Thursday, October 26, 2006
Follow-up to Nagging Questions--Part 2
What was that startling voice in my head? The voice of God?
It was a rhythmic ranting, a crazed chant, cold and dark and evil, yet oddly refined.
Not so pretty in death, are you…
Head twisted, back arched. Contorted mouth, eyes wide in shock, limbs all locked tight.
Now your outside looks like your inside—a black soul, an immoral soul, a horrified and horrifying soul, bound for the black pits, the depths of darkness, for eternity, ever and ever on ...
Ooookay. No wonder my mother worries about me.
And so I began to write a story around that voice. I did not set out to write a story focused on the power of prayer. As always, I set out with no agenda except to write the best suspense I could. But the more evil that arose in the novel, the more I felt compelled to portray the other side. God would naturally fight that evil. To fail to portray that would not be true to the story. I know God doesn’t always protect His people from harm—look at the Christian martyrs over the years. But in the midst of evil on the march, I know God calls his people to deep spiritual warfare prayer. I’ve seen it; I’ve experienced it; I’ve witnessed the results—although they’re not always as soon as we’d like to see them.
And so Annie, my protagonist, a new Christian, one who’s never experienced this kind of thing, hears the call to such prayer. She stumbles around, tries to ignore the call a time or two, questions God when more terrible things happen—all those things we humans tend to do. But, in the end, she does learn about prayer.
When I finished Dead of Night I was satisfied with the story.
The book went through all the stages. Macro edit, track changes, copy edit. All the way to the very last thing—proofing, when you’re not supposed to make changes, just check for typos. By then I was thinking—you know, I kinda like this book. It turned out pretty fine.
I got to the final page of proofing the galleys. So far, so good, and almost to home plate. Yeehaw.
In that last-ditch moment, God hit me up side the head.