blue revelation in our
fiction is the bright, bling! ...
years ago, long ago in a time far away, I majored in Journalism at Ohio
State University. Through rigorous course work, I learned to write a
news lead, the who, what, when, where, why and how of the story. My
professors taught me to dig for the facts, write tight prose and well,
get to the point. In honor of my esteemed education, here goes.
name is Rachel Hauck and I’m
writing a monthly column for Christian Fiction Online Magazine about
the beauty and “rare finds” in the Christian fiction we read and write.
September is about our
sapphires, the “gemstones” found in the soil and sediment of our
Show of hands now. How many of
you’ve read a really great book, one that impacted your heart and
stayed with you for days after reading the final sentence, the final.
Yet, in the whole context of great fiction, the book perhaps wasn’t the
best crafted one you’d ever read.
Yet, you found the gems of the
book. The subtle, hidden beauty that grabbed your heart and touched you
in some way.
In the real world, sapphires are
stones mined from the soil and sediment deposited by a river or other
running water. While they can come in a variety of colors, blue is most
associated with the sapphire.
Personally, I love blue. It
speaks to me of the deeper things of life. Of revelation. As a writers
who is a Christian, I have the hope of God within me. The book of
Romans instructs the believer this way, “the same Spirit that raised
Christ from the dead lives in you.” What an amazing, powerful, creative
gift God has given us.
If we want in any way for our
fiction to resonate with the human spirit, we should learn to tap into
the heart of the Creator. He’s the one true Spirit. He alone gives
revelation. The rest is just information.
The blue revelation in our
fiction is the bright, bling! moment when we realize not only are we
penning this great novel, but so is Jesus.
During the fiction writing
process, we have to juggle a lot of balls in the air, ones
labeled craft, characterization,
dialog, scene and setting, pacing, layering, never mind the actual
writing itself. Somewhere in the process, among the soil and sediment
of our work, we discover something beautiful, an idea or hope about
God, life or the human condition and it comes perfectly, genuinely and
smoothly from the heart of one of our characters.
We can find those
sapphire-moments in various ways a places. From a song, or a sermon.
Perhaps during conversations with friends. While reading Scripture or
I hear a gem, and it
resonates in my heart, I mull it over. Turn it around in my head and
heart, trying to see all facets and layer them into my work.
In a recent manuscript, I had an
older woman mentoring a younger one in the journey of prayer. She
talked about the labor of sitting before God, then said, “promotion
often comes out of the wilderness.”
It resonated with me how life is
often a cycle of gardens followed by deserts, followed by another
garden, then desert again. Each time, we grow in wisdom and
understanding. The same is true of our characters as they imitate real
Sapphires in our fiction are
what Thomas Nelson CEO, Michael Hyatt, calls the “wow” factor. The blue
of revelation grips the reader. They nod their head and mutter, “it’s
true, so true.” And when the book is read and slipped onto the shelf,
the sapphire remains within the heart and mind of the reader.
So, how do we mine those fiction
sapphires? Prayer. Reading. Listening with our hearts and minds.
Observing with our spiritual and natural eyes. Asking questions of the
wise ones God puts in our lives, asking questions of Him.
My prayer is always, “God, if
I’m in you, and my characters are in me, then what do you want to say
Don’t be afraid to dig around
some in the soil and sediment. Precious things are worth the time,
energy and work it takes to discover them.