Woven Traits

Authors give their characters all the weapons they need to complete their story. For instance, Harry Potter has courage, but he also has a tendency to break the rules. Without both of these traits, he likely wouldn’t have been as fascinating to so many people. Nor would he have been able to complete his story. He was equipped to fight before he knew he had to fight.

James Bond and any Marvel superhero always have the suave skills or “secret power” to get out of trouble when it comes. They were written for their story and therefore have the traits to make a good story. No one else but James Bond could do it. Anyone else would fail somewhere in the storyline.

Are we the same? We’re born into the world with some inherent traits and others that we learn along the way. Some of those are brought to us by good or bad circumstances. We learn to survive on the streets by being forced onto the streets. We take piano lessons and become a maestro. Good or bad, we are all fashionably knit-together.

Did God equip us for our stories just like authors equip their characters? I think so. And it’s kind of fascinating. Why are some of us so generous and kind? Why are some talented in speech-making? Why are others so successful in marketing themselves and their company? Because these individual traits have been woven into them so they can complete their story. No one else but you can do what you were meant to do.

It makes me feel so much more special than the world makes me feel. But special does not equal more important. That’s a common misunderstanding. We’re all unique in our own ways because our stories are unique as well. But my story is not more important than yours.

If you sit down and listen–really listen–to some old-timers tell their life story, you’ll find that everyone has a story to tell. Just because the topic isn’t interesting to you doesn’t mean it wasn’t there for a purpose. Our stories intersect to create great things. And many of those great things are beyond our comprehension and sometimes beyond our sight.

Singularly, we cannot change the world, but if we combine all of our traits, both good and bad, we can create a beautiful story of the world. And it’s always changing and moving. A living breathing tale that started long before any of us were born and will continue long after we’re gone. Given that, I have no regrets for my flaws. I was written that way.

 

“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.” Jessica Rabbit, Roger Rabbit’s wife.

 

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Something Wicked This Way Comes & Why Writers Could Be in Great Danger

What a great article about our culture and how powerful our choices are! It’s aimed at writers, but anyone could get something from this. Read it!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image courtesy of Raymond Brown via Flickr Creative Commons Image courtesy of Raymond Brown via Flickr Creative Commons

Today, we are going to take a bit of a sideline from our acrostic. Over the holiday weekend, I was resting up from a nasty bout of bronchitis and puttering around Facebook. I’ve been long frustrated with this new culture of “Everyone’s a Winner.” Back in 2005, my young nephew was in soccer. I recall being horrified that everyone received a trophy.

What was the point for working harder? What gain did it give my nephew that I ran extra drills with him after school and off the practice field? He “won” the same trophy as the kid who showed for one game out of the season.

Trying is all that matters.

Deep. Deep. Never mind the TYPO. The person “tried.”

We see all over the news where schools are attempting to cancel Honors events because those kids who didn’t achieve honors…

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Finding Meaning in Writing

Sometimes it seems like being a writer isn’t really a big deal. Especially because I write fiction. How does that help anyone? Is it even something that matters?

Sometimes we need a story to understand a concept or to put a different spin on a topic. Fiction can challenge your beliefs and leave you torn as you consider how you would act in that situation. It can help you see something you didn’t see before. It can even spur you to take action.

I think about the parables Jesus told and I’m reminded that creating fictional stories can be important. A story that has meaning behind it resonates and sticks with the readers. If Jesus used stories to help people understand, then being a storyteller can be a noble task if it’s used in a positive way.

I am reading The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. It’s a simple story with a deeper meaning. I’ve read it before, but I don’t think I was mentally ready to accept what it had to say. I had teenager syndrome where I didn’t think it could teach me anything. Now, I’m finding it very meaningful, especially because of where I’m at in my life today.

In the past year or two, I’ve become an avid reader. At first, it was really to escape reality. To have an adventure in the midst of my boring life. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. But I read, not just to escape, but to understand.

I understand myself more than many people do. College gave me time to sort through some issues, and my travels have opened my eyes to the good and bad that lives inside me. It sounds some simple when I put it that way. So conquered. But that beast does rise up and go for my throat from time to time. Conquering our demons is not something that only happens once. It always comes back for more. That’s the nature of the beast.

