Writing well is another thing entirely. I’ve seen sentence structure that made me want to cry in indignant outrage. I’ve seen people who always put a space between the last word of a sentence and the period. I’ve even seen insane people who use no spaces when listing things in order.
Then again, I’ve seen people with as big a vocabulary as mine, and the grammar skills to use it and have it come out beautifully, like a bard singing praises to the Lord in amazing, eloquent, dapper wording, writing original stories that don’t sound like every other best-seller on the list.
I try to be like the second group of people.
But as much as I do for the grammar and spelling, etcetera, of a novel, sometimes the problem is finding a story.
Some stories come out of nowhere and hit you in the face like an amazing brick made out of action and romance and plot twists.
Some stories start small, then grow into beautiful works of art that you re-write almost immediately because you thought of another layer to the story, like making a batch of brownies only to realize you could’ve added a layer of caramel in the middle, but you’ve already put it in the oven. You have to make another batch and hide the other in your stomach so no one sees that plain abomination.
But maybe that part with the brownies is just me.
And, yes, I realize that we can’t buy caramel without the designated bottomless pit of the house eating it, so this is probably not an excuse for my eating all of the brownies I make, but cut me some slack, here.
Anyway, for a long time I wrote fan fiction. Good fan fiction, not that creepy stuff you find in the dark corners of the internet. I wrote fan fiction that won community internet awards on a site with 2 million writers on it, in a fandom that had at least six thousand members on that particular site.
(Don’t bother asking for the site, my username on there, or what kind of fan fiction. Those were dark days… *shudder* Yeah, I’m trying to cut ties with most of those guys. Except my Texas buddy. He’s chill. To quote him, “Stupid granola-eating yoga hippies…” Yup. That’s my buddy, who writes exceptional Tesla fan fiction.)
But that’s off-topic. Back to what I was talking about, or leading up to, at least.
I’ve usually stuck with writing fan fiction because it’s fun and easy. Take the ready-made characters, put them in a situation, do your absolute best to keep them in-character. OOC fanfic is horrible. OOC is out-of-character. There’s your random fanfic slang learning for the day. OC is just original character.
Original novels are harder. There’s a lot of elements that go into a character, far more than just what they look like in your head. You have to decide what their childhood was like, what their favorite foods are, if they can cook, what their political alignment is, and their lineage as well. Most writers don’t even think about these factors when writing, and having them out from the first is important for character development. I just run around on the web and scrounge up character sheets. The longest one I know of has 300-something questions, all of which matter to a character.
Then you have specific events that have to line up correctly. I once had a published author tell me that it was fine to write scenes out of order, she did it all the time.
I suspect that’s why she’s still only writing picture books for young children, but who am I to say anything? She’s published IRL (if only illustrated books for young children) and I’m an internet writer, predominantly anonymous, and a winner of repeat awards in my circles.
But anyway, I’ve wanted to write angels for a long time. The idea of a person who is simultaneously less perfect than Christ, but still able to stand in the presence of God kind of fascinates me. I once read a book with an angel in it that spent five minutes staring at sea glass on the beach, just in awe of God’s perfect design for the earth that brought this piece of glass into existence, and felt extreme guilt if he even thought about doubting God’s plans. I can sort of identify with that perfect wonder.
Also, I’m curious about the mechanics of wings on a human being. I know we aren’t made to have them, but I’ve read art walk-throughs that didn’t so much explain the wings as much as how the human body would have to be altered in order to successfully fly. Needless to say, it was a long walk-through, and only confirmed my knowledge that angels do not, in fact, have wings, other than for use in awesome original novels.
P.S. To the certain people in the internet art and fan fiction business, hipwings are an abomination and if you were my kid and you used hipwings in art or writing, I would disown you, then throw you in a volcano of cold nacho cheese to the gods of fan fiction justice. Don’t use hipwings, for the sake of all that is anatomically possibly useful for flying and is biologically ideal.
So, mom read this before approving for the blog, and we decided to talk to my Sunday school teacher before posting about angels, do our homework, so to speak.
So Mother called my teacher about a week ago. We found out today in church that he didn’t have a number to get back to us at, so that’s why it took a week. I caught him after church and asked him, spawning a nice little conversation where I got some questions answered.
Now we’ve established that an angel is a heavenly being that is not God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost. The next question was about why they can stand in the presence of God. My teacher concurred with my answer about how they can look on God and be less perfect than Jesus. I said something along the lines of:
“Well, I believe the difference between Jesus and angels is that angels are susceptible to sin, i.e., the Nephilim, born of humans and angels, and the one-third of heaven’s host being cast down because of sin, while Jesus is impervious to sin. He walked through the earth in all its ugliness, and came out clean. Angels can be sullied. So, they are without sin because they haven’t been exposed to it, so they are perfect because they have had no exposure to sin, but they are susceptible to it, while Jesus walked through all kinds of sin and came out still untouched.”
So, having confirmed the difference between angels and Jesus, we assume that untouched angels can look upon God because they have no sin, having not seen any yet and therefore having no idea how to sin, in layman’s terms.
And, while I’m thinking about it, there’s one Madame L’Engle book with Nephilim. It’s got the twins in it as the main characters, and it took me three weeks to finish, even though it was a tiny paperback and much less intimidating than some of the books I had been reading when I was that age (about nine, I think. That was the birthday year with the ice cream m&m cake! 😀 ).
Anyway, it had some interesting views on the Nephilim and their interactions with humans. It was a good book. Go read that book. It was something or other. One second, let me consult Google.
Many Waters, by Madame L’Engle, that’s it. The Seraphim and Nephilim and all that jazz. Good book.
After our talk, I ended up mentioning to my teacher that I was writing a book with angels in it. He was pleasantly surprised.
This was the man, who when I walked into my class a bit late, triggered the short conversation of:
Teacher: “We have our [family name] girl today!”
Me: “Yeah, only ‘cuz I don’t get to stay in mom’s class, which is a total bummer, since they don’t have the commie teaching today…”
Teacher: “What did you say? Tommie?”
Me: “No, “commie”. C-O-M-M-I-E.”
Teacher: …. *grins* “I’m so glad you’re in class today.”
So, yes, I am a teacher’s pet, and I adore my disabled vet teacher, who is loud and blustery and doesn’t tell me that I’m stupid for saying that Islam is bad. (Also – moment of pride: watching my class’ face when they had to admit that according to the Word of Wisdom, vegans and vegetarians are not of God. Sweet revenge.)
If I ever have the guts to both finish that book and publish it, I suppose I’ll have to give out signed copies on here or something…