Sunday, May 04, 2008

Author Intrusion

This happens to me frequently. I wake up in the pre dawn and in a twilight sleepy wakefulness, God speaks to me.

Story idea. Plot resolution. Encouragement. Ideas. Words for other people.

This morning, He spoke to me about "author intrusion." I shared it with our congregation as I led the way to Him in worship.

Author intrusion is when the story writer invades the story, telling the reader something the protagonist doesn't know. Often we see this written, "little did he know..."

Or, "By Tuesday, Jean would never want to see Frank again."

Really? How does Jean know. Trust me, I try to "see" into the future and so far, I'm blind about it.

Yet, a lot of older and classic fiction is infused with author intrusion. My guess is they used it as a way to build suspense. There are some modern, main stream writers who do this, but it's a technique I advise new writers to avoid.

Most books today are written in "third person limited" point of view. Meaning, the reader cannot know anything the protagonist(s) doesn't know. If Fred doesn't know what is going to happen on Tuesday, then neither should the reader. Unless, the clever and creative author switches to another point of view, Jean, where she confesses she's going to break up with Fred on Tuesday.

But the Lord spoke to me about author intrusion. HE, the author and perfecter of our faith wants to intrude our lives. He wants to take over in areas where we can't see. He wants us to trust He's writing a good and great story for us. About us.

But we struggle in our "third person," or "first person" limited point of view. If we don't know it or understand it, we don't believe it. Or think it exist. Or that "it" can happen.

But God is saying, "Yes it can. Trust Me."

Sometimes we just plain ole struggle with control and sin. We want to be in charge, dictate the story, tell God how it's to go down.

I always cringe when I hear writers say, "the characters just took over the story and told me how it was going to be." This is usually followed by questions of how to get out of their plot problems.

My characters say things all the time I didn't plan, but they never, ever change the direction of my story. I've deleted some really excellent dialog and scenes because they took the story to a place I couldn't use.

Let God write His name on your heart. Let Him author and perfect your faith. Listen to His story and believe. He is for you. He loves you. He has your very good in mind.


Sharon Hayes said...

Rachel, I've read books with "author intrusion" - I guess they thought it would tweek your curiosity?? I like the thought of our Lord as an "author intruder". This is a good lesson , thanks.

Love Mom

K.R.Brownlee said...

What a great word! Thank you for sharing