Last night, my family and I broke in a new sound system (which, I think, still isn't entirely working) by watching some of the wonderful show that is Doctor Who. The second episode we watched was Midnight. I could talk about the suspense and acting, but that's not really what often strikes me about my favorite Doctor Who episodes. They make me think.
I won't go into a whole lot of detail (for one thing, it'd ruin the episode!) but there were a couple of things I particularly liked. The first was how they drew out some of the main character's--the Doctor's--faults. As all Whovians know, the Doctor is an amazing person that we all love. He does, however, has his faults. The other thing was how it was a very potent commentary on fear and what it does to people--the irrationality, even the stupidity, that it can bring on.
So, I'm seeing already it's going to take me awhile to get to my point. Hang in there, please. I talked about this sporadically with my mom as we got ready for bed last night. Mixed in there was some discussion about good writers...and I brought up the fact that Davies, the writer of that particular episode, says he doesn't believe in God, yet his writing (all of Doctor Who) is often contradicting that view. Mom pointed out that that was probably because he's reaching for something. He wants there to be more meaning in the world than he allows for.
I don't remember how exactly it came up, but Mom also mentioned something about me writing something. Mixed in with good writers and all that. I said I might like it/be good at it, because I've been told over and over again that my dialogue is good, yet I know my prose doesn't really stand up that well. Well, perfect solution: take away the prose!
Then I had a flash. When I finished Forest of Lies, there was a bit of time where I messed with the idea of turning it into a screenplay. I had ideas for how to transfer the plot, how to tweak it to match the visual medium. I lost interest, didn't have enough time, moved on to editing, etc. Last night, I remembered that dream. The idea of seeing the story on a screen.
Like it or not, movies are big part of our lives, at least American lives, these days. There are frightening statistics about the number of adults that have read a novel since graduating from high school or college, yet the movies rake in heaps of cash. Even in the recession, people are still laying down the dollars for movies--3D movies, even.
I think there's currently a stirring in the arts, Christians--especially homeschoolers--interested in getting into the secular gripped worlds of novels, art, movies...entering that culture of death and changing it from the inside out.
I've always considered myself a plain ol' real BOOK writer. And maybe I am. But last night, after that flash in my head and as I thought over it both that night and this morning...I almost think I'm supposed to attempt to turn Forest of Lies into a screenplay. I feel rather like Gideon, though...I've prayed for clarity, but I only saw two options: edit Forest of Lies, write Etched in Black. I'm looking at them, God! Just point at one. Please. Seems like he said to me, "no, you're looking in the wrong place all together. I want you over there."
Are you sure? I don't know what I'm doing. I already did Forest of Lies--what is doing it again going to help? How will it even affect anyone? To get that out, I need more than an edited manuscript. I need a screen. A camera. Actors. Money. What in the world? I'm 17. It's not going to reach anyone else, and you already taught me what I needed to learn from it, didn't you? Why go over the story again? Is there something I missed? If I do that, I can't enter novel contests with it...it won't be a book! What about next year? Because surely this isn't for someone else...could you please make the ground sopping wet and the fleece dry? I'm not sure that was really you...
There, I think that's enough of a running commentary on Nai's head at the moment. Since last night, I've had several more nudges, in words of songs that I've taken as a battle cry..."sing until the whole world hears"...and I've come to a realization. Awhile back, I said, "okay, God, if the only person this book ever really affects is me, that's okay. I can deal with that." But that's a safe thought now. I am cool with that. Trying to do something that I have no idea where it's going to end, and how it will affect people? That's scarier. I could mess it up. I could get it wrong.
The truth is, it could be that this is still just a journey for me--me and my Daddy. Forest of Lies as a screenplay may open my eyes more to truth and love--because really, there's a lot more I could learn. But maybe it'll be something more, too. Someday. I've realized I didn't really want to give up writing Etched in Black, even though I said that I could if He made it all clear. The silly truth is that I still want another go at the OYAN novel contest. Plain and simple. I've finalized twice, and I really want to try again. But I think God's made it pretty evident that Etched isn't right for now. Maybe I'm hearing wrong and Forest of Lies isn't either. I'll take my chance, though. It's just like God to be unexpected and make sense at the same time, to push me out of the realm of the comfortable, to make my heart follow through with what my head said. (I really need to stop saying: "do this and I'll do that" because by goodness, He goes and does it and I have to follow through!)
So, that's a really long post. "Sing until the whole world hears what we're crying out"...to have something that isn't just brilliant and makes you think, like Doctor Who, but is absolutely grounded in truth. That has something. That says: "this could be yours."