Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What Makes You Cry?

Sandra Orchard here. Have you ever cried in the middle of reading a book? Wondered if the author had some magic key on her keyboard to make you dissolve into a puddle? 

Ever wondered if the author cried while writing the book?

Well, I have to confess that in my newest release, Critical Condition, there’s one scene that, not only did I bawl while writing it, I still tear up when I read it.

Here’s an excerpt: (Background: the hero lost his wife to cancer years earlier, and the heroine, a nurse has just asked him how he can still trust God)

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

“My wife made me promise her that I wouldn’t blame God.”

Tara nodded, withdrew her hand and busied herself pouring tea. “I don’t think I could’ve kept that promise. I’ve seen God let too many people down.”

“Trusting in God doesn’t mean you won’t face troubles. I think my wife understood that better than me. If not for my promise to her, I probably would’ve let my grief turn to anger at God.”

Tara gave him a wry smile. “Yeah, been there.”

“For the longest time, I clung to my faith out of sheer determination to keep my promise,” Zach admitted. “Getting angry would’ve been a whole lot easier, because yeah, I felt like He let us down. And I got pretty tired of hearing people spout the usual platitudes.”

“So what changed?”

His mind drifted back to his first week as a cop. “I had to …[spoiler omitted]

Okay, so you're not crying. I know.

Looking back at the excerpt now, I think what brought me to tears more than the revelation I’ve omitted (and you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s moving) is that Tara asked a question that was burning in my heart, having recently experience a loss myself.

Zach’s answers were my answers—the answers a believer tends to have in their head. But only when you walk through the fire, and still believe those answers on the other side, is your certainty in them truly tested.

The power of story is in causing the reader to vicariously experience the scenario along with the character, and draw their own conclusions.

Being able to explore spiritual questions in the midst of a romantic suspense is why I love writing inspirational fiction.

As an aside, in case I've caused any misconceptions about Critical Condition, it's not a tear jerker.

I've only had one reader tell me it brought her to tears. Although I've had many tell me it kept them on the edge of their seat. ~grin~

Your Turn: What brings you to tears? How do you trust God when he doesn’t seem to be paying attention?

 There’s a murderer in the hospital, and nurse Tara Peterson is determined to prove it. With mysterious deaths in the cancer ward, anyone could be next. But no one wants to believe her…except for undercover agent Zach Davis. The murderer wants Tara’s suspicions silenced, permanently. To protect Tara, Zach lets her in on his secret, and unwittingly into his heart. Tara and her three-year-old daughter are like the family he lost years before. Zach will risk everything to keep them safe, no matter the cost.  Oct 2012 from LIS

Connect with Sandra on Facebook

 Image of computer keys courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

No comments: