The Book On Paper and the One In Here (Offworld, Day 3)

I’ve heard it said that every writer has two books: the one in his head, and the one that ends up on paper. CSFF Blogger Julie did an interview with Robin Parrish in which he says,

There was also a desire on my part to do a story that was totally character-driven. The Dominion Trilogy was a blast to write, but the most common feedback I got about it was that it was very plot-driven. Not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily, but the most resonant and emotional stuff does usually come from character-driven storytelling. I wanted to prove that I could do both, so I’m very pleased with the fact that Offworld is entirely driven by these very three-dimensional characters and their needs, emotions, and decisions.

Question is, did it work? I think yes. Lyn of ResAliens agrees:

The author’s strength is character driven stories – good people with angst set in compelling situations with enough reality based conflict to give the fantastical elements of the story their appeal. I like spec fic but I like good characters and story telling best. And Parrish delivers.

The process of writing is a struggle to form a vision so clear you can put it into words; to find words so perfect they express the vision. Offworld has inspired a lot of people to ask whether Christian fiction should be more overtly Christian, whether sci-fi ought to include more sci-, whether car chases really belong in a novel and not on a screen. Perhaps because I’m incurably nosy about creative processes, I find myself asking other questions: Did the author tell the story he wanted to tell? Did he get those car chases on paper, or are they still blazing through his head somewhere, unable to be truly expressed in words?

I enjoyed Julie’s interview and especially Parrish’s comment about wanting to prove that he could write two kinds of stories. That’s the kind of challenge that excites me as a writer: Can I cross that horizon? Can I conquer that territory? The answer is always “I hope so — let’s see.”

For me, a major horizon is expressing my Christian faith through fiction. I write nonfiction articles on faith all the time, but I shy away from triteness with all my soul, and I can’t seem to express Christianity in fiction without being trite. Fantasy fiction is the closest I can come, as I can explore and express the supernatural with such abandon. Someday I want to write a “real-life” novel about faith, just to prove I can — to myself as much as to anyone else.

This post wraps up the CSFF Blog Tour for Offworld. Check out the list of other posters on Becky Miller’s blog, and leave a comment here. I’ll be giving away a copy of Robin Parrish’s book next week, so check back!







6 responses to “The Book On Paper and the One In Here (Offworld, Day 3)”

  1. Rachel Avatar

    Robin, thanks for writing a book to get us conversing :). I definitely enjoyed your book, and I appreciate the variety you’re helping build in Christian fiction — not too many people are writing superhero stories for this market!

  2. Robin Avatar

    Thanks for all the great thoughts, Rachel! I’m gratified that this book has generated so much conversation and debate among the blog tour participants — getting people conversing about their beliefs and ideas is never a bad thing, imo.

  3. Rebecca LuElla Miller Avatar

    Rachel, I already have my “real life” novel mapped out! 😀

    I keep seeing these similarities in the avenues our writing takes!


  4. […] ? Cheryl Russell ? Chawna Schroeder ? James Somers Speculative Faith Stephanie ? ? ? Rachel Starr Thomson ? ? Steve Trower ? ? ? Fred Warren ? ? ? Dona Watson ? […]

  5. […] very fun interview with Robin. And there are a number of bloggers offering an Offworld give-away: Rachel Starr Thomson, Fred Warren, Katie Hart, and others. Also, if you’d like to see a trailer for Offworld, stop […]

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