All we want from a story is to be reminded that we exist in a universe of miracles. It’s not much because miracles are all around us. The very fact we are talking with each other right now is proof.
But maybe this sounds like hogwash to you. You huff and stare off into the distance. “My story is not about miracles. It’s about the horrible things that happened to me, and how hard I worked to get away. I’m still mad.”
You have every right to be.
And perhaps you’re writing a fiction book about a man solving brutal, shocking crimes. That seems about as far away from miracles as a blizzard in July. You, the tough nut author, don’t understand how this talk about miracles matters in your story.
Let’s take a look at our daily lives.
If you’ve ever gone to Costco, you’ve seen pallets of food and hordes of depressed people. Most folks shove a cart through the aisles where the only surprise is how much food they feel forced to buy. There’s no joy in grabbing another six-pack of lifeless black beans. But if you go to the local farmer’s market on Saturday, you will see customers practically levitate with giddiness over late-summer strawberries. Every little basket seems a miracle offering.
If you can bring a miracle like that to the surface, then you will find hungry readers. And not all miracles need to be as obvious as fresh produce.
A few weeks ago a neighborhood mom posted on Facebook: 'No shower, no makeup, no bra, big coat to hide the floppy boobs means I am heading to Wal-Mart. I apologize in advance.'
Another mom wrote in response: 'Sometimes I don't get out of the car while running errands because sometimes I don't wear a bra. The other day my son asked if we could go in the bank…I said no I was just doing drive up. He began crying then screamed at me, "Why cause you’re not wearing your bra?" I guess I used that excuse in the past and he remembered :) lol'
It’s amazing any mom gets errands done while raising kids, and if a mom happens to also maintain a sense of humor, well, we can put that down in the miracle column.
It doesn’t take much, but you have to sprinkle miracles into your memoir. Go past the pain and hold hands with the neighbor who helped you, the boss who didn’t fire you, the sweetheart who asked you to dance. They’re all miracles in your life. We want to be touched by the miracles you have witnessed. And if you are writing a crime novel, you must find a way to inject miracle moments into your book. You can’t force readers to endure unrelenting pain and sadness, or it will seem as lifeless and depressing as a Costco visit. Only by sharing the things you find amazing will you find an audience that can’t put a finger on why, but oh how they are under your spell.
Take this time to write about the important things, the things that leave you gob-smacked and giddy. The smaller and more hidden they are, the more your reader will love you for pointing out wonders of the universe between the tough lessons you learned. Here are your easy start lines.
I remember this amazing moment when…
I’m still awestruck over…
Sending long distance hugs and good wishes, Janette