See this book? It is The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction by Jeff Gerke. I love this book. And I hate this book.
I love this book as in - if you write Christian fiction, you have to go and buy yourself a copy! Right now! Here is the link: CLICK HERE! Go now, then come back and finish reading this. I don’t care if your summer job didn’t work out and you don't have any money, go and buy this book!!!
I hate this book as in – it completely destroyed my story. Demolished. Foom, gone. Bye-bye.
When a friend of mine gave me this book, I never would have guessed it was so destructive. But I read it, and it’s too late now. See, Jeff Gerke showed me that my story is nowhere near finished. Turns out that my plot needs to be re-thought and, more importantly, my characters need to be fleshed out.
Here I am, thinking my story is as good as I can possibly make it, sending it to authors and looking for agents, when suddenly – WHAM! – I’m nuked by a ferocious, yellow-covered, 300+ page paperback that saves me years of learning lessons the hard way.
What does that leave me with? Pretty much nuthin’. I have a junk finished-manuscript-turned-rough-draft, a bunch of characters who are little more than display mannequins from a mall, a plot riddled with unoriginal material, and lots of prayers for creativity.
So, it’s back to square one… again. Back to the majority of dreamers without a completed work. It’s all rather discouraging when I think about it.
All that said, I am looking forward to seeing what God will do with my story now. I have no doubt that I was supposed to read Jeff Gerke’s book, that it was God’s plan for me to read it at this time. I’m wondering if He will allow me to create another, better, story out of the old ashes, or if He’s preparing me for something else. I’m going to work on it as much as I can this year, but it’s been hard to find time to think much about it. God has given me some good ideas, I just need to talk to Him about it in earnest and figure it out. And then I need to write it.
Post Tenebras Lux!
(Oh, and I don’t really hate the book; it’s amazing. And you still need to buy it.)