Thursday, May 30, 2013

50 + 50

50 exercises for story writers

50 exercises for fiction writers

I have been reading Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time quadrology and I love it. It is very empowering and makes me love the whole world and everyone in it.

I came to think about Inspirational Fiction, and how tightly the concept is tied to Christianity, especially in North America.

Now... what do you think when you hear "faith-based fiction"?

How could you infuse your writing with your spiritual beliefs?
How could you write characters that are very clearly Pagan, by showing, not telling?
What is being a Pagan? What kind of inspiration do you feel you get from your spirituality?
How could you bring your faith "into the mainstream, both religiously and culturally"?
How can you "celebrate Gods' presence in the Pagan lives"? How do you show the Divine influence in the events and outcome? How do you write a story, where the main character's Paganity is the thing that gets her/him through the hardship life throws at her/him?
How do you create characters, whose relationship to God, whose spirituality, faith and beliefs are the primary focus, without writing a "point-finger" book?
How do you put a stamp of Paganity to your writing, without it being blaring.
What do you find inspirational? What qualities would you want in your life? Love, hope, something else?
How to write a positive, uplifting novel without getting too Pollyanne-y?
How could you inspire people to do better, think higher, be kinder, or other things you wish to inspire in people?
How do you write a book that makes people want to share your spirituality without trying to convert people, or making them feel as if you are trying to push your faith on them?

I have been thinking that my writing needs to be commercial, and Paganity isn't commercial - I think. But - I am to write books I want to read. I would love to write books like Wrinkle in Time or Narnia books, infused with the author's beliefs without pushing them to your face. I would like to write books like Mary Poppins and Wind in the Willows, which are to me very Pagan, but not so Pagan it is obvious to every reader. As far as I know, neither has ever got to "banned books" lists. :-D
And there are Pagans who read. I would like to get more books where the characters "are like the reader", a Pagan. "ordinary people who are challenged to live their lives in accordance with Pagan principles." Pagans are people too.

"Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?"

And all the people want to read books where the main character shares qualities with them - like being a human :-D

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