Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck is a multi-published, best-selling author. She is a graduate of Ohio State University, and spent seventeen years in the corporate software world before leaving to write full time. Rachel loves to teach and mentor writers. She is a Book Therapist at www.MyBookTherapy.com, a daily craft blog and community for writers. In the past, Rachel served the writing community as the president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now serves as an Advisor. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband, two dogs and a cat. Visit her blog and web site at www.rachelhauck.com.

September Is About Our Sapphires

The blue revelation in our fiction is the bright, bling! ...

Some, a-hem, 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.

My 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 character’s lives.

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 during prayer.

If 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 life.

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 through them?”

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.

Love Starts With Elle