February 11th, 2011
Writing. Oh, the bliss of creating one’s own world in which anything can happen. The glorious tapping sound of the keys as inspiration fills one’s mind. Writing is my favorite thing to do. Period.
There’s something thrilling about having the power to create one’s own world. Creating characters who - despite the fact that they’re only ink - feel as real and as personal to you as any tangible person. Weaving them a beautiful tale. Crying over them when they fall. Cheering when they rise. Spending countless hours typing and back-spacing, drafting and redrafting, tearing out your hair, throwing in a brilliant twist, staring at your blank screen, punching in the last sentence with that victorious air of finality…
These are the joys of a writer.
Creating characters is probably my favorite thing about writing. I love the whole process – creating a plot, bringing in subplots, coming up with a solid resolution – but characters are just flat out fun. They become so real. They have their own personality, quirks, unique way of speaking, words that are special to them, characteristic gestures, frustrations, likes, dislikes, dreams, pet peeves, laugh… They really are their own person.
You’ve probably heard some writer at one point say, “My character wouldn’t listen to me!” and thought they were crazy, but it’s so true. Sometimes, you have to make a character say or do something that you don’t necessarily want, because it’s them. And you know that if you make them do it any differently, you won’t live it down.
And it’s interesting. As the author, you are in a sort of god position. You have made these people, made this world, and you are in control of what happens to them, despite whatever choices they make. You reign supreme. And sometimes, you have to hurt your character. You have to do things that they won’t like in order to help them grow.
It’s so much like how God is with us. As long as there is sin, there will always be pain and hardship in life. But we can rest in the assurance that everything that happens to us is for good. God knows exactly what He’s doing. Sometimes, His plans remain unseen, and trust is hard. We wonder, what good could come of this? I went though a time of this after May 5th. I lay in bed for hours, wondering why God chose to take Josh that day. It made no sense. Josh was in paramedic training; he could have saved so many lives. He wanted to share the gospel. So why did God take him home?
Over the days, God revealed His plan to me, like the turning of a page. Thousands of people from all over the world were touched by Josh’s life. Most had never met him, but were deeply impacted by his life. He wasn’t anyone special. All he did was live in submission to Christ. That made all the difference.
I don’t know about you, but I always get kind of sad when I close a good book. By that point, you’re attached to the characters, and loathe to say goodbye.
It took me a long time to accept that Josh’s book was really closed – that his story was over. But with the grief of saying goodbye, there’s also the joy and satisfaction of a story well-told. Josh’s story is done – the book has been closed, the story of his life completed. But I know that he did what God wanted him to do. And I’m so proud of him.
Well, there’s a glimpse of the heart of this writer. More comin’ soon. ;)