Posts tagged ‘writing fiction’

Quality Christian Fiction: A Prayer from a Friend

This is not mine, but the ache of every Christian writer.

My friend Jackie Lea is amazing, both as a writer and a woman. Is her heart’s cry, which places the echoes of mine so fully into words, the same as yours? Read her prayer/post here.

http://lightsallaround.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/quality-christian-fiction/

P.S. You should also check out the rest of her blog. It will give you writer’s envy, but it is so worth it. Gorgeous stuff!

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Burnt out Writer: Hating your Love

This might seem ridiculous, but I haven’t had the urge to write for a while. I’ve thought about it, to be sure; I’ve never stopped brainstorming. But I haven’t been able to bring myself to write ever since I poured myself into my last major project: my senior portfolio in college. It’s been a few months since then, but I still haven’t been able to creatively put words on a page–and enjoy it.

Maybe I’m the only one experiencing this, but it seems that if I push myself so hard on a writing project, when it’s all said and done, even if I’m happy with it, I’ll just be burnt out. Out of fuel. And I begin to hate what I love. I’ve been working towards forcing myself to write, but when I don’t have the desire, the result ends up being less than satisfactory.

I’ve heard that this should wear off this fall, when I would have been starting classes if I were still in school. I’m just not sure I want to wait that long. Have you ever been burnt out to the point of hating to do what you used to love? Was there any way to fix it, besides waiting for it to go away? And when I don’t care, you won’t get much of anything good on here, either. And that’s rather annoying for you all, I suppose.

Any suggestions? I am really tired of hating what I love.

Pretty much sums it up right now.

Are You Awake?

The good news is, if you read my last post, I found a book that can hold my interest. Maybe even awes me a little. Forbidden by Ted Dekker is my latest binge, and I’m almost through it in two days of on and off reading. The bad news is, he stole a concept that I had played with about three years ago, just waiting until I had time to write again before it became anything more concrete and serious. Figures.

Image

“Pain is in the mind.” Says Inception… a movie about dreams. Hmm.
Snagged the photo from greenteamovie.blogspot.com

Anyway, now that the reading update is out of the way, I want to discuss another topic with you. After dinner this evening, my family launched into a discourse on weird things that humans do on a regular basis. We ended up on dreams, when my brother mentioned that he has felt pain before in his dreams. I have as well, and my dad, while my mom sat by and looked skeptical. She had never had anything like that happen before, and then we debated for a long time whether one had to experience a sort of physical stimulus in order for the brain to misinterpret it as pain, or if it could conjure the idea of pain in the mind, being felt in the dream, disappearing upon awaking. Needless to say, we came to no conclusion.

But that had me thinking: do you think we experience anything during our waking hours that is conjured by the mind? It may not be real at all. Maybe we’re dreaming already, waiting to wake up. Do you think we could experience things differently? Is what we feel, see, think, hear in dreams really so far removed from reality?

I’m not going to go into weird psychological stumblings about whether what we see or not is real. How do we really know what we think we really know, and such. But what if our brain did conjure some things? Oh look, I tied it back to Ted Dekker again. Maybe you all should just read Forbidden. Maybe this would make a little more sense. 

Do you think you’re really awake? Are our dreams as ethereal as we make them out to be? 

How about this: are you ever inspired to write because of dreams, no matter how dumb or uninteresting the initial dream might have been?

Looking to Be Awed

It’s been a while since I’ve read any fiction novel worth raving about. Sure, I put up a post about the Hunger Games, and while I recommend it still, it’s more for the social commentary in it (particularly the parallels between the Capitol and America now) than any particular craft or beauty of wording. I do believe it was a book worth reading, and it has its moments, yet it had nothing of extreme beauty that made me fall in love with it.

The last book I read that led me to rave about story and craft was Ted Dekker’s Circle Trilogy (the original three, the real three, as in, not including Green). Black in particular was my absolute favorite… a rereading might be in order. Yet there’s something missing in my mind, I think, when I don’t have a book that I can read for the first time and be awed by it.

I am sorry to report that I just finished reading a book by C.S. Lewis that I only kind of enjoyed. I know, it makes me sad too. And while I did like Till We Have Faces, I can’t say I’m in love. Not enough to rave. Which is a new thing between Lewis and me. And I don’t think I like it. That’s what let me know that I need to start looking to be awed.

So I’m wondering: Have you come across any books lately that you absolutely love? Not something that is merely recommendable, but one that you can rave about. Fiction is preferable. I just graduated, and I am going to read for FUN.

Thanks, all.

P.S. I’ll hopefully be putting up some new posts about writing soon, but I’m also looking for inspiration–and a little rest to jumpstart my drive to write again after finishing senior project. A little burnt out from that yet. There hasn’t been much time for musing, let alone wardrobe-sitting. Thanks for your patience and comments. I appreciate you all!

A Glimmer of Whimsy

What’s on my mind today? Whimsy.

