Shann, I struggled a bit with the suspense and element of surprise, in regards to how much to leave that in. My initial direction was to keep the surprise going, and then reveal more the main points more towards the end of the series. I thought it wouid be an effective way to draw someone into the story, and reveal the mistakes we can make in our journeys by allowing the reader to possibly make some mistakes themselves while reading the story. So, it was going to be a wild ride, but I was too tempted to let out the teacher in me after buiding, what I see as a strong, suspenseful beginning. I don't reveal everything, but I do reveal a good deal of where the story is going and some main points I am looking to convey.
So, it's still somewhat suspenseful, yet a good deal changed into more like a devotional within the story. And, where I left off suspense, I have some humor and feel it is still very interesting and insightful in what I brought in with biblical teachings.
I still wonder if I made the better decision. After I wrote the story a girl I was training at work was reading "The Hunger Games" and lent it to me to read. Now that's a wild ride and found myself engrossed in the story. I didn't want to put it down and bought the other books and went through them fast. I have found that others that have read that series have also done the same (captivated and went through the series fast).
I also found that a good deal of what the author in the Hunger Games explores, are same things I also explore in the book I wrote, and will continue to build on with the other books in the series. It appears we are both trying to emphasize some of the same things. She doesn't mention religion, even so, you can see how the world parallels.
Seeing how effective she was at drawing the reader in and bring out her message through that avenue (much surprise and suspense, and a good deal of emotional element), and again, seeing how I felt we were looking to convey similar messages, I wondered if I should have stuck more with that. It was how I first intended to take the story I wrote, but I also didn't want to make the story about all that. It worked for her, and worked well I thought, but as I said, the teacher in me was bursting at the seams to come out and I let it out. So, I somewhat changed directions, but not totally.
I am happy with what I brought in, and know God was in it too. I feel it is revelant and timely. I'm not saying I got it all right and didn't miss it too in areas, but overall I am happy about the teachings and believe they are insightful and helpful. So, I traded a good deal of suspense for teachings and devotion. I'm keeping it, and may God use it, and all our writings for his glory as He is in it and how He sees fit.
And yes, as my conversation is going, I see how this may fit in better in a different section of this forum.
Either way, thanks for letting me share my challenges, and thoughts.