Out of Order

by Marcia Lee Laycock
I’m what they call a “seat of the pants” writer.
That means I don’t sit down and concoct a lengthy outline and figure out my
story from beginning to end. I just dive in and write, figuring it out as I go.
I find this style invigorating. I never know what might happen in the next
paragraph.
The story usually comes to me in scenes – I’ll be
happily spinning my tale when, pop, here comes another scene that might not
necessarily be next in the plot. I stop and put these “out of the blue” scenes
into a separate file and add them in later. That works. Most of the time. But
there is a down side to writing this way. Sometimes things get mixed up.
Sometimes things are out of order. And sometimes I end up in an editing
nightmare.
Like the other day, when I was working on the second
book of my fantasy series and had the nagging feeling that something was out of
order. So I painstakingly did a chapter by chapter outline and found a couple
of things that had to be moved. A character can’t suddenly be talking to
someone she meets two chapters later. The villain can’t put his schemes into
action until he’s given the information he needs in order to carry them out. Those
kinds of mistakes are a little annoying to our readers! That’s why a structural
edit is crucial for writers like me. And that pertains not just to my work, but
to my life.
Sometimes our lives can be out of order. We start
the day in a rush and forget to even breathe a “good morning, Lord,” before
diving into our schedule. We’re half way through the day before we realize
something isn’t right. Maybe we’re a bit snappy with colleagues or our family
members. Maybe we just feel a little ‘off.’ And then there are those days when
things just go all wrong, things happen that don’t make any sense at all and often
they are difficult or even painful.
That’s when it’s time to do a structural edit of our
lives and put things in the right order; that’s when we need to “be still and
know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). And that’s when we can take great comfort in
knowing that there is a Sovereign over it all, an Author, who knows the
beginning and the end, and every single detail of the plot of our lives. He has
made sure that all is in order, even when it seems in chaos.
Hebrews 12:2,
says – “I desire to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat
down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
That’s the right
order – scene number one – focus on Jesus.
****
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta
Canada where she is a pastor’s wife, mother of three adult daughters and
care-giver to two golden retreivers. She was the winner of The Best New
Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her second
novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary fiction
category of The Word Awards. Marcia also has two devotional books in print as
well as two ebooks. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke,
Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. 
Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers is available on Amazon.