Posted tagged ‘my novel’

About My Novel: Premise

October 31, 2009

I suppose it’s time to talk a bit about the 95,000 words I extruded from my mind over the last five years.  I was thinking about how the Bible is full of ‘heroes’, men and women God sent into difficult circumstances to fulfill his plans, and the often exciting and even supernatural events that fill those stories.  I think it is no accident that we begin teaching children about God’s word through the stories of David and Goliath, Noah, Jonah and the like.  They are exciting and inspiring, filled with danger and success based in faith.

One question every Christian has asked is why we don’t see great heroes in the same supernatural stories now?  Why don’t we hear of modern-day David’s slaying Goliaths?  Why don’t giant fish swallow modern-day Jonahs and carry them to their God-established destinations?  Why doesn’t God send a modern-day Moses to right dictators and despots in the world?

My story supposes that these monumental events do still go on – but that we don’t necessarily hear about them for a variety of reasons.  There are people, called by God, to confront great evils and fulfill God’s plans in a more epic way.  These people, like those of the Bible, are common-place.  They are challenged by the same weaknesses we all face, but are thrown into extraordinary circumstances in service to God.  The story is a diamond of personal growth in faith and understanding, set in a golden setting of epic evil and danger.  More later!

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Edgy Christian Fiction

October 20, 2009

One thing I struggle with is the balance between producing writing that is sufficiently isolated to be consumed by the Christian market, and the desire as a writer to present realistic characters with real-world challenges in exciting circumstances. I feel that this is the definition of edgy christian fiction.  We all know the taboos; drinking, sex, violence, cursing, etc.  I say isolated because this is basically how a writer must craft their characters in many ways – remove them from the realistic truths of the world, and still strive to make them realistic.

It’s a challenge to produce interesting fiction, especially in genres like supernatural suspense, that don’t go too far.  It also, in my opinion, can be detrimental to the work.  When a character is struck, they bleed.  People are challenged by all manner of shortfallings and thorns in their flesh – but to write about them can be treading on dangerous ground.

One character in my book is a woman who was molested as a child.  It is critical to her character and her role in the story.  However, I do not ever get into too much detail – more suggestions and shadows.  But is even the suggestion of her past too much?  Will Christians “tsk tsk” and shake their heads, setting the story aside?  Or will the compelling characteristics of an individual with a huge personal challenge to their faith and their very life cause them to read on, enthralled by the very things that we face as human beings daily?

Another character is a gang leader – a man with morals that would make most Christians blush.  However, I refrain from using the language that would normally flow from the mouth of such a person.  He becomes an odd charicature of what he should be, in order to make the novel palatable by Christian consumers.

My novel is very action-centered also.  It is exciting, suspenseful.  But, where there’s active confrontation, there is violence.  People die.  I tone down the violence as far as possible without removing it.  It needs to serve it’s purpose.  Confrontation without risk is like running a race with no competition.

Perhaps my book is too ‘un-sanitized’ for Christian markets.  It bothers me because, to me, the depth of character and distance from the mundane is what makes a novel rich and worth the hours a reader will invest.  Christian markets are evolving, but the taboos still seem to hold their place.

A Story to Share

October 10, 2009

By way of introduction, I am a writer of Christian Fiction (let’s call it Supernatural Suspense), and I have a tale to tell.  The story you’ll find here is about the story I’ve written.  About how I wrote it.  About the challenges I faced and the tools I used.  It spans a five year journey that spawned a 95,500 word manuscript, of which I am very proud.  It, like this blog, is a tale I had to tell, as it would simply not remain quiet within me.

I appreciate any ideas, criticisms, and collaboration any reader may offer.  After all, a tale untold is like a love unspoken.  We writers know that is a road to regret.  However, we also know that the other road, the one to the left with the foreboding sign which reads “Professional Writer’s Market”, is daunting, demanding, and lined with failed attempts to traverse its long miles.  Yet we must tell…

Please, enjoy what I have to share.  I hope I may offer useful advise to fellow writers and look for your thoughts in return.  Thanks