Have you ever set down a book, startled that the author turned your outlook upside down with tiny black marks on paper? Do you want to write stories that have the same effect on others?
As I stared at the blank page beneath the title of this article, my mind revisited all the stories that have given me a transformative experience. I love when my heart skips a beat and I pause to process the exhilarating symphony that the words are orchestrating in my imagination. Or when I come to an ending so satisfying that I’m amazed.
Writers tend to view symbols as literary tropes to develop a story’s theme. However, well-executed symbols not only deepen theme: they enhance the audience’s enjoyment of a story. Here’s a few lessons we can learn from the new Star Wars trilogy about how to craft symbols that emotionally impact readers.
As writers, we love the heroes in our stories, and despite putting them through intense misery, we want them to support the right side. But in Fawkes, the scenario is the opposite, because Thomas spends most of the story fighting for the wrong cause.
Fawkes is one of those novels that breaks the “rules” for how to deliver a Christian message without sounding preachy. Many of the tropes used in this novel would be cliched or annoying in other stories. But Brandes makes them work without any of those downsides. Here’s how she did it.
Conversions in literature used to be so common that a person could hardly stroll into a Christian bookstore without the gospel screaming at them the instant they opened a book. One out of every five novels seemed to be another Pilgrim’s Progress (with the rest being Amish romance). Thankfully, with the focus of Christian fiction changing, this is less of a problem. However, you may still be wondering: Should conversions in Christian fiction be eliminated completely?
Esther is one of the most beautiful books of all time, teaching us more lessons than a college class. It’s the Mona Lisa of literature. Yet, surprisingly, God’s name is absent from the 167 verses, which has caused some people to doubt Esther’s authenticity in the canon.
Have you ever loved a book or TV series as a child, re-watched it as an adult, and realized how terrible it actually is? Several stories fall into this category for me—many of which are Christian and contain heavy-handed messages. But Adventures in Odyssey is one of those rare Christian stories that stands up to the test of time. Here’s how it does it.
Short stories remained cloaked in mystery for years. I hadn’t the slightest idea how to write one, let alone imbue theme into it. I stumbled in the dark, creating tales and hoping themes would magically appear.