Recently, I’ve been thinking about faith and writing and how perfectly God arranges things time-wise. One advantage I’m gifted with as a young writer is the chance to grow up with my characters. It’s much easier to identify with a 20-year-old when you’re twenty yourself, rather than having to remember what it was like.
But there’s a flipside to this – I lack experience. Sometimes, I have ideas, but I get the feeling that I’m not equipped to bring them to life yet because I haven’t experienced x or y for myself. I suppose this is a faulty belief to some extent. Writers imagine all sorts of fantastical things and bring them to life for their readers. And with the Internet at our fingertips…
Then my own personal experience testifies against me. Some of my characters are easy to write. With others, I have to work to see things from their perspective (like with the more sensitive/emotional ones). One of my easy characters to write, though, is Lord Jurian, a father.
Literally, that whole word (father) sums him up as a character. Everything he does is influenced by that one fact. I never have to think much about what Jurian will say or do. It comes instinctively to me.
Still, personal experience is an invaluable gift and when I look back at how things have fallen out in my life, I think it no coincidence that they’ve been ordered in such and such a way. To wit, I have a scene I’m looking forward to writing in Book 4 – a farewell scene between friends, to be precise.
Goodbyes are part and parcel of life. We say them all the time. But how many times do we say goodbye thinking we’ll never see ___ again? I don’t mean death in this instance. I mean those more natural partings – a neighbor moving away to a different state, a teacher retiring, etc.
In my case, I had this experience last November when I bid farewell to my pediatric neurologist. It wasn’t a goodbye I cared to say. I’ve known her since I was five and cannot say enough good things about her. Simply put, she’s the best doctor I’ve ever had.
Still, our parting’s been an invaluable gift. It’s equipped me to write a scene that perhaps I couldn’t do justice to before. The same thing is true of other experiences I’ve undergone in the past few years.
Like my eldest brother moving out and getting married. Or my youngest brother going off to Marine boot camp in February, leaving just me and my middle brother at home with our parents. Wow. We get so much attention now. 😉
I could tick off more experiences, but you get the point. Yes, these are natural happenings anyone might experience. But the timing’s ideal.
I consider it all Divine Providence.