I don't like to read novellas. They're too short. Even well-written and well done, I will rarely read a novella. I prefer long and involved stories. And I've always hated short stories.
Every once in awhile we make exceptions to our "soft" rules. They're movable. They're not critical. They have no dangerous side effects - at least in the case of long or short novels, they don't.
I don't even like to read short novels that hover between a novella and a medium length novel, but I've read more than a few.
Christian fiction has produced some longer novels, but usually they're written by the blockbuster authors who sell well. Again, exceptions surface but not often.
I don't have an indisputable reason for preferring the longer novels. The very reason I love some of them is because of the minute details concerning locations, characters, and situations. Give me well-developed and defined characters and you've definitely got my attention. I love subtleties in writing them. How they stand, expressions, asides, you name it. If unique or even commonplace characteristics or defining moments come from the author's words, I'm entranced.
However, if I'm supposed to review a novel that happens to be long where none of the above qualities exist, it's a struggle to grind through the pages. If an author chooses to write a long story, they risk losing readers who don't wish to spend much time on a novel. Long intense thrillers are most likely to maintain a reader's attention.
Tuesday musings on reading books and stories . . .
Father, help us to write what you have for each of us to do. You've made us unique. You have specific desires and plans for us. May we fulfill them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
What are you afraid of? Real fear sends adrenaline shooting through your blood vessels. Your heart ricochets inside your chest. Decisions come in torrents or freeze inside your brain. Paralyzed or springing into action, fear causes diverse reactions.
And fear is one of Satan's strongest, most effective tools. Fear can stifle. It can rule. It can impair. It can triumph. It can ruin lives.
Most importantly it can nullify in the mind's eye the truth of this proclamation: "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." (John 4:4)
Each of us will face traumatic experiences in our lives. Some will be rectified and turn out well. Others will not. On this earth we have only One viable option to overcoming fear, and it's supernatural. Death is inevitable for all of us. How we die isn't always an option. To allow fear to dominate what we choose to do can be wise or foolish. If we fail to consider the spiritual source of fear, we'll react in a two dimensional process instead of the necessary three dimensional consideration.
Initial fear is often uncontrollable. What happens next depends on how we're able to handle the situation. Is it life threatening? Is it a mere provocation? Is it genuine? Can it be evaded? Is it really dangerous? Is it all in your head?
What scares you?
Father, you've written that fear is not of you, yet humans flinch and are terrified when facing your ministering spirits. The supernatural often horrifies us until we hear your soothing words, "Fear not." Help us to be alert and on guard, not subject to the enemy's schemes. Keep us strong in you and in your mighty power. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
1. Jesus came to earth from heaven to save mankind.
2. Jesus taught, healed, delivered, and offered peace with God.
3. Jesus endured horrendous beating, was whipped with barbed (i.e. shards of pottery)cat-o-nine tails which tore the flesh from his back. It is said he was nearly unrecognizable when they were finished.
4. Jesus was nailed with spikes to a wooden cross and watched by a taunting crowd as He finally gave up and committed His Spirit to God after taking on the sins of the world for us in his sinless body.
5. Jesus rose from the dead and emerged from the tomb and after three days rejoined his disciples to give them their final instructions.
As a result of Jesus' time on earth, each individual can choose to join Him in heaven by repenting for his/her sins that Jesus endured, nailed on a cross, as the sacrificial offering for mankind, restoring peace with God for anyone who chooses to accept His payment for their sins.
My prayer is for those who have yet to realize their sins have been forgiven if they choose to repent and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. Holy Spirit, call them into understanding the horrific price that has been paid for each of us to be truly free. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
What are your words worth? Do they translate into money? Is that what matters or determines their worth?
Professional writers who make a living with words deserve commendations for their diligence and creativity, their foresight and successes. Those of us who formulate novels understand the perseverance it takes to survive and achieve any measure of accomplishment using words to tell a story.
Forcing words to the surface of a dry well can be like force-feeding a statue. Nothing moves. Will that wellspring flow again? And when it does, will the water be worth drinking?
There are billions of words out there on paper or screen telling stories. Some of those stories strike it rich without much artistry. Others with lovely language and skilled design fall flat and don't earn much. There's just no way to account for the worth of those stories in dollars and cents or sometimes common sense.
For what it's worth, some of us write from the heart and create however we know to do. Is it good? Will it sell? Does anyone really care about this story? For what it's worth, there comes a time and place where we must decide if those questions matter anymore. And continue to write anyway.
Father, help each one of us to do what you have planned for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Remember when it was hip to wear some clothes inside out? The tag showed, the seams displayed, yeah, inside out. I don't remember when it was either - maybe it's still hip in some cases or maybe the outside is dirty and it's just easier to wear it inside out instead of having to wash it. Who knows?
A few clothes worn inside out could pass the "okay" test. Others just looked like they were inside out without making any kind of hip fashion statement.
So now let's talk about people. In the physical realm, no, we don't want to see people from the inside out. Not even. But in the spiritual realm that inside "grooming" will permeate the outside appearance. And sometimes what's on the inside eventually ruins what's on the outside - no matter how attractive.
The spiritual inside of our humanity is the focus of God. What governs us shows up. What motivates us to act, to dress, to speak the way we do is evident in a short period of time, unless we masquerade as someone we're not. God sees right through all of our designs. His gaze penetrates to the hidden places of the spiritual heart. He knows.
To bring the creative writing aspect of this to the front, if we as writers cannot draw our characters from the inside out, we leave an untouched dimension to who they are. It's not good enough to portray them as good or evil. There's so much more to an individual than their tendencies. There's a reason some of us struggle with right and wrong and some of us don't. We need to go deep inside to see who these characters are and if we can make them easy to identify with but unique to themselves. Or will they cause repulsion by their psyches?
When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Are you seeing yourself from the inside out?
Father, thank you for love so big, we can't comprehend it. Before we know you, you already know us and you love us. Too big for me. Amazing God. Amazing Grace. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.