Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Novel Notes

Many of you of you have been kind enough to enquire as to how my novel writing project is coming along, so I thought I'd give you a quick update. Even without getting much writing done Sunday (Father's Day) or yesterday (all I could think of to write was "I'm HOT!") I have passed the 43,000 word mark on my way to between 50 and 60 thousand. More importantly, I actually LIKE what I have written so far! Usually when I start one of these projects I get to around 20,000 words, re-read what I have written, decide it is all crap and just quit. So a brand new challenge lies ahead of me now- coming up with the right ending and actually finishing this thing! It does finally have a working title, but you don't get to know that just yet. I know- I'm such a tease! :)

I am sure as this process continues I will have many more things to add to this list, but today I would like to share with you 3 things I have learned about myself as I seek to write this book. None of them are mind-blowing or earth shattering, but they are things that smack me in the face every time I sit down to write this particular story. 

  1. I am writing fiction, yet so many of the people, places and stories in my novel are very real. I have taken the best (and occasionally the worst) things about many of the people I know and combined them to make interesting characters. The lesson to me has been the reminder that I have lots of wonderful friends and that I have lived a very interesting life. In fact, my life has already been a great adventure! It's fun to get to celebrate that without gloating or naming actual names. OK- who's getting a little nervous now?  
  2. I love writing and story telling. It lights me up inside to be able to delve so deeply into the lives of my characters and use my extensive vocabulary to paint pictures. My grammar skills are rusty, but I'm working hard at fixing issues with sentence structure and other such 9th grade English class types of issues. But what I have I really learned about such things is this- I HATE punctuation!!!  As the Waterboy's mama might say, "Punctuation is of de debil!"
  3. This is not a "Christian novel." I say that in the same sense many people would say that U2 is not a Christian band, despite the obvious influences their personal beliefs have on their music. This novel is not explicitly about religion, and the characters are often not angelic in their behavior. But this is very much a story about faith. It's a story of failure, grace and redemption. The characters lift each other up and love one another in ways the church would be wise to emulate. It is highly unlikely this book will ever be published, but if it were to be, I am quite certain it is not the kind of thing that would be sold in Christian bookstores. But maybe it should be. Real faith is messy. I am learning both as an author and as a human being that when we share the mess we also share our belief in the One who picks us up when we fall and when we fail.
So there's my update. Thanks to the many of you of have been asking how things are going and have bee praying for this process. I'll try to keep you posted from time to time on my progress. In the meantime, I'm off to Lakeland today to have lunch with Lisa Kraus Spires and her girls. I hope your day is just a s full of adventure as mine!

Because of Jesus,

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