by Don Wiest
author of "The Expendable Pawn"
As the author of a Christian-based book, I am sometimes asked if I might offer some words of wisdom which might inspire other writers who are contemplating a similar project. At first this seemed the equivalent of asking me to articulate the musical nuances of “The Nutcracker Suite” to a rap artist…I imagine, a very difficult thing to do! Then I realized that what makes this task seem so daunting is that the human machine deals with a unique concept called individuality. Each person’s ability to paint pictures with words is primarily driven by a series of sensual inputs coupled with a dynamic library of life experiences which we can retrieve and play back at will. Of course, there in lays the great trap because we, as individual writers, must conceive of ways to put pen to paper in such a way, that it will trigger playback emotions within the reader’s mind, which are similar to our perceived experiences.
For a Christian writer, this task becomes even more difficult because we are dealing with a seemingly ethereal Creator who, for complex reasons, chooses to remain elusive and mysterious…especially through all of the senses He has seen fit to bless humans with. So in the absence of sensual input which might otherwise offer irrefutable proof of our Creator’s existence, to what resource can a Christian writer reach for in order to sufficiently stimulate the reader’s mind? Perhaps another way to couch this question is how do we write convincingly about a Creator to whom we know so little about?
My “could have had a V-8” moment came when I stopped thinking of myself as a author and instead began visualizing myself as more of a scribe. I know, I know, to a writer there is nothing more inglorious than to identify one’s self as someone who merely copies down words rather than creates them! Ah, but then again, consider for a moment just who the author’s are. The word “author” is plural not singular because, if this mental transition progresses as it should, you will discover that there are actually three individuals who are dictating to you. For me, Their roles became clearer after I committed to, and was subsequently accepted, for the dictation position. It was during the numerous prayerful conferences that I realized God was the Planner, Jesus Christ was the Creator, and the Holy Spirit was the Revealer.
Here’s how it worked; God had already developed a predestined plan to reach certain persons with a book called “The Expendable Pawn”. When Jesus Christ, the Creator made me, he blessed me with a passionate curiosity to explore and write. He then coupled this with a lifetime of specific events which I, of course, was quite unable to appreciate until the Holy Spirit revealed to me the purpose and design behind those experiences. The result was that all three participated with the “wordsmithing” phase of development which then determined the final content of the book itself!
What all this means is that if you feel inspired to write on a Christian based topic, don’t stress out over the content and methodology. Relax and understand that it has already been conceived and planned in the mind of God Himself. Jesus has already created you with the specific talents needed to execute the project, and the Holy Spirit will reveal the purpose and timing of the project when the Author’s feel you are ready to start receiving dictation. The only thing you need to concentrate on is the interview. After all, if you don’t develop a genuine desire to sell yourself, with respect to your talents, then why would the Author’s be motivated to consider you as the one who should complete the project?
It is also important to point out that the first interview, as well as the subsequent work sessions, should be a two-way communication process. In other words, here’s your opportunity to learn more about your Bosses! Don’t forget to be a good listener…after all, how can They dictate if you’re not listening? Make adequate preparations before the initial interview and be prepared to ask, as well as answer, lots of questions about how best to work together on the project while developing a lasting relationship that will transcend the project itself.
Here is a secret They usually don’t tell you right off the bat. I’m sharing this with you because I know it will give you a leg up during the interview process. The fact is They are as excited and enthusiastic about working with you as you are to work with Them! In fact the more you let Them talk, the more you will come to realize the depth of Their love for you so don’t be in a hurry to finish the project. You will know if the working relationship is proceeding as it should because you will experience an inexpressible desire to cultivate a bond of devotion and loyalty that you will find truly addicting and difficult to live without. Come to think about it, it can’t be all that bad for your writing career either!
EXCERPT from "The Expendable Pawn"
the Flood through the use of natural laws and forces which would better
serve to harmonize more directly with what has been forwarded through
fairly recent cosmological and Earth science discoveries. While nothing
can be known for sure, it was a fascinating challenge to explore this evidence
and combine it with biblical references to arrive at possible “what
if ” speculations which might better harmonize with science yet feature
the added advantages of a Christian-based perspective.
In this same vein, it was also fascinating to explore another topic usually
not addressed in the typical Sunday school class. What did Noah actually
see when the hatches of the Ark were opened? What did this world really
look like, and what might have been the first impressions as the eight
of them gazed out over the new landscape? How did they manage to
survive while at the same time establishing a firm foundation for human
re-colonization? Even with all the technological accoutrements we have
at our disposal today to help us survive in harsh climate conditions, we
would be hard pressed to actually sustain such an effort for extended periods
of time without succumbing to a debilitating and hopeless despair.
It is difficult to imagine this ongoing titanic struggle in conjunction with
drastically changed meteorological conditions, family rearing, establishing
permanent settlements, raising crops, hunting, fishing, and re-discovering
land masses that had been completely altered beyond all recognition.
Discerning answers to the above questions and speculating on the many
possible “what ifs” created the incentive of this work. The overall purpose
surrounding the somewhat tenuous relationship between man and his
Creator, and examine the conditions which existed before and after the
Flood. The foundation of this effort is based on biblical Scriptures, but
it also integrates certain archaeological discoveries and scientific evidence
which deserve serious attention yet are often not objectively considered
in a work of this type.