Discovering My Story

One of my all-time favorite authors, Ted Dekker, recently came out with a short interview and e-book about how he views writing, the thing he says has helped him sell millions of books and able to write for a living. You can download both items for free HERE!

Ever since listening to and reading his advice, I have been diving deep into planning for the Book Book. (I’ll fill you in on The Blessed status later.) I had my world built, my characters developed, my plot structure basically figured out, and, upon gaining his advice, have been seeing the Book Book and its characters in a completely new light.

It’s a viewpoint that says “this is my story”, not simply the story of my characters. I spent an evening soul searching, being vulnerable, and listing down my insecurities, fears, struggles, and false identities. I looked at the list and found that my two main characters could identify with many of the things I struggled with, but there were a few themes that were the strongest connection between the three of us.

It’s a theme of people pleasing, spurred from the fear of failing others. A theme of sacrificing doing what is right in order to do something good that others will see.

This theme has spurred on a lot of searching, and while a few answers have risen quickly to the top, I know there is further down the rabbit hole to go yet:

 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I were still trying to please men, I would not be a daughter of the King.
Galatians 1:10

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
Matthew 16:25-26

I love the reminder that Ted Dekker brought up time and time again, that when we have inspiration, we are in the Spirit and I look forward to having my eyes opened as I grow with my characters in discovering what it looks like to have a servant’s heart but not with the goal of gaining other’s approval, but instead as a way to live out my identity as an Heir with Christ.
Romans 8:17

Relationships: Building Blocks

As I am editing The Varken, I am also eagerly preparing for The Blessed, the last and final Keeper book (for now). In fact, I’ve already written the Prologue and the first scene to set the tone for the novel, although I won’t start getting super serious about writing until NaNoWriMo starts in November and I’m done with my first round of edits for The Varken.

However, one thing that is different about my process for this novel, as opposed to what I have done before, is how I am developing the plot. I started with Signposts and my Three-Act-Structure that I love, but there was a lot to fill in. I knew where the story would start (10 years after The Varken, 15 years after The Keeper), and the basics of the direction I wanted the plot to head in with a vague idea for how things would end.

Rather than meticulously scrutinizing every aspect of how things COULD work out for the plot, I dove into developing my characters. I got the basics down: appearance, general personality, hopes, dreams, weaknesses, you know the drill. Knowing my characters better certainly helped me to understand what they would do in certain situations, but so much of The Blessed is based around characters reacting to other characters, rather than a position they are in or some situation out of their control. Everything is up for grabs.

So what I did, was I started a lovely folder for Relationships!Read More »

Pinterest: My Partner in Creativity

UPDATE: Many of these boards have now been split to include sub-categories.

I have mentioned Pinterest before, but I thought I might explain a little bit more about my boards, how I used them, and why I find Pinterest oh-so-helpful as an author.

I have four main boards for inspiration, motivation, guidance, and plotting, all rolled into different categories.

More Than Words is my source for articles, worksheets, and references. All of my Neil Gaiman quotes also get pinned here. I don’t use this resource as much as I should, but it is a wonderful treasure chest of information. I always get new ideas and feel motivated towards better story telling after diving into something pinned on this board. It is also very helpful when I am working out the details of a plot or character, because the articles hear give me so many good ideas and points to consider. I haven’t read all of them, but they are always good ways to procrastinate on writing and feel motivated once I finish reading.Read More »