Aug 22, 2010

Square One… Again

     ArtandCraftCover 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!
-ST
     (Oh, and I don’t really hate the book; it’s amazing. And you still need to buy it.)

20 comments:

Star-Dreamer said...

Wow... that ... sucks. Yeah, sucks is the best word I have. But if there's one thing I've learned its that things happen for a reason. Me... well, now you've convinced me not to read this book. :D Actually, that's not entirely true, but I'm not going to read this book and then reread the manuscript I'm submitting because then I'd get discouraged. I have some good news: a publisher asked to see the full. So I guess the biggest thing for me is that I really don't want to have to do another rewrite just now. Other than that, Jeff's book was already on my "need to read" list.

I wish you the best with your book. And don't worry; you'll get it right. I've already torn my book apart 3 times (and counting). You'll get it!

Barie said...

And I still haven't bought it . . . :P
I shall certainly consider it though :)

Don't give up! You've gone so much farther than many writers do already. I'll pray that God will give you a little help going even farther :)

Squeaks said...

That is so sad but good too in a way :S Sad that you aren't satisfied with your book anymore but good that you're pressing in to improve it. I will definitely have to look into this book myself. And welcome back Storyteller! We all missed you're posting :)

Squeaks.

Storyteller said...

Star-Dreamer, wow, you have a request from a publisher?! That is great! I'm so happy for you. And, yes, interest from a publisher is a good reason not to read Jeff's book right now. If you are happy, the publisher is happy, and God is happy, then nothing else matters.

Barie, thank you for your prayer!

Squeaks, thanks for welcoming me back. I missed posting. :)

Anonymous said...

I missed you as well, ST, and have been stalking your blog for the past few months, waiting for your return. You bring sad news with you, though... I am sorry for this setback but also confident that great things will come out of it. Good can not help but come out of this; after all, "all things work together for good" for we who serve Christ. :) I'll be praying for you!

And I'll put that book on my wishlist, too. :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, sorry, the above post is from myself, whisper.

Storyteller said...

Thank you, fellow elf! Oh, guess what! Last night Millard, Goldarrow, and I talked about woodchip milkshakes. ;)

Galadriel said...

I need to get a copy of that!

Squeaks said...

XD woodchip milkshakes...I should have been there lol!

Squeaks

Anonymous said...

*gasp of delight* Woodchip milkshakes??? :D Huzzah!!! A few days ago, while blending some blackberries, I was pondering (smilingly) that first conversation we had on the topic... *grins delightedly* What, if I may be so bold as to inquire, brought up the peculiar subject?

-whisper

Storyteller said...

Goldarrow and I were trying to cheer Millard up, and since Silver was there, we could not give him pie. So we decided to give him woodchip milkshakes. :)

Jake said...

ST!!! Happy day, you're blogging again!

I had been looking into this book for a long time--and now I'm afraid to buy it. :P I am having a hard time already feverishly editing my novel into 'perfection' (lol), or at least a manageable amount of those dratted Wases, but if I buy this book... Ah, well. What do I have to lose? *glances around* Uh, I take that back. XD

Storyteller said...

Look into it, Jake, for sure. It's an absolutely wonderful and helpful book. (Donita K. Paul loves it, too, I might add.) And the way I see it, it's better to have a totally epic story that you've invested a ridiculous amount of time in, than an average story that was completed fairly quickly.

But I am by no means saying that EVERYONE will learn something from Gerke; brand new knowledge to me may be old school to you. I have to confess I wrote my book knowing very little about writing, and I have much to learn.

Star-Dreamer said...

Hey! You've been tagged. You can head over to my blog to find out more if you like. :D

Hope Marie said...

Hey, I have a free online magazine for Christan girls and was wondering if you'd like to check it out? If you do go to www.forevermagazine.webs.com
God bless, Hope

Johnnie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog -- the poor, neglected thing -- and leaving such a sweet comment. Josiah is a growing and healthy baby.

I met Jeff Gerke at the 2010 Florida Christian Writers Conference last March and he is a dynamo. I also highly recommend his book. You wrote a fun and energetic review.

Storyteller said...

Thank you, Mrs. Johnnie!

whisper said...

Ahem.

By the by, just wanted to say, I FINALLY got around to buying and reading this book. As you said, it was fantastic. My poor story was pulverized and shredded; all that remains are a few tendrils of character and plot that I might paste into the rewrite. Can't wait to get started. >:)

Thank you for recommending it, all those months ago. :D

-whisper

Storyteller said...

So glad to hear that, whisper! Sometimes destruction is a good thing, eh? Clean canvas.

By the by, I miss you, fellow elf!!!

whisper said...

Indeed, indeed! New and glorious things rise from ashes.

And I you, enigmatic friend!

I don't suppose you'll take up blogging again anytime soon?