Day 4 with the talented Donita K. Paul and her all-week devotions on writing. The contest for three giveaways is still going on, too!
All this week, leave a comment and your e-mail address for a chance to win one of three great books by Donita! You may comment each day if you wish about the devotion, but your name goes in once.
1. The Vanishing Sculptor (a fantasy novel)
2. Dragon and Turtle Go on Safari (children's picture book)
3. "To See His Way (Heartsong Presents historical romance)
Devotion for Day Four
"The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done."
- John Steinbeck (was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). He was an author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and five collections of short stories; Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.)
A story is never done? That’s right. And this doesn’t include the forever polishing that some writers are prone to do. My editor has had to take the manuscript away from me. I can always think of one more thing to do. In fact, years after the book is published, I’ll think of something that would have made the story even cooler!
But when a book lands in the hands of a devoted reader, and if the author has done her job correctly, the reader finishes the story. How? The author describes a barn; the reader provides his image of the barn out of his own experience. The author depicts a character with a certain personality; the reader draws upon people he knows to flesh out the fictional person. Every reader adds to the substance of the tale. And each reader provides variables the author could never have projected.
If the author has created a fluid story, one that is worth investing time in, the reader will continue the development of plot, setting, character, and conflict. The books we, as readers, remember the best, the ones we treasure, contain stories we relate to, ones we actually “own.”