Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Enchanted 15: Writing from the Core

Part 6 in an ongoing series based on Jen's Enchanted 15 workshop.

About 4 years ago, when I first got the idea for The Novel That Never Ends, I told Dernhelm that I didn't think I could write it just then, because I didn't think I could do justice to a storyline in which there are no right answers--in which the characters have to muddle through the best they can with the knowledge they have at the time, and some things get irreparably damaged.

Then I lived a little more, and I knew how you wrote a story like that, because I knew how you lived a life like that, where the right answers aren't always clear-cut and the solutions aren't always pretty.

But I got stuck on the ending. And then this past year happened, and I lived some more, and I experienced NaNoWriMo, and at the end of it I realized something: It all comes together in the end.

I used to think that my core was the knowledge that life is messy. But that didn't feel right. It felt, to use Jen's metaphor, like I was throwing the punch from my shoulder. (I say that as if I know how to box. Go with me. I'm a writer, I can imagine what something might feel like, right?)
I propose a new core: The knowledge that God is still in control. I don't believe that He micromanages, or that He wills everything that happens. But I do believe that no matter how far we get from the ideal, He's still with us, still writing our story.

I believe, passionately, this is all going to make sense eventually. Sometimes when you write it's best just to keep on going even when you have no idea what's coming next and trust that it will all fall into place in the end. In life that's always best. Because it all will fall into place in the end. Maybe it won't be pretty, maybe it won't be what it could have been, but it will be something that matters, something with meaning.

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