Entering the Writer’s Alternate Reality

23 05 2016

writing[1]I felt tremendous joy and satisfaction this week watching my second novel, A WAY OUT OF HELL, pop up on Amazon.com! Nearly two years of work finally ready to be shared with the world. But if writing a novel is difficult, for me getting the word out to people is much more of a challenge. As my daughter reminds me often, she has 10x as many followers on Facebook as I do. A huge THANKS to any readers who want to help me by passing the word along to others!!

I want to thank my wife for supporting me to write, even though she’s not a big fan of the process. When we get together at dinner, her stories are generally about comforting abused kids, hugging a prostitute, or praying for a naked crazy person on the street. My wife smells a crisis a mile away and wants to be the first to jump in and love somebody who’s hurting.

Then I tell her about my day, with stories equally dramatic, heart-felt and amazing—except they’re not real. I get all teary-eyed about what my fictional character said to her mother, or worried about how my hero is going to get out of the desperate corner I’ve written him into. My wife just stares at me. And if I talk too long, she reminds me that fiction is boring and I should engage in real people’s lives.

One benefit of these conversations is that her real-life stories creep into my book, lending it a realistic authenticity. Another benefit is that when I’m writing, she literally has no interest in bugging me so I get a lot done. But best of all, is that I actually do get inspired by her to stretch my introvert self and once in a while join her “holy, holy chaos.”

I’m sure different authors approach writing differently. For me so far, each book has started with a message I wanted to share, something I believe could truly change my readers’ paradigms. Around the message I built a story about characters wrestling with these issues.

Sometimes halfway through the story, the characters begin to take on a life of their own, and want to take the story to new places I hadn’t planned. I always listen to them, and let them lead. I may be their Creator, but it’s so much more interesting to give them Free Will and see what might happen. 🙂

In both of my books so far that phenomena has occurred, and I’m finding it even more a reality in the third book of the series that I’m editing right now. With God’s help (and some capable friends!) book #3 in the Peace Trilogy will be out by Christmas.

Whether a story is real or fiction, narrative carries the emotive power necessary to open our minds to fresh ways of thinking, to inspire us to take new risks, to envision us with what could be.

Thank you for reading my stories! Please post your feedback for me here or at Amazon.com.

(And if you ever purchase a defective book online, just let me know and I’ll get you a replacement! 🙂 )

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