Stories can help me make more sense of myself, but lately, I think they are helping me understand the forces at work outside of me as well.

Stories can help you understand someone else’ motives. As a writer, I need to know the motives of my characters. So as a reader, I search for those motives in the author’s characters. I need those motives to believe in what the story has to tell me. No one acts in a malicious way without having an underlying reason, even if it has nothing to do with the person they are attacking. If you think of it that way, it’s easier to forgive someone for mistreating you.

In the end, I’m grateful to be a writer. There’s something amazing about sharing my heart with people through what I write. It almost feels dangerous putting yourself out there and exposing yourself to possible criticism. And sometimes you do get hurt. But you are always rewarded your for the risk in some way.

Here’s to more writing risks!

Main Character Mania

I am the main character of my own story. Duh. Sounds obvious, I know. There’s always a moment at the beginning of the story where the main character (MC) is going about their daily life never realizing that everything is about to change. A chance meeting, an event, or even something that seems minor can change the course of their entire life.

I feel like I am that MC, but I’m waiting, expecting, hoping for that change. And maybe that’s why it hasn’t come. The story can’t really begin if the MC is expecting the change to occur. Predictability doesn’t shape us the way random chance does.

Change always sends the MC off in directions he never anticipated. And despite the bad, there are always some good things to hang on to along the way. I mean, if Frodo didn’t leave Bag End, there would be no story. If Harry Potter never went to Hogwarts and learned magic, there would be nothing to talk about. We need those pivotal moments to push us in another direction.

Fiction mimics life. And in life, those unexpected moments can change us. They can push us into an adventure or give us ammo to conquer our inward struggles. Often, the change is not something the MC welcomes. We need to be bent out of shape before we can be molded into something better.

I feel like I’m at the beginning of my story. My daily life is nothing to write home about. When people ask me what I’ve been up to, I don’t have anything interesting to say. But this can change. I hope to be swept off into something bigger than myself. Here’s to expecting a new and exciting year in 2014.

Blasphemy on the King of Pop

After Michael Jackson died, I felt like his life was a sad story. I felt like he had sacrificed his personal life and his health for worldly success. He traded the things that matter most for the things that don’t last: fame and fortune. It was tragic that he was seen as such a success, but it was at the cost of losing himself.

After watching him rehearse in the movie, This Is It, I see things a little differently. His gift, no doubt, was music. And though he lost many things along the way to pursuing his dream of making music, he can be commended on his dedication. He dedicated himself entirely to perfecting his craft. He took the gift God gave him and did the best he could with it. He aimed for perfection.

In a sense, I think that we all have a similar calling. We all have our individual God-given gifts. And I think it is part of our purpose that we should develop this gift and use it to help others. That’s where our meaning is.

We should do the best we can with the gifts we’re given. If you love crunching numbers, do people’s taxes and do it well. Use your gift. Perfect it. Devote yourself to it. God must have a reason for giving it to you. So do Him proud by using it to bless the people around you. I believe only good things can come from this. And maybe, just maybe, that’s why some of us feel so lost. We’re ignoring our gifts, letting them gather dust in the corner while the world needs them so desperately. We are all a piece of this big puzzle and it can’t be complete with even one piece missing.

I say these things like I’m so good at it, but don’t be fooled. I’ve been known to deprive myself of the things that I enjoy most. And I’m not even sure why I do it. But I need to stop. I need to open up to the world. I need to pick myself up off the floor and go back to enjoying myself. It’s time to share my gifts with the world.

Yesterday, I finished some major editing on my novel, Deliverer: Secret of Lake Burnish. It’s the first book of the trilogy. I finally feel like it’s ready for a reader, and I’ll be researching literary agents very soon.

I’ve been putting great effort into slowing myself down with my editing. I don’t want to throw the book out into the world before it is ready. This is no easy task for any writer. But I’ve rehearsed and edited and cried and celebrated enough with this book. My next step is looking for outside help, even if that means I have to go back to the editing board.

I am ready.