Monday, December 16, 2013

Prayer Fodder

This year I read 2 dystopian books. Sheesh. That's a crappy first line, about as exciting as an essay on What I Did Last Summer. Don't panic. I promise this won't devolve into a junior high book report... I may, however, throw in a few llamas and/or rock badgers just to spice things up a bit.

Anyhoo, ANOMALY is the Christian version of DIVERGENT, and both are about heroines who don't fit the norm (hence the titles). So what? So that's me. The title of my auto-biography will be ATYPICAL.

I should have known this all along. I was the freak who made little plastic Star Trek models and hung them from my bedroom ceiling while listening to Alice Cooper, which are serious ingredients when mixing up a serial killer. Thankfully, I didn't go the axe-murdering route. I chose fiction, though some would argue there's not much difference.

Anyhoo, as I partook of a Jane Austen Society luncheon this weekend, sitting next to my buddy and famed author Julie Klassen (if you haven't read her books yet, go do it! no really...this post will still be here when you get back), listening to a speaker highlight aspects of the military in Pride and Prejudice, a thought suddenly hit me. The reason my books aren't flying off the shelves like llamas--besides perhaps my overuse of bad metaphors--is because my stories always involve picking up the rocks of humanity and looking at the wiggly underside of dark issues. Most readers don't like that.

I do.

But my great revelation is that just because I like to read about overcoming horrific circumstances doesn't mean everyone else has to. Putting out gritty books isn't going to sway the great populace. So, I'm at a writerly crossroads. Either I keep doing what I do with younger characters and target the young adult market, or I switch gears and lighten things up in my stories. Which way should I go? Tough call. And definitely fodder for prayer, because the real question is what does God want me to write?

Take a look at the kinds of books you're reading. What draws you to them? What are the stories that take root and grow in your mind even after you've read them?


Susan P said...

What about just doing both? Don't give up on who YOU are, the "darker shadow uncoverer", but what about trying something different for just one book and seeing how it works? I'm not a writer, so I have no basis for this advice. :) I read to escape. I like the romance, laughter, serious suspense and mystery, and always the HEA. But.. every few months I need a break from that for a good, deep, thinking book that reminds me what all is good in my life and how with God's help I can over come all. So I read a little variety of things. The ones that stick with me are the ones that strike my heart with a verse or encouragement that I use as daily reminders. Don't know if that makes sense. :) I will be praying for peace for your decision!

Michelle Griep said...

Great feedback, Susan! Maybe trying something completely different just for the heck of it would give me a new perspective on the ol' writing game.

chaplaindebbie said...

As long as it isn't porn, I will read anything you write. LOL
I think you have it in you to write all kinds of stories. Praying for God's lead.

Joy said...

All I know is I love your books. Kind if books that I want to read; )

RD-RC said...

You just have to branch out into some humor... You let it leak out now and then and everyone enjoys it.. so let it loose and see where it goes. I think you will be pleasantly surprised and you might even enjoy it...

Susan P said...

RD-RC has a point - you are full of fun, dry humor and I think that would be great in a romance. I love those romance stories that have that kind of humor in them and aren't afraid to poke fun of a character.
Chappy - LOL, I agree, no porn. ;)

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