Think it’s easy to write? Think again. It’s as easy to write, as it is to have devotions everyday. It’s as easy to write as changing a flat tire. It’s as easy to write as it is to stop going to the refrigerator and eating something every ten minutes. It’s as easy to write, as it is to walk the dog or clean the cat litter or take out the trash that’s been collecting for a week in seven different trashcans around the house. It’s as easy to write, as it is to stop watching Castle or White Collar or Funniest Home Videos. It’s as easy to write, as it is to stop eating those chips! It’s as easy to write, as it is to go to bed early at night. It’s as easy to write, as it is to “take up your cross, deny yourself and follow Jesus.
The fact is: it’s not easy to write. Writing is hard work. It’s hard because it requires time, thoughtfulness and quietness. Writing worth reading requires “into-ness.” What is “into-ness”? Into-ness” means the ability to get “into” your story, get “into” your characters, and get “into” your readers.
“Into-ness” can be easier if you’re focused on one area of writing at a time. The story itself is flowing well. But your main character lacks expression. For instance, as you are writing your story and following an outline or have an idea of where the story is going, you shed more light on one of your characters. It’s your main character. The reader is unsure how Clara would respond to certain, given circumstances.
Clara is with her groupie’s, about eight teens that have been discussing the pros and cons of same-sex attraction. It’s after school in the hallway. In the past, Clara has been quiet and uncommitted to share her Christian beliefs. Suddenly, Amanda, an avowed atheist and in favor of homosexuality, asks her opinion. Clara turns her eyes away from Amanda and doesn’t answer. Amanda calls her a chicken and challenges her to tell her friends her “real” opinions of this so called “unchristian” activity. She is verbally attacked by Amanda, leaves the hallway and runs into a vacant classroom, and just shuts down. Karen follows her. When she sees Karen, she turns away, begins crying uncontrollably, her shoulders sag and she drops to her knees.
Karen: (the attacker): “Serves you right, Clara! Go ahead and cry about it.”
Clara: (stops crying and slowly gets up, still facing away from Karen): “You’re right, Karen. It does serve me right. I should have never turned down that offer to share my true feelings with the group.” (Turning toward Karen) “It’s time to be the real person I am.”
Karen: “What are you talking about? You aren’t made of stone. You’re as mushy as wet clay!”
Clara: “Used to be mushy; now as strong as a stone!” (Begins walking toward Karen, chin set forward, with steps as sure as a soldier) “You better move, Karen, or you will get knocked over!”
Karen: (steps aside) “Whoa! Watch out! What do you think you’re doing?”
Clara: (walks passed Karen and out the door speaking): “I’m going God’s way! Want to come?” (As her voice trails off)
Karen: “Hey, wait for me!” (Runs out of room through doorway)
Now, as a writer, you’ve placed your main character in the middle of big trouble! What will Clara do next and say next? Your job as a writer is to constantly place your characters into the battle zone of this present culture and have them speak the truth in love.
Let’s examine that statement: ‘Speak the truth in love.’
In other words, Clara might say:
“Hey, guys. I really like our times together in the lunchroom, the classroom, and on the track and field teams. But one thing I can’t share with you is my virginity. It belongs to God and will stay that way until I get married.”
Rick: “So, you’re a virgin?”
Clara: “Yeah, and not ashamed of it. My parents were virgins before they got married and I like the feeling of being pure and clean in my relationships.”
Billy: “Then why are you hanging around with us?”
Clara: “We all enjoy the same kinds of activities, don’t we? Just because you’re gay or lesbian doesn’t mean I don’t like you. I just can’t go that far. I want to honor Jesus in my decisions and activities. “
Amanda: “It’s not that you can’t go that far. It’s that you won’t! Right?”
Clara: “Yeah. You said it, Amanda. I’ve made up my mind and I won’t do something that would upset my relationship with Jesus Christ. I want Him on the throne of my heart. That way I won’t have to worry about the consequences of any poor choices I might make.”
Amanda: “So, are you saying my choice to be a lesbian was a poor one?”
Clara: “I can’t speak for you, Amanda or anyone else here. I’m speaking for myself. For me, choosing a lifestyle that is different from the one I see Jesus living in the Bible, is a poor choice over living free from the other choices out there.”
Billy: “As far as I’m concerned, this conversation is over.” (leaves)
The group breaks up, but Karen sticks around.
Karen: “Wow, Clara! Your wet clay turned into solid stone this time. I used to be a Christian.”
Karen: “Yeah. I went to church with my parents and read my Bible.”
Clara: What happened?”
Karen: “I started getting involved with our groupie’s and I quit everything. But you really sound convinced on this Bible stuff. Do you really believe it?”
Clara: “I’ve been a chicken too long! I still read my Bible and pray almost everyday. Yeah, I believe it!”
Writers write on controversial subjects and with lots of problems in their stories. Characters come alive when there is controversy and trouble and tragedy! I like writing dialogue because it allows readers to like or dislike a character by reading the lines of that character. Word descriptions are nice, but they don’t let the character share his/her thoughts, feelings and actions.
Writers write! So, get to it! Finish this dialogue. Create your own set of unbelievable circumstances, choose some good and bad characters, place them in conflicting situations and start writing.
Sing that familiar cheer with these words:
“I am a Writer!
“Mighty, mighty Writer!
“Everywhere I go,
“People want to know
“What I write about,
“So, I tell them:
“I’m writing fiction!
“Mighty, mighty fiction!” You get the point.
Write and keep writing. Read and keep reading. Do research and keep doing research. Submit articles and manuscripts and keep submitting. Get published and paid. Keep getting published and paid. Honor your Lord.