The more I consider the “message of the story”, or as I am coming to see it, “the life’s blood”, the more I am compelled as a writer, who is also a Christian, to reveal the subtle truths that run through life almost unnoticed.
Would we care that the goose laid the golden egg, or that The Little Red Hen baked bread, if it wasn’t that the farmer learned that greed was bad, and that the farm animals learned that laziness had its own reward…lack.
My point? When I began writing N.H.I., I knew that the message that ran through the core of the story dealt with how we saw and treated people juxtaposed to how God commanded that we should. Then in D.R.T. came the question of the value of a human life and just who it is that gets to set that value. Of course, the real message there is: What will you do with the coming judgment between you and the Lord?
Then finally in I.A.I., while the message is ostensibly to police officers who’ve gone through an I.A.I. (Internal Affair Investigation), it is in the greater sense to anyone who has ever felt abandoned or cut off from a core group or family.
The message is what drives me as a writer and pulls you as a reader from page to page.
If we lose touch with the message, then we have, in effect, lost touch with our story. We’ll talk again later about discovering the true message within the heart of the manuscript. Until then, think about it.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
As I near completion of I.A.I., book three in the Nate Richards series, I have been musing on the realization that what is really important about any story is its message. I don't mean the simple storyline, but rather what is the deeper truth that the story itself is trying to convey.
Consider the parable Jesus told of the vineyard. Remember how the owner of the vineyard hired a group of men to care for his property? And they, being the crooks that they were, began to plot how they could steal the land for their own. They even killed the property owner's son in a mad dash for power.
Well, ultimately the owner of the land returned and killed them all; it would have made a great movie. Enter voice over guy, "A grieving father returns to take revenge on the men who killed his only son.... And this time there won't be any peace in the valley."
But I digress.
The point is that when we are creating our manuscripts, we have to fight to first discover then keep that message alive. In the case of the parable of Jesus, the story may have been about greed, but the message was much larger: salvation and the price of redemption. Think about it.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I by Ray Ellis is a gripping but disturbing short story. The story explores the sins and punishment of the sinner without any sugarcoating. Facing the memories of his transgressions, the main character suffers torment for false repentance. Excusing his own bad behavior leads the main character farther from the salvation he seeks.This story will leave sinners, especially the self-righteous types, squirming as they are faced with the excuses people commonly present for their sins in life. I is raw and unrelenting in its execution. Ellis writes in a manner that keeps the reader on edge but still hopeful for the main character to repent and find mercy.
Thank you for letting me read and review it.
All the Best!
T. L. Cooper, Author of All She Ever Wanted
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
As an author, my life is quite simple, but couple that with my new role as CEO at NCC Publishing (www.nccpublishing.com.) and it puts me in mind of my dual roles as pastor and police officer. (What is it with the split personality thing and me anyway?) But I digress. My point is, as I execute my duties for the city in which I work, I am often confronted with issues of service and not merely enforcement.
It’s those moments when I get to touch a life with service…dare I say kindness, that the true beauty of being a cop shines through. Now, compare that to being a pastor: How cool is it when you’re the one that gets to lay your hand on the newborn child and pray the blessing of the Lord on this tiny new person. Or be the only one in the entire church with a ringside seat for the very first kiss of husband and wife.
Too many times the dualities of life can be seen as bad or harmful, but sometimes it’s just plain fun. I think the choice is up to you—or in this case, me. I choose to continue to serve both as pastor and as police officer, and now, I get to add to that—author and publisher. Who knows, it might just be fun for you too. So come along with me as I travel this new road in a world where two very different ideas make one very beautiful reality. Just saying…think about it.