You might think because I write Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction my story worlds are a delightful Sunday-Go-to-Meeting escape.
Well, I can’t fib. That’s somewhat true…to a point.
As a conscientious writer whose goal is to share a great story, I strive to balance the delightful with reality-based conflict in a heartfelt, homespun way. Today’s readers want meat-and-potatoes stories that resonate. They want stories with real-life, flesh-and-bone characters who struggle with imperfections and issues inherent to today’s times.
They don’t want society’s vision of perfect. They want fiction that’s perfect for them.
For some readers, those story worlds resemble disorder and chaos. For others, their happy medium is more of a slow, climactic build-up. Some like intense, non-stop action. Some prefer violence and mayhem. Still, for many, the perfect story is the rise and fall of an underdog with hardship (eventually) overcome.
My fiction has an inspirational romantic slant, so you’re not likely to find intense violence or dark, underlying themes. (This says a gal drawn into The Hunger Games. BUT…therein lies the power of a great story. And I do love when good triumphs over evil.)
Here’s the thing.
My characters do mirror real people who struggle with real problems. In my non-fictional world, though, I abhor conflict and I shy away from it.
Conflict toys with our emotions and sends us on a roller coaster ride.
In fiction? Well, of course, there’s no story without it. Conflict’s the perfect kindling for possibility. For change.
Even in our beloved Mayberry, there was conflict. (Remember, the great pickle dilemma? Poor Aunt Bee thought her garden pickles were the greatest yummies since sliced bread. In reality, not so much. Leave it to Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife to rid their office and the town of those putrid-tasting pickles without dear Aunt Bee ever finding out.)
And how about Opie and the spoiled kid? In that episode, Opie learned that manipulation did nothing to advance his cause or garner respect. Huge life lesson there, too.
And you know I’m a big (did I say BIG?) Waltons fan. Loved the nostalgic feel of Earl Hamner Jr.’s long-running series. Still, there was conflict, and the Walton family (and community) weren’t without their share of problems. During its television stint, the show tackled subjects like alcoholism and drug addiction, illness, marital discord and rape, to name a few.
One of my all-time favorite authors forever changed the face of inspirational fiction and made us think in new and out-of-the-box ways. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers remains on my keepers shelf to this day. Not homespun fiction by today’s definition, but ohh what a beautiful story of sacrificial love. I might add—I highly recommend this novel. It’s not a comfortable, easy read. It is, however, an absolute life-changer. If you’re familiar with the story of Hosea and Gomer you have an idea of what this story’s about. It’s a tremendous example of Christ’s love for us in a non-preachy, unconventional way.
In the above examples, the writers’ worlds are perfect—in imperfect ways. Each writer/creator has varying degrees of conflict and their stories unfold naturally without preamble. The characters and story worlds aren’t perfect, and yet they are—for their fans.
As I write, I don’t strive for perfection.
Just like this writer’s real-life world isn’t perfect, neither are my story worlds. Even-keel without conflict = humdrum. Boring.
Now, I admit…
I don’t like the “black moment.” Sometimes, I wish my characters would just wake up and smell the coffee before they have to suffer. But alas…it must happen.
And most often, they’re changed by it and better for it.
As a writer, that thrills me.
I hope to introduce you to my fictional worlds one day.
Perfection is a fallacy. Why imperfect characters and story worlds resonate with readers.
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Author branding and four key considerations.
Now—for a little light housekeeping. *grins*
- My next newsletter rolls out soon so please keep an eye on your inbox. I’ll announce my $25 Amazon gift card winner in the body of my April 2017 newsletter. It could be you if you’re a member of my newsletter family! And if you aren’t yet…no worries. There’s still time to sign up over in the sidebar. It’s easy, painless, and free, free, free! Each month, a member of my newsletter family is eligible for a really great prize. I’ll announce the winner’s first name and last initial in my newsletters. For rules and more info, see this post.
- I’ve added new Pinterest boards. Be sure and check out Homespun Happiness, 412 Mint-to-Be-Yours, The Waltons, and Suddenly Spring. Fun, happy goodies! And if we’re not connected on Pinterest yet, let’s remedy that. 🙂
- I’ve also indulged my creative side and added some new videos to my Facebook page. Check out Things to Ponder and Miranda Moments (for my feline-loving friends). You can see all the videos I’ve added so far if you click “see all videos.” If you’d like to see additional videos I add from time to time, you can find those over in the right-hand sidebar of my FB page. Hint: If you “like” my page, you’ll have access to everything I post there.
- Be sure and stop by next week for my W/F blog posts. They WILL be fun and deelish! Hint: Eye-candy feast is on the way. Squeeeee! 🙂
What’s new in your world?
How do you feel about gas, taxes, and politics?
(Okay. Skip the politics. Just wanted to see if you’re paying attention.)
Here’s to a delightful chocolate-nibbling, java-sipping day! *clink*