Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Update - A Prophet's Tale and Mind Wanderings

Remiss have I been (apologies to Yoda) in not updating sooner. Between closing out the semester, getting grades tallied and posted, two more grandchildren, and a whole bunch more excuses, the blog has suffered. Let's see...what has happened (other than my excuses, that is!)

A Prophet's Tale is still on the front burner. I've submitted a query to a fine agency and hope to hear something within the next couple of months. This part of the series has been a joy to write and I'm really excited about getting it published. Pray, if you will, that the avenue for the book will become clear. And many thanks to those who continue to ask, "When's the next book coming out?" Questions like that keep the heat up under the project. I hope to have news soon--and, of course, I hope the news is good! Meantime...

If you've seen the movie Miss Potter (excellent movie, by the way--highly recommended), the lead-in dialog (repeated at the very end) is very insightful. In it, Miss Potter avers that you never know where a book will lead you after you write the first line. If you've ever written fiction, you'll nod your head, knowing exactly what she's talking about. The story does indeed take on a life of it's own. I recall, when working through a scene in the latter part of The Journey Begun, sitting back in my chair and musing, "Now, that's interesting. I wonder why he did that." A minor character--one I originally brought in as little more than a prop--suddenly did something quite unexpected and changed the whole climax of the story. So, I leaned forward and started punching keys just to see what would happen next. (Nervous yet? It gets scarier...)

It wasn't so much the 'little voices in my head' thing as it was the story carrying me along in its own current. And, like the Mississippi or the Tanana Rivers, the channel changes from day to day--it's never the same river viewed twice in succession. That's the joy of writing. The story jinks and twists seemingly on its own. Where you thought you were going yesterday--or, at least, how you thought you were going to get there--is no longer the same. So, when you hear an author say, "The story kind of wrote itself", he's not being coy. She's being quite honest about the process. And I'm glad, too. If the story didn't write itself to some extent, I'd sure never be able to push one out. Of that I'm convinced.

Hope to have more news soon. Thanks for sticking with me!


c.w. goad said...

Thanks for sharing. It's so nice to know there are other aspiring Christian authors out there. I too have a novel I'm working on. It's a passion that never goes away.

Living raw,


Neal Judisch & Family said...

May the muses continue to sing!

I myself am unfortunately deaf to these muses -- the muses of 'fiction' -- and I can't imagine how you manage to pull off all these stories the way you do. I must say, however, that much the same occurs with authors like me: authors, as you put it, with a bizarre penchent for nonfiction stuff. I can't count how many times I've made little discoveries when simply trying to hammer out something which I thought was already in my head.

Weird, that. I guess the pen isn't just mightier than the sword, but is also a darn sight more creative in the hands of somebody who's trying to use it for the good. Keep it coming!


Bruce Judisch said...

Well, Neal, I figure it's easier when you can't remember facts to just make them up. Hence, the birth of a story.

Does that make you nervous about all those questions you asked me when you were growing up? :-)

Cheers! Dad

Anonymous said...

I've never thought of writers in that way.

Can't wait to hear when you next book is coming out. Praying for God's timing in this situation.

We'll be coming home to SA for a visit some time in July for a few days. Hopefully we'll get to see you guys while we're there. Love you guys!

the mccann clan said...

I love hearing you talk about writing. While I don't have a knack for writing fiction (like yourself) or non-fiction (like my very talented brother), I do very much enjoy reading. I've always wondered what it would be like to sit down at a computer screen with a pulsing cursor and see what ends up coming out!

Can't wait for the new book! :)