Of courtship, novel-writing, and ghosts
It’s funny, this novel-writing business. For me, a story always starts with characters, not with issues or an agenda, but the characters’ issues become the story’s issues in a messy, organic process that takes months. I’m often still figuring out my opinions about things as I do my research and as I do the actual writing. The writing shapes me as much as I shape it, because it makes me examine my own beliefs and actions while I’m creating beliefs and actions for my characters.
I’m halfway between two stories. I’m looking back at When Sparrows Fall, still doing interviews and discussions online and in real life, while I’m researching and revising my next novel, tentatively called Undo the Dark. With Undo, I’ll immerse myself in a new set of characters, and I promise they won’t have a thing to do with extreme homeschooling.
But I still care about the Quiverfull movement and its accompanying baggage like the SAHD (Stay-at-Home Daughters) trend and “courtship.” I care about the people who’ve been taken in by these teachings, so bear with me if I still harp on the subject now and then. (When it comes to so-called biblical courtship, the best rebuttal I’ve ever seen comes from Eric Pazdziora in his article, The Bondage of Betrothal. But if you’re not in the mood for anything serious, read “Courtship isn’t the only way!” and enjoy a good laugh.)
But enough about that. Now I’m going back to the new characters who are vying for attention in my head. They don’t want to talk about courtship or homeschooling. At the moment, they want to talk about ghosts, and I’m going to let them. Novel-writing is fun that way.
Edited to add: I forgot to include a link for my interview with Holly Craw in the Phoenix Examiner, where we discuss courtship and novels but no ghosts.
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