    I think a lot of us really do get SO caught up in "following the rules" we've learned, that it's easy to lose sight of the heart of our story. But, as you said, sometimes it's a trial and error process to get back on track, but we keep trying! :)

    Thanks so much for commenting!
    Hugs, Patti Jo


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