Wednesday, October 19, 2011


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Quite awhile ago, a fellow blogger posted on her religious (she used the term spiritual) beliefs. We disagree majorly on several things, but one of them I ended up coming full circle on.

It was the idea of worth. She said we're all worthy of God's love.

My immediate reaction was: "no we're not."

I mean, after all, we're all hopeless sinners. We're not worth much of anything. Right?

The following Sunday, though, my home church actually brought up the topic of worth. The idea presented by one member is that although we aren't deserving of God's love, we are worth it. Why? Because worth is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it.

I should have remembered this, because one lesson in the OYAN textbook is about worth. It talks about how you establish the worth of the story goal by showing how much the hero is willing to pay for it. Not exactly money, but the sorrow and hardship the hero undergoes shows how much achieving the story goal is worth to him. This isn't only true of stories, but also of basic economics. Considering my readers are more the novelling type, I won't torture you with more on that (though I personally find the subject fascinating).

So, even though we aren't deserving of love, we're worth it. Because Someone died for us.

The idea of worth is something that has been rolling around in my head for quite a while, really. After all, before Quintessence came along, my project was Worthless. Since my book titles are generally negative versions of my themes, it should be pretty easy to figure out one of the main themes. All of the main characters are dealing with issues of worth in some arena or another, especially Yvette.

Then, of course, there's Robin.

The attempt to edit Forest of Lies has been plaguing me for ages now. Those who have been reading this blog from the beginning are over-aware of this, and even new readers probably are already aware of it as well. I thought I had rejuvenated it with the idea of writing it in third person, including both Marian's (the original point of view) and Robin's points of view, with the possibility of some passages from Much. Though I was quite pleased with the results of a couple of "practice" scenes I tried with Robin and Much, I'm much less pleased with Marian's third person transfer. Maybe she's just been first person too long. I'm losing her voice when I try to put it in third and add details (Forest of Lies in its current state rests a ton on dialogue). It could be that I'm just too close to the project to tell if it's coming off right (I've been considering posting it for critiques on the forum), but it just feels all wrong.

So I've been thinking about it. There are two reasons I keep coming back to Forest of Lies.

1) I love the story so much I want it to be edited to a more polished, more believable product.

2) I miss Robin.

Confession. I miss Robin. There's more of his story still pulling at my mind, and I'm a bit of a loss of how to tell it. I've played with the idea of doing Forest of Lies from his POV, but it always seems like that won't be enough "meat" on the outline's bones. Then these dual-perspective attempts keep grinding to a halt.

Why am I going into this?

Robin's story has a lot to do with worth. It's something of a joke to myself and people that "know" him well that Robin has an anti-ego. One person described him as selfless but still self-focused. Because of the way he grew up and things he did, he actually has an unhealthy low opinion of himself. He mixes what he deserves with what he's really worth.

Sound familiar?

Whatever is on my heart tends to come out in what I write. I still have a story of worth to tell, and I don't know if it's Robin's, or Yvette's, or Gervais's.

But I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually and probably accidentally, because that seems to be the way I roll.

I write to discover what I think.


Charissa said...

Maybe you could write short stories focusing on Robin. I haven't even started to write-write my book yet, but my characters are very much alive and I've started several unrelated stories with them. It's just so fun, ya know?
*must go and write now*

Nairam said...

I actually have written a couple of short stories with Robin, though they were FoL spinoffs rather than something specific on their own.

Yorrick said...

How intriguing! I was just reading a passage about the worth of something being more than face value due to the owner's attachment. If God has placed us as highest priority, even over the life of His Son, then mankind should therefore has the highest price. But it's even better; since God would never sell us, we are priceless! What a thought, that we of the dust have become priceless in God's eyes; I'm so glad you brought it up.

Regarding Forest of Lies:

You know, I've actually read a series of books where there were several main characters (that is, told from their point of view), but only one of those characters (the MAIN main character) spoke in the first person. Perhaps you could consider that? Then you could have Robin and/or Much in the third, and leave Marian in the first, if that seems more natural.

For adding more details:

I was really struck by Much's song; perhaps if Marian's narrative (or Much's, if you choose that idea) really focused on sounds and music and beats and pauses; that would help the song to really stand out among the lesser sounds, when it comes. If you pick that for Much, you could make Marian's narrative more to do with visuals; she seems to set so much store on appearances. You enjoy that historical research, now put it in motion. What are these people hearing or seeing? When a character is in a new environ, what seems the most unusual?

Just some ideas.


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