Monday, May 11, 2020

PLOT TWIST! You're in a Story

The best stories have plot twists.

Everyone is comfortable—the characters, the reader, the whole world humming along, then BOOM. A surprise. Something happens to change the plot.

In award winning western West for the Black Hills, Philip Anderson is comfy. He has a small farm, raises horses, and clings to his security like lovely smells from a rose. Kindness is also a strong trait, and he delivers a horse to a friend. As he’s returning home on his own black Arabian, his horse, Raven, is stolen. He catches a glimpse of the man riding around the corner.

Philip follows the thief through town.

Philip could let the thief have the horse, and his life would just move ahead like nothing happened, just minus his horse. But the story would fall apart, and we’d lose our respect for Philip. Instead, he catches up to the man and calls him out.

After the man dismounts, he argues with Philip until the man draws his gun to fire. Philip draws as well, and is so fast and accurate he fires two shots and hits the man in both shoulders.

He later finds out the man was hired to steal the horse. Why? What’s going on? And in that moment, Philip’s life takes a sudden turn as he uncovers a past about his family he never knew.

Plot Twist.

You’ve had a similar plot twist. Quarantine. Loss of job. Loss of book sales. A country already factionalized and now even more so. Many I know have lost those they love, watching them die alone. Others haven’t seen a case of Covid19 and aren’t entirely sure why their future is dismantled for something that hasn’t affected them in the slightest.

Plot Twist. Like Philip Anderson, you’ve had something stolen from you. Or changed. Or dismantled. And like a character in a book, there is an author. I know what happens to Philip Anderson. I am writing his story.

You have an Author writing your story. Have faith. He knows the end. And that end is for good and not for evil. God’s not writing a postmodern fiction. He’s writing a story that already involves redemption and love.

Know that with every plot twist, your life is being penned by a Master Craftsman, an Artist who tells the perfect story. A story of which you are a character. You're writing the lines of your life with Him. Don't give up! We, as friends and readers of your life, are cheering for you!

The Ballad of (your name here). Enjoy the story you're in, plot twists and all!

You're in a story with a massive plot twist. Now what? #seriouslywrite #writerslife @peterleavell

God's the author of your life. And He's not writing a postmodern fiction. He's writing a story that involves redemption and love. @peterleavell #seriouslywrite

The Ballad of—fill in your name—. How you're in a story with a plot twist. #seriouslywrite @peterleavell

Peter Leavell, a 2007/2020 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and a MA in English Literature, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author, along with multiple other awards. An author, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at

Philip Anderson keeps his past close to the vest. Haunted by the murder of his parents as they traveled West in their covered wagon, his many unanswered questions about that night still torment him.
His only desire is to live quietly on his homestead and raise horses. He meets Anna, a beautiful young woman with secrets of her own. Falling in love was not part of his plan. Can Philip tell her how he feels before it’s too late?
With Anna a pawn in the corrupt schemes brewing in the nearby Dakota town, Philip is forced to become a reluctant gunslinger. Will Philip’s uncannily trained horses and unsurpassed sharpshooting skills help him free Anna and find out what really happened to his family in the wilderness?