You asked me if I believe. I’m not sure after all my sister and I have endured. What made You stay so far away from Your friend and us in our dismay? Yet one truth I know despite the pain: I know my brother will rise again.
Story Embers is run by a group of Christian writers and editors who are committed to glorifying God with excellent craftsmanship. We accept article, poetry, and short story submissions from a number of Christian storytellers around the world. You can peruse our latest posts from contributing audience members below.
In today’s episode, Josiah, Daeus, and Lori tackle a common storytelling obstacle: forgettable themes. They discuss examples of underwhelming themes, propose possible causes, and give advice on how to ensure that your story’s theme is relatable and impactful.
“The hero sobbed piteously over the corpse of her mentor, swearing to avenge him. After an hour of weeping, she wiped her eyes and returned to saving the world, setting her sadness aside until needed again at his gravesite.” One of my biggest complaints with fiction is how writers handle grief. While slightly exaggerated, the scene I’ve just described is similar to ones I’ve read in many published books. Grief is often treated in a farcical and clichéd manner as if it isn’t a struggle.
Engaging fiction comes from a fountain of creativity within the author, but ideas gush out more fluidly on some days than others. In today’s episode, Josiah, Mariposa, and Lori share the habits that keep their imaginations primed for use and give tips to help other writers through dry spells. Listen to their conversation here!
The sunlit world is all aglow while shafts of golden brightness find the dust of diamonds on the snow. But darker seem the lines of shade—long lines of shadow on my mind. The peace seems ruffled by my tread, the sunlight turned to bitter glare: ablaze the snow, yet cold and dead, the shining diamond dust is dulled with tarnishes of twisted care.
Love begins and never ends. Love is, with justice never distant, raveled and unraveled, here, everywhere. No departed utterance, it endures beyond sounds…
I never meant to bring you along to this cliff, but still, here we sit, watching the tide roll in. The sun sets in the vast emptiness, and I wonder if you know this isn’t a detour, rather, the journey. I fretted over this future a while ago; I almost didn’t accept in hopes you wouldn’t know that this is the place it was all going to lead up to. I hope that someday when you look back on it all, you don’t convince yourself I misled you all the way here.
Learning how to portray characters braving the wilderness is far more applicable than writers assume. Though it’s habitually associated with the survival niche, you don’t need to be writing a Hatchet style novel to benefit from understanding the tactics that save people when they’re fighting the elements. In historical fiction, your protagonist may flee into the woods to escape a political enemy. In speculative fiction, he may cross a desert in search of an old friend, or perhaps he gets marooned on an uninhabited planet after an intergalactic war. Whether the savage landscape is the world of your novel or merely occupies a chapter, training your imagination to picture it accurately is important.
Some people write because they believe it’s their calling—others write for the sheer joy it brings them. In today’s episode, Daeus, Rose, and Martin share the values that drive each of them as authors and discuss the meaning of being “called” to write. They talk about the importance of understanding your own motivations and give practical tips for deciding how to prioritize writing in your life. Listen to their conversation here!
You can’t avoid running into mythology, not when it plays a role in so many beloved stories—a few of which are probably on your favorites list. But does your faith give you a reason to feel guilty for enjoying or creating that kind of entertainment? Can writers who believe in the one true God justify the depiction of multiple deities, magical creatures, and mystical rituals? Or will those elements mock Him?