Dave Meigs 

David Meigs is a novelist with a background in youth outreach, specializing in ministry to at-risk youth and their families. Though his writing is enjoyed by all ages, his novels provide a unique, life-changing quality, critical for the youth of today. David and his family lives in Seabeck, Washington, where he serves his church as youth pastor.

Adversity in Fiction Changes Lives

...it’s the struggle that holds the key. ...

A few years ago, I sent a draft of one of my novels to a copyeditor. I was shocked when, a week later, I received an angry message from her. She couldn’t understand why I had killed off two characters she had fallen in love with. “They escaped slavery and finally found a place where they could live in complete freedom, only to be brutally murdered. Their whole lives were ahead of them!”

Then later, after she finished the book, she apologized, saying she understood why they had to die and explained how their experiences brought back a painful memory in her own life. She even thanked me because she found healing through the experience. “Your book even changed how I view God,” she said. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a comment like that from a reader (or editor) anytime.

Conflict and adversity play a critical role in what gives fiction that life-transforming quality. Give me a novel with flawed characters facing some kind of terrible adversity, where everything dear to them hangs in the balance. It doesn’t matter if the protagonist seems to make more mistakes than getting things right; it’s the struggle that holds the key. After all, the only thing better than learning from your own mistakes is learning from the failures of others.

When I was a kid, Superman was my favorite superhero. Who wouldn’t love a guy that could leap tall buildings, or was more powerful than a locomotive? But let’s face it; even Superman would be super boring if it wasn’t for Kryptonite and his complicated relationship with Lois Lane.

Conflict and adversity not only make a story more interesting, but they add depth and a sense of realism the readers relate to through the lenses of their own experiences. Okay, so maybe the

reader has never rescued the world from a group of terrorists bent on killing the population with a doomsday virus, but they do know what it is to be afraid. In true life, adversity shapes us into who we are as people, and in our novels, it has the power to affect the reader in the same way.

Anyone who has ever read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers will testify to the depth of emotion experienced by the reader as they follow Sarah’s tragic life beginning with witnessing her father’s brutal rejection and the heartache that followed. However, it’s the heartache and adversity of the story that provide the backdrop for the novel’s powerful demonstration of God’s love.

If you haven’t yet read Redeeming Love, I highly recommend it. It’s a first-rate example of life-transforming fiction at its very best.

Redeeming Love