Research can be a hassle. Still, most of us writers agree that we need to understand the facts to portray different places and times authentically. But sometimes we’re so focused on wars and revolutions, architecture, and major landmarks that we forget the smaller details.
Former Story Embers Article Writer
Maddie Morrow grew up with her mom reading to her and her dad telling stories about cowboys hunting Bigfoot. The combination sparked her love of writing early, and she’s been lost in her notebooks ever since. Aside from writing, she enjoys loud music, good horses, and hardcover books. She lives on a farm in Nebraska with her husband and children. Her Gaslamp novella, Red as Blood, won the 2018 Snow White retelling contest hosted by Rooglewood Press, and it released in December 2018 with the Five Poisoned Apples collection.
We’ve all been struck by writer’s block at one point or another. We lament the shortage of words and wait impatiently for inspiration to return. But even when we’re unable to make progress on a project, most of us would rather die than voluntarily set down our pens. We bravely forge through any and all problems, determined to meet our goals.
“Ye shall not surely die.” Ever since the snake whispered in Eve’s ear in the Garden of Eden, mankind has been susceptible to lies. Our volatile emotions open up vulnerabilities for falsehood to sink its teeth into. As writers, a distorted mindset can hinder our growth, damage our creative potential, separate us from reality, prevent us from accomplishing goals, and trap us in despair.
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.
Red ink everywhere. If you’ve ever had your writing edited professionally, you’ve experienced the dread of opening the revised document for the first time. All the markup can be discouraging and overwhelming.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a story that has withstood the test of time, and I think one of the main reasons is the Pevensie children, who are memorable on so many fronts. As Christian writers, we want our fiction to have a similar lasting impact. Through the experiences of our characters, we hope that readers will grow in their faith.
Villains make or break a story. Without Voldemort, no one would know Harry Potter. If the White Witch hadn’t ruled Narnia, Aslan and the Pevensies would have had a cute but shallow adventure.
If you write contemporary fiction, you’ve probably run into the problem of choosing a setting. A story’s setting is as influential to the plot as the characters who populate it. A book set in Paris will be vastly different from one set in a small Midwestern town. But what if you’ve never been to the locations in your story? How important is accuracy? The short answer: Authentic details bring settings to life.
“You wrote a great story, but it needed a proofreader.” No one likes to hear that their writing is full of mistakes. Whether we’re submitting to a website or writing a story for family, we slave over our words. We don’t want our masterpieces diminished by typos.