Action Verbs – An Endless Christmas with Author Cynthia Ruchti

Cyn Softer photo 2 Cynthia RuchtiToday I am happy to welcome my friend and amazing writer Cynthia Ruchti.

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in Hope through her novels, novellas, devotions, and nonfiction, and through speaking for women’s events/retreats and writers’ conferences/workshops. She draws from 33 years of experience writing and producing the 15-minute daily radio broadcast, “The Heartbeat of the Home.” Her books have received recognition from RT Reviewers’ Choice, PW Starred Review, Selah Awards, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, CLASSeminars Award of Excellence, Golden Scroll Awards, and more. She serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, is a board member of the Deliver Hope ministry, and is part of the worship team at her church. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

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Epiphany. It means one thing in the church calendar year—the day commemorating the Magi visit to the Christ Child—and means another in writer terms.

Writers view epiphanies most frequently from the alternate definition—a sudden insight, a moment of revelation. We discover the protagonist’s true, heretofore- unknown motivation. We realize in a flash how to extract a character from the corner into which we’ve painted him or her. It suddenly becomes clear how the book needs to end. We discover something about ourselves while writing about imaginary characters and their conflicts.

Writers love epiphanies. Almost as much as readers do.

Many of us considered it an epiphany moment when we discovered the true power of action verbs. He stormed to the car vs. He made his way to the car. She drove her point with dagger-like words vs. She spoke harshly.

Aha! Epiphany! Richer, more engaging sentences, more visual, captivating scenes.high res An Endless Christmas

As I reread the first chapters of the book of Luke during my Christmas preparations this year, I noted the action verbs in the prophet Zechariah’s perspective about the coming Messiah—Jesus. He blessed God for sending Jesus, whom He knew was mere months away from being born. In Zechariah’s blessing (Luke 1:68-75), he referred to God’s activity, not merely theological concepts. He listed, among others, these action words on God’s part:

 He comes to help and delivers his people.

 He raised up a might savior

 He brought salvation from our enemies and from the power of all those who hate us

 He shows the mercy promised

 He rescues from the power of our enemies

Mary’s song of praise when explaining to Elizabeth that she’d been tasked with carrying the Messiah in her womb (Luke 1:47-55) includes these action words:

 He scatters those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations

 He pulls the powerful down from their thrones

 He lifts up the lowly

 He fills the hungry with good things

 He comes to the aid of his servant

And why? That too is an epiphany for many of us. Why did God act by sending Jesus? “So that we could serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes, for as long as we live,” Luke 1:75 CEB. We don’t need to wonder why. It’s spelled out clearly.

Some may believe faith—and writing—are passive. But compelling writing—and compelling faith—use action verbs.

How is that playing out in your Christmas reflections this year?

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

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