Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Image-Bearers and the Imagination--INKBLOTS

Blustery evening on the Red House Farm for InkBlots tonight, rain pattering against the windows, wind gusting in the trees, cattle restless and lowing. Snoqualmie red blend, only four of us braving it tonight; the others are missed.

Never package truth in dullness
I shared from Spurgeon's morning devotions, with his vintage use of imaginative comparisons to awaken the reader: "There is no mortgage on his estate; no suits can be raised by opposing claimants, the price was paid in open court, and the Church is the Lord's freehold forever." and a few lines later, "What a battle he had in us before we would be won! How long he laid siege to our hearts! How often he sent us terms of capitulation! but we barred our gates, and fenced our walls against him. Do we not remember that glorious hour when he carried our hearts by storm? When he placed his cross against the wall, and scaled our ramparts, planting on our strongholds the blood-red flag of his omnipotent mercy?" Victorian Spurgeon, unlike so many of his contemporary authors, knew how to be concise, how to use words with utility, each word, phrase, image, tight, evocative, and genuine. Don't write like Spurgeon. He's Spurgeon. But glean everything you can from his rich use of words. Still more, take his message deeply into your soul.

Awaken your readers' imaginations. We discussed journalism, of all things. And writing with integrity, ahem. Speaking of writing with integrity, Bob is dropping his Soap Lake yarn, to our consternation. What! We were loving it. He was not sure where it was going. We told him not to shred it. Then he started telling us what was going to happen, sordid tale of con and murder and general shysterism. Patrick likes it and urges Bob to focus on the satire of the name-it-and-claim-it dude, with new-age crystals not Bibles. Surprised twist, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, what he did was write a book that was a critique of European colonialism, but knew it wouldn't sell so he wrote the book using all the tropes of an adventure story, hooking the audience, then coming through the backdoor with his anti-colonialism theme. So Patrick's point is use one genre as set up then hit the reader with the expose on shysters. Which makes me think this could also be a political thriller, what with all the shysters, or an expose on journalists who think they are high priests of what ought to have happened and why it ought to have, but blithely charging forward ignoring what actually happened (the facts. The what?).  

Patrick nearing the end of the Ceribravore Tales, audience, speculative fiction, young adults to twenties, mostly males, 1000 years in the future. Rereading the same chapters after revision from our last hearing. This is a good thing to do. This story is a picture of redemption. Employing his switching of genre, per earlier discussion. Patrick had gotten some push-back about it being too narrative driven, too much beginning exposition, too much background set up, without action and character development. Our hero, you are addressing the reader, as our story begins. This is the oral storyteller point of view, somewhat like Lewis in Chronicles. I like the revision, the characters and action make it come alive, but I realized that I wasn't fully connecting, and was trying to figure out why. I think it is because you are using they, plural pronouns for your characters, not one dominant individual. It is harder for readers to connect with they than with him or her, a single individual character, yes, who had friends with him, but we can get into one head far more easily than into two or three or a dozen. How to include Gabe's brother, who appears later. How to introduce this? Bob commented that Patrick does not give us the expected phraseology, but comes at us from the flank. 

John reads Saving Grace, last chapter, letter her mom dropped in her lap, Grace not quite sure what to expect. Letter is from her boyfriend, father of her child. This is a good letter, Dear Jane letter, but I wonder if he would use the kind of words, syntax seems too educated, clear, honest for who I thought this guy was. Her boyfriend is a new convert, loves them both, and can't imagine living without them. Why was he too ashamed to say it to her face. Bob appreciated how John had Grace react, in thoughts and body language, reacting to the letter. Is the letter too detailed, gives too much away? I would suggest having him frank and honest about the habits of his past, acknowledging that he will need lots of help, wants to do what's right for her and for the baby, feeling inadequate, wanting to do what is right, she deserves more, Grace deserves more than he is and can give, but he wants to be that man. Patrick appreciates that John did not go too far and left the uncertainty.  

I read a chapter and a bit from Luther in Love, where Luther is giving a sermon at the Stadtkirche in Wittenberg. Got some good push back about congregation interaction. Have I adequately prepared the reader for rough German church service with Luther preaching in the vernacular and peasant roughs responding during the sermon? Work on this. And tighten the actual sermon, avoid redundancies; here's a thought, try not to repeat myself, over again, and say the same thing more than once, and maybe I could avoid unnecessary repetition while I'm at it. Read an excerpt of LUTHER IN LOVE. Save your coffee money and join us for the LUTHER 500 REFORMATION TOUR June 15-25; space is filling so don't delay.

No comments:

Post a Comment