Monday, August 5, 2019

Your Own Hero’s Journey By Angela Ruth Strong

Angela Ruth Strong
As a writer, no doubt you've heard about the Hero's Journey--that path your main characters must travel to get to their satisfying story ending. We, as people, are also on a journey. Read on for today's encouragement from fellow Mountain Brook Ink author Angela Ruth Strong! ~ Annette

As a writer, I like to look at God as the author of life. It better helps me understand both my job and my world. It gives me hope in knowing He created me for a purpose and gave me the exact strengths needed to overcome the challenges I face.

When plotting a story, I give my main character a goal. They would prefer to follow a straight path from point A to point B. But in order for them to grow as an individual, I have to put obstacles in their way.

That first obstacle is known as the inciting incident. It’s also the point of no return. And it usually seems to be related to the character’s flaw. For example, in the Bible story of Joseph, he gets thrown into a pit because his brothers don’t like the fact that he has dreams of ruling over them.

To keep the story clean and neat, authors follow the rule of three obstacles to overcome, the third being the black moment when all hope seems lost. Let’s follow Joseph’s journey and see how this works out for him. First, he’s sold as a slave to Potiphar. He rises above his circumstances and is put in charge of the other slaves. Second, Potiphar’s wife gets angry that he won’t sleep with her and lies about him so that he’s thrown in jail. Again, he rises above and is honored even in prison. Third, he gives the interpretations to a couple other prisoners’ dreams and because of this is called before Pharaoh to translate a dream.

Standing before Pharaoh could have been where the story turned tragic. Joseph’s life could have ended right there if he didn’t do what Pharaoh requested. This is the black moment when all hope would have been lost for anyone else. But see, God had given Joseph exactly what he needed to overcome.

I think it’s interesting how both the inciting incident and the black moment are related. The flip side of Joseph’s strength had been his weakness. He had a past where using his gift had gotten him into trouble. What if he’d been too traumatized/afraid to try again?

I can relate to this. My first husband claimed he left me because I loved writing more than I loved him. I’d actually offered to give up my writing to save my marriage, and when I remarried, I was afraid to write. But perhaps because of how I’ve grown, this gift is now helping me to find healing—and hopefully it will help others find healing in my first non-fiction book I just sold, Moving On After Your Husband Moves Out.

When explaining this concept to a good friend, she got teary eyed. She’d always been judged for her “big personality.” Her whole life she’s been hushed and joked about. She’s often been afraid to be herself because of it. But it’s her contagious laugh and extroverted connectiveness that made her a success in her career as an event planner for a retirement community. She was given exactly what she needed to overcome in her own hero’s journey.

This is why it’s so important for us to ask God for direction, find our identity in Him, and trust that He didn’t make a mistake when he plotted our lives. He designed us to overcome.

One other thing that has stuck with me about writing is this statement: The darker the black moment, the more powerful the resolution.

When everything is going wrong then life gets even worse—which it usually does—I know it’s part of God’s plan. I shake my fist at heaven and say, “I am onto you. As much as this sucks right now, you are allowing it to give me a powerful story of overcoming so that I can encourage others to do the same.”

This is what story is all about. This is why the Bible repeatedly tells us to tell our stories. If writing from experience, we aren’t only quoting Genesis when we say, “What you intended against me for evil, God intended for good.” It’s personal. And it’s powerful.

So whether you’re a writer, or God has given you other amazing gifts, don’t take them for granted. And when life seems to turn on you, know it’s not the end. You have been prepared for this. Now go make your own life story one worth telling.

“What you intended against me for evil, God intended for good.” It’s personal. And it’s powerful. @AngelaRuthStrong is at #SeriouslyWrite today with encouragement for your writing journey.

Authors are on their own Hero's Journey. Find encouragement to overcome your life's obstacles at #SeriouslyWrite today. @angelaruthstrong


A Cuppa Trouble
Can a couple of baristas chase down a car thief without spilling a drop of their favorite drink?

Plans for a Valentine's Day grand opening of a small-town coffee shop go awry when the first customer is killed. Evidence points toward the victim being mixed up in a car theft ring, but shop owners Tandy and Marissa have reason to believe he was framed. An assortment of suspects--from a pink-haired heir to Tandy's charming ex--all seem to know a little too much about grand theft auto.

Without approval from either their boyfriends or the gum-chewing FBI agent in charge, the shop owners go on stakeouts, plan stings, and pursue justice in a high-speed car chase. If they don't find the killer soon, it might be more than their love lives in trouble.


Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there's nothing else she'd rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon bestsellers. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK. Visit her at She'd love to hear from you.

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