Sunday, June 14, 2015

Beginnings are Hard, A Writer's Prayer

Currently Reading: Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud, Dune by Frank Herbert
Currently Writing: Merlin book 2

"When we read, we start at the beginning and continue until we reach the end. When we write, we start in the middle and fight our way out." -- Vickie Karp

Beginnings are hard.

I'm starting the second book in my Merlin quartet. Technically, I have half a draft written from NaNoWriMo 2013, but there are portions of that draft that aren't going to survive this one, including the beginning. It just wasn't gripping, and some of the characters' circumstances changed between edits of the first book since I wrote that half-draft. Despite starting in a different place, this draft's beginning is not so great, either. I'm not worried about getting the beginning of the book perfect on the first draft. That didn't happen with the first book, and I shouldn't expect it now. It will be easier to rewrite the beginning chapters when the middle and end are more set in stone. It's easier to foreshadow when you know exactly what's coming.

As I've been meditating on this book and how to get it written, I've thought of Neil Gaiman's "A Writer's Prayer." Though Gaiman's words are heartfelt and meaningful, I've felt my own prayers about my writing taking a different bent.

In Sunday School this morning, we talked about our deeds passing through the fire (1 Cor. 3:12-15). Paul tells us that whatever we do that is worthy of God and done in His name and for His glory will survive the fire, and whatever is not will be burned up. From that thought, I pray this prayer:

Dear Lord,

If what I am to write today will glorify you and be worthy to pass through the fire, let me write it to the full. If the words I write will be consumed, let them be consumed now before I have committed them to the page. Let me only write the words You would have me speak to others for Your sake.


(Okay, so it's no poetry. :-P Poetry is harder than beginnings.)

And now, back to the novel.


  1. Hey, Eli, I just popped by after seeing that you are the recipient of Mirriam's sketchfest. ;D That is awesome! In reading this (which I think is beautiful) I noticed that you're writing a Merlin series. I'm planning on studying to become an Arthurian scholar and was wondering if you share your works. The legends mean a lot to me and Merlin is a character who I find fascinating. I would love to see your take on him if that's okay with you.
    -Ana/Elphie/I get called a lot of stuff

    1. Hi, Ana. That's cool! Thanks for dropping by.

      I am writing a Merlin series. It doesn't feature the original Merlin as heavily in the early stuff I'm working on right now, but I can share some with you. Just shoot me an email address. :)

      Merlin's one of my favorite characters in the Arthurian mythos as well. I blame Disney's Sword in the Stone.

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