Jeannie Campbell! Jeannie, please email us, at novelmatters at gmail dot com, and let us know where to send your book.
~Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in their heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself. ~Unamuno
That's the beasty hard thing about writing fiction. It's our job to make sure you believe in God himself. That goes for Stephen King, and for James Patterson, and for Anne Rice before and after she wrote Christ the Lord. A writer may never mention the name of God, may not even believe in God, but she has to make us feel God, or she hasn't written a story.
We've all become pale half-humans in order to get on in this world. If that seems an overstatement, imagine Isaiah in the grocery checkout, spouting off about materialism and gluttony and the poor. Think of Elijah at the office, whining that everything is hopeless, his life not worth living. Care to guess how John the Baptist might do in a job interview, picking insect legs from between his teeth?
Too much life in all of them. Nowadays we've learned to tone it down.
But there is a price to pay. How often do you look at your own children and fail to see miracles? How often do you pray nice prayers while your truest questions ooze beneath the surface like a flood in the basement? (Those questions, the anguish, uncertainty and doubt are all very biblical, you know. Read the Psalms.)
We need our story-tellers. We have to get the truth back.
I think that's why great writers sometimes end up turning out contrived little stories about a god they understand - which is no God at all. They've rushed things. They've come toned-down to the work. They need to find their inner prophets, once again.
I'm open to disagreement, by the way. Do you agree with Unamuno's statement above, and with my thoughts, or do you see things differently? If you're a writer, please share your best method for finding your inner prophet.
Pass the locusts, please.