My idea of Whimsy. Thanks to my lovely friend Jackie for putting these pictures on her Facebook page for admiring pleasure

It’s kind of a word that insinuates (at least in my mind) rainbows, strange little bunny-like animals, maybe a few hippie spirals, and cotton candy blue. It means sparkles, maybe even a caffeine high. And giggling. Lots of giggling. But as I sat down with my senior writing project, I began to wonder, why is so much fiction today so depressing? And why should I write that way?

A couple weeks ago, I sat in the lovely chapel at Northwestern College listening to Leif Enger (best-selling author of Peace like a River, which regrettably, I have not yet read) speak about his writing process and his thoughts on what writing should be. I think what stood out to me the most was his references to whimsy in the life of the writer. I actually had the chance to go up and speak to him the next day and discuss writing with him and my frustration with depressing literature, especially for young adults. While I can’t repeat here exactly what he said, since I don’t accurately remember his quote (and he could say it better than I could even think to write), he said that while life is gritty and sometimes harsh, there are glimmers, moments of true delight and whimsy, and that I shouldn’t forget to write about those times too.

He used the word whimsy to describe delight. Those two concepts had never truly connected in my head before. So what is whimsy? It’s the moments that glimmer, the ones that make tuck your knees to your chest and curl your toes, grinning like a child on her birthday. It’s a moment of innocence, watching a girl twirl in a white sundress with a bouquet of dandelions in her hand.

Then realizing that the girl is you.

The Hunger Games: Twisting Out of Corners

One of the Movie Posters, taken from http://www.fushionmag.com/ May the odds be ever in your favor.

I think I’m going to jump on the bandwagon… I read The Hunger Games. I saw the trailer for the movie coming out on March 23rd, 2012, and decided that if I was going to see the movie, I might as well know how well it compares to the book, which has been a best-seller in the world of YA lit. Needless to say, I read the whole thing in two afternoons, during which absolutely no homework got done.

This might be a good point to insert a DISCLAIMER: I’m going to start talking about the book now, and I am not responsible for the comments that may pop up regarding spoilers for the book or the movie. My point here is to start conversation, so if you’re worried about reading something that will ruin the end of the book/movie, you’ve been warned.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that Collins did a masterful job with the book. While not particularly exciting in terms of diction or word choice, the voice was in first-person present tense (a voice very difficult to pull off). Plus, the words, dialogue, and descriptions all match beautifully with her portrayal of the main character, Katniss. I was immediately drawn into the story, what with my identification with Katniss, as well as the present-tense voice that keeps the reader involved in every aspect of the story. Then, there’s the TWIST ENDING! Oh my goodness, I had some suspicions about the reversal of the rule put forth in the middle of the Games, and that it would be reversed, but I was so scared that she was going to kill off one or two of my favorite characters!

To stop my ranting, I have to applaud Collins for backing herself into a proverbial corner, plot-wise. I wonder, did she plan how to end it when she arrived at that point in the story, or did she have to think on the spot? Many characters have done this to me; then I have to find a way to keep them out of the trouble they instigated. Is it risky for writers who don’t plan out their books, but more write on the fly, to let the plot drag them into situations such as the showdown on the last day of the Hunger Games? What is the effect on readers if the writer does not satisfactorily resolve such a situation? Also, why create a character like Katniss, who doesn’t even understand her feelings throughout much of the book? Are characters who do not know their own minds more relatable, or just more fun?

You can comment if you’re stoked about the movie too. Oh, and when it comes to getting tickets for opening night, may the odds be ever in your favor.

Thankful for the Unseen

What I am thankful for? Right now, the joy of imagination. The incredible experience of seeing what others cannot. I don’t think we writers understand how beautiful it is to be misunderstood. Just because we don’t see things the same way doesn’t mean we aren’t seeing. Another blog I was reading today reminded me of that. Her writing is lovely as well; here’s the post that inspired me, if you want to check it out (http://prayersoflight.blogspot.com/2011/11/world-of-dreamer_21.html#.TssiU1Zn2Ag).

But really, when people scrunch up their noses when you describe how winter smells, or if lines tug their foreheads when you say that a song sounds like a color, or when one picture erupts into glass shards that melt into a world in your mind, what do you think? Are you thankful that you can see the magic flitting behind each shape? There is something magical about the imagination, something svelte and radiant. And when I describe an emotion as a scene, while I might be the only one who can see it, I am thankful that I can see it.

Found this on Christine Lusk's Pinterest site of "Lovely Stained Glass." Check out more here: http://pinterest.com/christineann/lovely-stained-glass/

Writing, then, is the beautiful struggle to help others see it too. What do you see that others do not understand, yet they know that they long to behold? How often do you take your imagination for granted? I know I do, nearly every day. A great imagination is a gift, one that cannot be taught or given by man. It has the power to go beyond words, so that even the finest wordcrafting is insufficient except to describe a small corner of a cathedral, a marble chip that is glorious, but does not reflect the stained glass windows. I am thankful for the chance to see the windows, even if all I can describe is the pattern they illumine and spread on the floor.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I want to know, what are you thankful for?