Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Write Way (pardon the pun)

Q. What is the right way to write?

Well, we can find the answer where all answers are found...in God's word!

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31
(emphasis added)

You might be thinking, "Yes, I know that!  But I thought you were going to tell me some life-changing writing tip that will cause publishers to clamor for my books and give me a place in the literary hall of fame!"  Sorry, but I don't have any advice that guarantees that, because honestly, I don't know what God has in store for you.  He might plan for you to be a famous author, or maybe a doctor or a stay at home homeschooling mom, or a missionary overseas or a lawyer, or something not mentioned - I don't know!  I don't know what God has in store for my future, either, but I do know, that whatever it is, I should do it for God's glory.

When I was younger I promised that I would always mention God at least once in all my books, or, make the book an allegory.  That covered me, right?  I could check, "glorifying God" off the list, right?  Well, I don't think that's quite what God wants. He doesn't just want a checkmark on a list - He wants everything - after all, He created us and gave us our talents!  We should use them to honor and please Him!

It's true, I still do try and mention God in all my books, or have some allegorical theme.  I don't do it just to "check off the box" (or, as the British would say, "tick the box") but because I want the book to glorify God, not just by respectfully mentioning Him, but by having Him in the book, as part of the story.

Many of my books have the gospel written into them. Granted, it's can be hard to write every book with an evangelical message, but that's not necessarily what God is asking, either.  What does God want us to put in our books?  Well, that's not for me to answer - you'll have to talk to Him!

But going back to that "write" way to write...  the answer is:

A. For the glory of God

Sometimes I still struggle with this, knowing that God gave me the ability to write. This was not given to be my idol - certainly not!!! - but given so I can honor Him.  Writing should never be more important to you than God. It's important to spend time with Him and ask Him His advice concerning your novel.  For me personally, I don't write just to gift my readers enjoyment - I want to give them something along with the adventure, something they can learn or remember.

Occasionally I think we should step back and evaluate our writing.  I'm not saying it's a sin to work on your book five hours of the day, or to draw pictures of your characters and stick them up on your walls.  That's up to you and God to discuss. It's certainly not a sin to utilize the gifts God has given us, we just have to use them the right way. If you're obsessing over writing and characters, maybe it's just time to spend a few more minutes in God's Word.

I once wondered what I would do if God asked me never to write again.  Honestly, I really don't want God to ask me that!  It would be tough.  I love and enjoy writing, as well as sharing my work with others. I love to entwine important truths inside the words of the book, hoping and praying that my readers will be changed for the better, after reading my novel.  But ultimately our gifts and we ourselves belong to God, and if He asked me never to write again, the right thing to do would be to obey Him.

So the right way to write is...

1. Write for God's glory!
2. Never let your writing become more important than God is in your life

Don't forget to thank Him for His gifts, either!

-- Klara C.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. ~ James 1:17

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Anatomy of a Novel

As I wondered what my first article about writing would cover, I decided upon the parts of a story.

When I first began writing, I learned nearly everything about novels, from reading novels.  I had never read a "How to Write Better" book, or studied the internet, or read essays on the subject.  I simply wrote.

However, whether unconsciously or consciously created, books have a plot line.  Generally, it contains the following parts:

The Freytag Plot (Apparently Freytag was a guy who divided story into five parts...)

1. "Exposition" (Introduction)
2. "Rising Action" (Conflict)
3. Climax
4. "Falling Action"
5. "Denouement" (Conclusion / Resolution)

This might sound weird and complicated.  The list looks kind of intimidating.  I hadn't fully researched these five parts at all, until today, when working on this article.

From my understanding, in the introduction, the characters are, of course, introduced.  You want to "set the stage" (pardon the cliche) for the rest of the novel.  You want to give the reader a chance to become acquainted with your peeps.  You might introduce some goals and personality traits of the character (although these can also appear through a result of circumstances, throughout the book).

Don't wait too long through - impatient readers (such as myself) will soon grow tired of meeting your characters and find something else to read, unless you throw in some conflict.  This is a significant part, since the conflict is what will cause your reader to become interested in reading the rest of the book.  They might even begin to worry about what will happen to the main character.  Through the rising action, the character battles the conflict.

Apparently the climax comes next.  I always thought the climax took place at the end of the book, but according to various websites, it takes place after the rising action.  The climax provides a turning point of the story, perhaps a character making a decision or an epic battle.

One website did not include falling action as part of the plot, but this is where evil seems like it will win and "all hope is lost" (again, pardon the cliche).

However, in the resolution, the last conflict takes place, and good triumphs over evil (I hope!).  The story concludes happily (or not so happily), and the author types (or hand-writes), "the end".

Although I personally don't think you should freak out if your story does not exactly follow these plot points, they certainly are something to consider!  As I researched for this article, I found the Freytag Plot structure very interesting!

Note there is also a Freytag Pyramid that diagrams this structure... I drew a copy of it for ya!

Well, that's that, my first blog post!  I think the next posts will be more of my personal thoughts on writing, but I found the pyramid thing intriguing!

-- Klara C.

Please note although I will often use the words, "novel", "book" or "story" interchangeably, although every part of the article should generally be applicable to short stories, novels, novellas, etc. 


You're probably contemplating my sanity.

I already have 4 blogs...  why would I desire to add another?

I attempted to warn you I might open a writing blog...and here it is!  These pages will be dedicated solely to the art of writing.  I've had so many ideas for writing articles waltzing around in my head that I decided it would be impolite to shove them all into my personal blog.  Instead, I'll insert them here!  

Writing advice, tips, or even writing randomness - read them here!
What's going on in my life / what I've been reading, watching or doing lately - check out www.klarabellecandy.blogspot.com

If you're interested in writing or learning more about writing a novel, please subscribe to this blog (that is, if you feel so inclined).  Thanks again for your support.  I hope my future articles will be beneficial to you!!!

Klara C.