(Attitude) Never Give In!

Winston Churchill is famous for many things, but one of his most well-known claims to fame is the speech he gave at his alma mater, Harrow Academy, on October 29, 1941.  In this pivotal speech, Churchill spoke these words: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

We Christian writers have an enemy. His name is Satan, and he has a whole cohort of minions who do his bidding. One of their chief tactics is to discourage those of us who follow Christ. These demonic spirits will place one obstacle after another across our path to keep us from fulfilling our God-given destiny to proclaim His truth through our writing.

What temptation to give in are you facing today? Are you tired and weak in your body and tempted to give in to poor health?  Are you facing a problem in your family and tempted to give up all hope of its ever being resolved?  Are you facing a financial issue that seems bigger than it is?

Whatever the obstacle–whether “force” or “the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy”–don’t give in to it!  Instead, take your shield of faith and your sword of the Spirit and assume the position of offense.  A defensive stance never won a war. An offensive stance will win it every time.

Churchill was right.  Give in only to “convictions of honour and good sense”.  Never give in to anything that is less than what Jesus Christ earned for you through His death and resurrection.

Remember: “We are more than conquerors through Christ Who loved us” (Romans 8:37). And conquerors never give in!


Copyright 2013 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

(Craft) The First Fiction Box: The Setup

In my last post on the craft of fiction-writing, I discussed structuring your story into four parts or four boxes.  For strong story structure, we must put into each box only those story elements that go into that box. To put something in a box that doesn’t belong in that box will weaken your story.

Today, we are going to take a closer look at the first box called the Setup Box. In this box, you will need to place everything that contributes to setting up your story for the reader.  For example, in this first box, you will need to put the following pieces of your story puzzle:

  • The foreshadowing of the antagonist or the antagonistic force;
  • The stakes of the story; in other words, what your protagonist has to lose if she doesn’t reach her goal;
  • The creation of reader empathy for your character.

The setup is just that: the SET UP.  It is not the beginning of your plot. The beginning of your plot occurs at the First Plot Point which happens at the point you have completely filled Box One and are ready to start filling Box Two. This is where your protagonist experiences the transition from her ordinary life to a life turned upside down.

Next time, we’ll take a look at what goes into Box Two of your story.  For a more in-depth study of this topic, check out Larry Brooks’s excellent book, STORY ENGINEERING.

Copyright 2013 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.