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Ada Brownell

A pregnant woman sits against a loaded cover wagon, weeping. Her husband, injured in an accident, lies a little distance away in a freshly dug grave.

A man rides up on a horse, exchanges a few words of greeting and says, “Seems like we’re both in a fix. You have no husband and no place to go. I recently buried my wife and have a small child that needs care while I’m working in the fields. If we would marry, that would solve both our problems.”

Since the gal has no alternative, they marry within hours, and thus start a unique marriage that begins with no love, no intimacy, just convenience–but it evolves into one of the greatest romance stories written: Love Comes Softy by Janette Oke.

I don’t know if I’ve remembered every detail of the story correctly, but created in only about three weeks, the book sold over a million copies, became a television series, and launched a career that changed historical inspirational romance.

Janette didn’t use the plot formula of Grace Livingston Hill and even authors today where someone wealthy falls in love with a pauper, and the relationship is violently opposed.

Janette Oke dared to be original.

Originality is a precious aspect of writing. It is evident in much more than plots. It’s what makes Max Lucado’s writing so intriguing to read. Consider this from Max:

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

Beautiful original writing appears in the Bible. For instance, “Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth” (Psalm 110:4NIV)

Note this 45-word God-breathed description: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:10-11NKJ).

Ways to put originality in your writing:

1. Look for a different angle. For instance, in my recent Voice of the Day in The Springfield News-Leader, I wrote about why people hate The Ten Commandments. In an op-ed piece I submitted to The Pueblo Chieftain I asked, “Why do people smoke marijuana when there are more side effects than addiction?” In both, I believe the answers were original.

2. Include factual research, illustrations, and good quotes.

3. Tune up your writing style. Turn phrases in unique ways instead of using cliches, add humor, description, fiction techniques and create suspense.

4. Use dialogue, the senses in description, write in active tense instead of narration or summarizing.

5. Use the unexpected with words, action or development.

In her book, Word Painting, Rebecca McClanahan says the best way to achieve originality is to be yourself. “When we are writing from the center of ourselves, our metaphors are organic, unforced, springing from imagination rather than fancy.”

Rebecca says children draw naturally from original sources.

I found that to be true. Recently while we were in Florida, my 5-year-old granddaughter said, “Granny, you must be really old. “Your skin is all crinkled.”

It pays to learn from these moments, even if they do cause pain.

© Copyright Ada Brownell March 2014


Twitter: @adellerella

Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement

Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

BarnesandNoble.com: http://ow.ly/rFSW3

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