Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Using Little Miracles to Create Grand Destiny

     I discovered this tidbit in "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass: “Little miracles become our personal myths. What are the little miracles that bring your characters to their moments of grand destiny?...Revisit them in retrospect, and the hand of God will show in your story.”  

     Touch points of God’s presence are memorable. They impact us. They give us hope. They change us. 

     I was pondering this recently while waiting for the release of Kernels of Hope, an anthology of incidents of God's hand in the lives of everyday people (Majesty House). Whether it’s surviving a train wreck or seeing provision through extraordinary means, the message of God’s love and grace is evident.

     Non-believers would call this fate or kismet or perhaps, karma. The point is everyone recognizes we have a place in the universe. Interesting occurrences, whether titled interventions or coincidences, leave their impact. Fictional characters are enhanced when they, too, experience such moments.

     For example, I have an angry believer running from God. She continually makes wrong choices that increase her suffering. One day she finds a cat in desperate circumstances. Because it resists her help, it dies. This mirrors her own fight with the Savior. The revelation changes everything.

     In your current works in progress, do your protagonists come to a moments of truth? Does something happen that causes them to change direction? Does a seemingly inconsequential meeting hold lasting import? What are the “little miracles” that produce “moments of grand destiny”?

     If you don’t have an example from your own work, try using this situation to create a grand destiny: A general call to prayer for a brittle diabetic results in a donated insulin pump. 

     I look forward to seeing God's hand at work in your story ideas.

 Mary Allen lives in the Midwest with her husband and a German Short Hair Pointer. She loves God's Word which never changes and also enjoys playing with words which can be endlessly changed. She writes women's fiction and was La Porte County Poet Laureate from 2010-2011.

Today she rescued a brood of eight panicked ducklings by quacking them to shore. Little Miracle or Grand Destiny? You be the judge.


  1. Hahaha--you quacked them to shore? And they responded? I love it!

    Yes, my protag comes to a moment of truth when, in a fit of anger, he throws a skull "at God" and finally sees the parallel of his spiritual status with a dead soldier's physical status.

    I enjoyed your post--thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Thanks for rescuing the ducklings! As I look out my window in my office, there are adorable little goslings playing on my lawn by the pond.

    Loved your post. Very true about the little miracles and I'm a fan of David Maass, too!

  3. Steph and Karla, they were young enough that when they saw a swan in the middle of the lake they headed for it as if it were mommy, quacking like crazy. I could see they were tiring, so I started to quack and it took them about five minutes to swim in, but I was pleased they didn't drown. I think I'll write about them on the 24th on The Barn Door dot com (with photos.)

    Thanks for showing your moment of truth, Steph.

  4. Good blog, Mary. Thanks for sharing it.