by Christine Sunderland
Final month I completed an early draft of my novel-in-progress, Angel Mountain, 73,000 words. I breathed a sigh of relief as I sent it to a group of chosen readers.
These readers are hardy and sacrificial (and hopefully charitable) buddies who have some connection with the themes in the novel. They will view the manuscript with fresh eyes in terms of pace, logic, character, and plot: Extra right here, much less there? How did we get from A to B? You stated this currently. Extra desires to be stated about this. What occurred right here? This does not make sense. Unbelievable characters, illogical plot.
A sort of concentrate group, these readers come to be my eyes, so that I can see anew. For I am blinded by my immersion in the story and themes. I have lived with the characters in my head for so lengthy, I assume factors are in the manuscript that are not there.
I can not suggest this approach enough—having a couple of readers, sort buddies, who will point out approaches to make the book much better. I could not use all of their recommendations, but I will know that every single one particular of them represents quite a few other folks who could possibly respond in the very same way when they study Angel Mountain.
Angel Mountain is about Heaven and Earth. It is about evolution and genetics, faith and science. I ask the concerns: Who are we? What sort of creature is man? What is the mystery of his consciousness, his sense of proper and incorrect, of justice? Along the way, I examine problems of liberty and law, history and human rights, persecution and genocide.
The Heavens and the Earth. What is the Kingdom of Heaven? How do we know the way? Exactly where is the border in between time and eternity? What are we promised when we are washed in the waters of Baptism?
I generally feel Christian writers, possessing been offered the Holy Spirit—and the guarantee of
Heaven—through the waters of Baptism, are referred to as to now stroll on these waters. We, like St. Peter, see Our Lord walking toward us, as the seas rage. For the reason that we are youngster-like and impetuous, and complete of life (and appreciate), we hurry to meet Christ. We attempt to stroll on the water, to attain to touch him, to be touched by him, to be filled with his Spirit, the breath of his inspiration, to describe with words the mystery and miracle of life that Christians know, breathe, and reside. We attain to touch Heaven with Earth with words. And Our Lord reaches out with his hand to save us from ourselves.
Only Christ can give us these words. Only Christ can touch our hearts and minds to generate as he has designed. We want to touch and to have the thoughts of our Maker, the Creator of the Universe, as Dorothy Sayers when wrote.
Lands and seas wrap the surface of our planet. Gravity holds these lands and seas in spot, maintaining them firm, stopping them from flying into the cosmos. Gravity holds us also, maintaining us from floating toward the stars. As Eric Metaxas says, quite a few components of astrophysics are very fine-tuned to assistance life on this planet. The odds of these prerequisites occurring in the way they do, are astronomically against our pretty existence. Mystery and miracle abound.
We stroll on water, the waters of creation, the waters of Baptism, the waters of life itself. As writers, we attain out to the supreme Creator, who walks towards us, arms open.
But like St. Peter, we occasionally take our eyes away from Our Lord. We appear about and see the storms of the planet, sirens calling us away from our accurate calling. We doubt. We hesitate. We sink.
My initially draft involved a fantastic deal of trusting and obeying (see preceding post, “Trusting the Truth”). This subsequent draft will also. For, the outcome of trusting and obeying is walking on water, with Our Lord at our side, holding us up. The Creator of of the universe holds his personal creation, and we step collectively, more than the waters he formed so lengthy ago.
I’m searching forward to my initially readers’ responses to Angel Mountain. Their perceptions will make the novel much better. Their reactions will give me the courage to rise to the surface of the sea, breathe the air when once more, and grasp the hand of Christ.
One particular day, Heaven and Earth will be one particular. One particular day the final trumpet shall sound and we shall be changed. One particular day our words will come accurate. They will dance in all time, in eternity. One particular day the Heavens and the Earth will declare the glory of God.
Christine Sunderland has authored six award-winning novels: Pilgrimage, set in Italy, Offerings, set in France, Inheritance, set in England, Hana-lani, set in Hawaii, The Magdalene Mystery, set in Rome and Provence (all Oaktara), and The Fire Trail (eLectio), set at UC Berkeley. She serves as Managing Editor for the American Church Union (www.AmericanChurchUnion.com). Take a look at Christine at www.ChristineSunderland.com (internet site and weblog).