Writing: The God Factor

I felt driven to write THE PRINCE IN THE TOWER, a romance that reflects a Biblical view of love and marriage.   When I started writing the novel, I didn’t have an outline, but I knew how the story would end.  Sometimes I would get a snippet of conversation in my head and run with it, but now and then I would get “stuck.”  During those times, the hand of Providence seemed to intervene.

Most of the novel takes place in an antebellum home with a second story ballroom.  My husband remarked, “There’s no such thing as a second-story ballroom.”  If he was correct, I would have to rewrite pivotal scenes.  A few days later, I was sitting in a cafe when I overheard some women talking about a home in historic Williamsburg with a ballroom on the upper level. I interrupted them to confirm what I heard them say.  Next, Garrison Keillor mentioned a home with a third-story ballroom on his radio program, Prairie Home Companion.  I sighed with relief.  My second-story ballroom could stay in the story.

Chapter 8 takes place at a concert at the Kennedy Center.  During intermission, “Effie” and “Rev. Baldwin” step out on the balcony. I wanted to write the balcony scene, but I needed more information. I wanted to describe the panoramic view from the balcony.  As I was penning THE PRINCE IN THE TOWER, I was also happened to be writing a real estate column for THE CONNECTION, a local paper in Northern Virginia.  As a realtor took me through the home I was going to feature, she mentioned–out of the blue–that she and her husband had just been to the Kennedy Center.  I said, “What can you see when you look over the balcony.”  She replied, “Watergate, Key Bridge, the Lincoln Memorial, and Teddy Roosevelt Island.”  I went home and finished Chapter 8.

ConfederateUniformsetcChapter 17 is the centerpiece of THE PRINCE IN THE TOWER.  It features a Confederate ball for reenactors and their dates.  I wondered how I could write about a Confederate ball when I had never been to one.  Again my real estate column came into play.  As I walked through the house I was going to write about, I stumbled upon a framed photo of a man in a Confederate uniform and a woman dressed in an antebellum gown.  I spoke with the man who told me that the next Confederate ball was two weeks away.  He gave me a phone number.  I made reservations, bought a ball gown, and went to the ball.  With the event fresh in my mind, I was ready to write Chapter 17.

So, if you think that God has “commissioned” you to do something, pray and depend on Him to provide whatever you need to finish the project.


5 thoughts on “Writing: The God Factor

  1. lausannedc

    I love hearing how things come together like a mysterious jig saw puzzle. I’ve realized I MUST go to an Orthodox church to get a feel for my story set in early Byzantium. I know it won’t be exactly the same – my story takes place nearly 1400 years ago – even the Orthodox Church has made some changes since then! But I can’t time/space travel so it will at least give this Protestant a feel for things I can’t get otherwise. Also, I’ve just discovered there is an Antiochian congregation here – which means they are a Middle Eastern/Arabic speaking congregation! So, hopefully I will have fortuitous research hunting as you have :)

    1. Sheryl Wright Stinchcum Post author

      You’ve picked quite a topic, Lausanne! I know that your story is going to be a big success. Researching your topic will be challenging but fun. God will provide everything you need. The puzzle will fall into place as you write. Have you started the book? Keep me posted.


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