By TLC Nielsen


prayerGod made me finish the rough draft of my first novel last year. He took the year of “free time” I had following major dental surgery and the writing flowed, despite the pain. If His call is on you to write, God will use ALL the things of your life to keep you going, yes even the hard stuff, in a creative variety of ways. For me, he especially used…

The Bible

God steered my land versus sea story through Bible reading.  In the different monthly bible studies I’ve worked through, God pointed out several passages I needed to absorb to keep the plot on course. I even started a list of bible quotes alongside my story resident list, so I can remember the bigger themes God would have in the adventure I’m trying to capture on paper.  The New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the New International Version (NIV) are my favorite translations due to the word-by-word nature of the first and the thought-by-thought translation of the other.  As a poet, I love the KJV (King James Version) I read as a child.

“Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?” God asked in Job 38:16 (NIV)

God also gave me character names and their titles from scripture. Lord of the Star Realms and the Lord of the Air from Ephesians ended up being my protagonist and antagonist respectively. Although I’ve been a Christian for over three decades and have read Ephesians often, I never noticed these details before.

The Hard Stuff

The ways in which God kept my fantasy story alive are numerous, especially when distraction and discouragement plagued me. He brought news stories to my attention to pray over, Kony in Africa and the beheadings of hostages in the Middle East for example, and had me incorporate the issues of today into the world of my characters.

Creative personal challenges entered into my characters’ lives during my year of dentists so God introduced into my writings a small creature whose occupation was a “toothsayer.”  I never envisioned adding dental problems into my characters’ lives. As I write this, I’m going into four weeks of physical therapy and wonder how God will add that in to the midst during the editing and expanding phase of my rough draft.


God’s greatest impact, however, has been through my time with Him in prayer, especially when He has opened my mind to the new directions ahead. He’s  so good at keeping me on task, avoiding the plot bunnies that would lead me astray both in my fantasy world and in real life. He keeps reminding me, daily, when it’s time to meet with him and when it is time to go write it all down.


About the Author

TLC Nielsen, author of the Extraordinary Ordinary blog, enjoys playing jazz trombone, being president of the new Word Weavers On the Border critique group, and writing stories with her family as she finishes editing her first novel, By Land or Sea (fantasy.)