Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

What Then?


I had a sort of brainstorm last week. See being a fiction author, I don’t want my blog to be so much about me as it is about things you’re interested in. And when I say you I’m specifically meaning folks who enjoy Christian fiction whether writers or readers.

Office Worker with Mountain of PaperworkNiche … niche … niche. From the mountaintops of social media the word comes raining down. All blogs should have one. Bloggers who stay in their niche enjoy building readership and promotions more than writers who tackle too much variety.

And I know that. I really do. I can’t say that I’ve found my niche or have even come close. Because I write Christian fiction, my posts will usually have a spiritual element to them, but then that’s how I think. Other than that, it’s sort of a wash. I write about kids or writing or my journey or writing or books or writing or … you get the idea.

So I’ve been struggling over this whole issue, wanting to find that magical topic. I want to share with you something that will spark interest and encourage.

And all of that comes to this post. Not sure I’ve found my elusive niche yet, but I’m getting closer, I think. I want to try this project out for a few weeks. Let me know how you like it.

The History of My Post

Do you remember reading class in elementary school? I liked it when I got to read aloud, but I confess my distractions set in whenever anyone else read. I’d always read ahead. But my favorite exercise was the one where we had to finish the story or change the ending to it. That’s where this idea came up. Read the initial scene and write what you think happened next. You can share just an idea or a whole new scene. What spark does this inspire? In a couple of weeks, I’ll revisit this scene with your suggestions or come up with something entirely new.

But I can tell you now, this won’t be any fun at all if you don’t play. Come on, you know you want to join us!

What Then?

farmhouseMonica Tremeline intended to stay working at the farm even without the pay. As long as she had a bed and meals, the income didn’t matter that much, at least until her savings ran out. But the set to Ian McEever’s chin–the way his gaze drifted to the rough-hewn timbers that formed the ceiling, and his toe tapped against the hollow floorboards–made it clear. He wanted her to leave. Now.

Whiskered old goat. Why did he have to be so stubborn?

She stomped her extra large work boots through the kitchen daring Laralie McEever to fuss, but found her absent. Just as well. Ian’s ire proved enough of an obstacle. His niece’s superior glare and wicked smirk had threatened Monica’s grace limit before. Today, she’d likely pop that saucy little smile right off Laralie’s mouth and ask God to forgive her later.

Piling her clothes into her dad’s old carpetbag, Monica wiped her sleeve under her nose and sniffed. She refused to cry even as a tear slipped over her lashes.

How could the old man think she’d steal from him? Especially now, during the drought? Hadn’t she proved her loyalty over the last few months?

Questions of where she’d go and what she was supposed to do now skimmed across her mind. But her biggest concern was what Trent would think when he heard she’d been fired.

Your turn: What happens next? Who are these people and what’s in their destinies? 

Don’t forget to come back in a couple of weeks – same Bat-time.

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

2 thoughts on “What Then?

  1. What fun! Can I read this to our kids and let them write an ending, too? Here’s mine (summary rather than actual writing):

    Trent is Monica’s older brother who has taken care of her since their parents died. He doesn’t think Monica can make it on her own and has been telling her not to work at places like this farm. When he hears she’s been fired, he wrongly assumes that she could not do the work. She struggles along, too proud to ask Trent for help and too stubborn to try to explain what really happened. She boards with a lady in town for a while (Rebecca), who listens to all Monica’s troubles and allows her to help with taking in laundry for her room and board.

    Rebecca talks with Laralie and isn’t sure what to think.

    Eventually, Trent ends up talking with Rebecca and finding out what happened. As frustrated as he is with Monica, he realizes that she never would have stolen anything from Ian. He goes to Monica, and they apologize to each other and begin their sibling relationship anew. Trent reassures Rebecca that there must be some understanding.

    Then they all try to figure out who could have stolen from Ian. Is it the stranger that had come to town the week before Ian’s things went missing? Did Laralie do it to frame Monica? How about the little boy that no one knows where he has come from?

    🙂 That was fun!! BTW, I love the phrase “Whiskered old goat.” 🙂