Follow my journey toward publication. Laugh, cry, point and stare-- it's all good. I'll leave a trail so that you, my fellow author, may have a straighter path to finding your own elusive publishing contract. Adventure awaits. Let's travel together...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3 Steps To Writing A Christ-Centered Novel

Please enjoy this repost today, due to my gimpy arm.  :-) Drawing winner announced Friday.

Alrighty folks, here it is.  The simple (yeah, right) steps to writing a captivating spirit-filled story.

How to write a Christ-centered novel:

1) Pray.  Ask the Lord to give you a story to tell.  Ask Him what message He would have you convey through your writing.  Always keep your time with Him a priority.  Remember: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."  When we try to skirt around spending time communing with God, often with the excuse of spending that time instead writing something to convey His message, we shoot ourselves in the foot.  For the Christian novelists, it's HIS story we want to tell.  So how can we know what that is if we don't meet with Him and spend time where we just shut up and listen?  When it's time to write a new story, first spend time being a Mary.  Sit at His feet and listen to His words of Life.  When He speaks to you through your quiet times and Bible reading, or jolts you through a sermon, song, or online devotion- hold onto that message!  If some spiritual lightbulb goes off and gives you goosebumps, that just may be the thread that He wants you to weave into your story.

2) How can that message which He impressed on your heart be illustrated in real life?  Your pastor does this in his sermons when he shares a brief personal story to underscore a bit of truth he is presenting.  Jesus did this in His parables.  You get the privilege of doing the same thing and taking it deeper, farther.  But just start by considering what situation- from your real life experiences or from hypothetical ones- would demonstrate the message God has been whispering to you? Heartache or addiction or betrayal perhaps?  Got the basic idea?  Now it's time for fun.  We get to go 'Further Up and Further In'...

3) Time to play the 'what-if' game!  Take your basic concept and really wade through it. I mean, what if it really happened?  See those purple ribbons on all those trees in the summer?  What if you really lost your child by leaving them in the car?  Depressing idea right?  We're not done yet.  Really immerse yourself in it... you walk up to your car and see your daughter through the window- what happens first?  How do you feel?

You're going to do that with your own 'what-if' scenario:

What if.... you lost everything, like Job did?  What if... your spouse was diagnosed with cancer, your husband cheated on you, your father was caught embezzeling, your daughter was abducted, your son rejected Christ, or your best friend died? (There are lots of what-ifs!)  This is where your novel will find its conception.  One or more of these ideas will take root and capture your imagination.  It may sound morbid, but allow yourself to really think about the nitty gritty of what it would be like.  Some questions to get you started:

How would you feel in that moment of discovery?  What would you say to God?  [By the way, this is where your story begins- not with the years, months, or weeks leading up to the 'event'].  What might God and/or your pastor say to you?  How would you receive it at first? What might be a catalyst to finally get through to you?[This is your Middle] How would those closest to you feel? [secondary characters/subplots] How would you get through that?  If you allowed God to have His way with you, what beautiful truth would shine forth at the end of such a dark time? [And this of course is your Ending] Hey- is it the same message God has been putting on your heart through devotions lately?  BINGO!   You've found His novel!

Congratulations.  Now what?  Why, Snowflake of course!


Jessica R. Patch said...

Okay, first of all I am praying for quick healing. Broken wrist...writer's nightmare.

I agree, we can't knock out our personal time with God since He's ultimately giving us the story! :)

Marji Laine said...

I'm so sorry for your gimpy wrist! Lifting you up through the pain.

On the other side of that, the pain is my biggest struggle. For a gal who gets misty at a good McDonald's commercial, it's really hard to feel my way through the pain, but I'm working on it.

This article is inspiring, though! Definitely one of my favs for this week! :)

Michelle Massaro said...

Thank you both for commenting. =)