“…my soul is downcast within me, Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope; Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning…Lamentations 3:20b-23a.
Life is a struggle. I’m in the midst of adding 15,000 to 20,000 words to a manuscript I’ve written. Some days the writing comes easy—other days, not so. In addition to my own struggles in life, I have to make my characters struggle. Big time. Otherwise the agent, editor, and, if I’m fortunate enough to reach this stage, the reader will put the book down. That’s the death sentence all novelists fear for their work.
What makes a writer want to write? Why invent adversity, hardship, and devastation for a fictitious character to suffer through when there’s more than enough of that in the real world?
Maybe that’s where the answer lies.
In creating nuances of characters that mirror life, adding in internal and external conflict, adversity, dark moments, and in the end, resolution, writers give their readers hope. Hope that maybe, just maybe, their own problems aren’t insurmountable. For the brief period of time they’ve escaped into the pages of the book, someone else’s problems are bigger, and yet, in the end—resolution.
And in real life—well, I’m reminded of a piece of advice a friend once gave me.
Live in the “yet.”