f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Day 4 of Meaning – Tips

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Friday, March 25, 2005

Day 4 of Meaning – Tips

It’s Good Friday, so I can’t stay long and won’t keep you long. We have a Tenebrae Service tonight at church…something I’d never heard of before now.

Here’s some tips to consider as you write the very guts of the story…those portions that really get to the heart of your novel.

1. Try not to have them in long sections of dialogue. The eloquence that often comes out in these sections is…unbelievable. This works in plays because all characters get to be more eloquent than their nature. In books, I think characters get a couple real nice "eloquent" lines, but if it’s too much it seems unnatural and scripted.

2. Don’t quote or paraphrase from a sermon you heard or a book that touched you. Because unless you have the most amazing and original pastor ever, if he said, it’s probably something that’s been said and heard elsewhere. Ditto for books.

3. Don’t do it in a dream.

4. Do just write exactly what you mean, as long and detailed as you need. And then go back and edit that. Boil it down to a shining, gleaming point. We’d rather be pierced than bludgeoned.

5. Do dare to have your meaning be difficult to understand and idiosyncratic, yet emotionally stirring. A life changing occurence is not a clinical thing that can be written on a blackboard. It’s much more like getting your heart ripped open or your stomach kicked in by a jackboot.

6. Do open yourself up to the Spirit’s leading here. I don’t pretend that the words I write are transcribed from God’s pen to mine. But if there’s ever an area I’d like as much divine input in as I can get, this would be it.

So there’s six quick tips. Have a soul-enriching Easter.