TITLE: The Price of a Novel
By Lyn Ruth
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The writer rereads his manuscript. He is not quite contented with it yet. The main character needs to be fully developed. He must look authentic. The readers should be able to identify with him. He is the hero in the obstacles of life. But he is no ordinary hero... he has persistence, determination, wisdom, and courage. But the writer wants to use minimal descriptions about the protagonist. He prefers that the readers be allowed to figure things out about him. He wants to demonstrate the feelings and the thoughts of the hero through both intelligent and emotional dialogues. He is going to use portrayals to show what the hero is doing. The readers can draw their own conclusions from there.
On the other hand, the writer likes to spice up the plot and the setting of his story. The plot depicts struggles and victories showing that life is a constant battle. He will write details about the conflicts, the lessons learned, and the triumphant conclusion. The setting can be anywhere in the world or even in a fantasy world. It is important that the reader gets a vicarious experience from the ambiance and the period of the narration. Vivid words are to be used so that the readers can smell aromas, hear sounds, see sights, taste flavors, and feel textures.
The story is told from the point of view of the writer, sketching the ideals and emotions of the hero. Everything that happens in the story is experienced and seen by the main character. The theme of the story is not directly addressed by the writer. However, the readers will be able to deduce, as the events unfold, that the message is centered on love. The style of the writer should be impeccable: no errors in grammar, spelling and sentence construction; precise, concise, and concrete choice of words, even when using figurative language and idiomatic expressions.
As the writer proceeds to compose his novel, he meticulously avoids clichés, uses surprise and irony, recreates scenes instead of telling about the scenes, refrains from overusing words, and revises, revises, and revises until it is flawless.
The writer is determined to write an excellent piece because it has to win first place in the writing challenge. He cannot allow anything less than that. He is never satisfied with being second rate. And the novel must be a bestseller, hitting number one for all times.
Finally, the writer finishes the novel. Fearfully and wonderfully made, he says. The writer has woven a masterpiece, the best one he has ever written!
As the writer sleeps soundly in the night, a thief enters and steals his manuscript. The thief reads how excellent the novel is written. He immediately submits it for copyright and publication. Then he markets it and instantly, the novel becomes a sensation. It goes on to win a ribbon as best of the best in the writing challenge.
The writer hears about what the thief has done with his work. He confronts the thief who denies the accusation. Beguilingly, the thief says: "This novel can only be yours if you are willing to pay the price."
The writer faces the thief and demands: "Name your price!"
The thief dares the writer: "All the wealth in the world."
The writer smiles: "That's very cheap. I will do much better than that. I will buy back the novel with every ounce of my blood."
The thief is shocked: "Surely the novel is not worth your life."
The writer looks piercingly at the thief: "If you understand the value of this novel, you should know that I am even ready to be crucified for it. You are aware that with the shedding of my blood, your head will be crushed!"
The thief realizes that this is true. With extreme fear, he returns the novel to the writer and quickly flees. His escape, though, is only temporary. Soon, he must face the Writer's judgment.
As I read the novel, I see my life flowing through each page with the Writer pouring out His unconditional love on me despite my inequities. On the last page is the Cross with His blood, the blood He used as the price to buy my life back from the thief.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
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