Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MC's Pearl-A Treasure Every Reader Will Want

Your story is great!

MC begins her story with such a problem readers will simply have to read what happens to her. How does she work through these issues? And oh, the climax moment, readers will be on the edge of their seat whipping pages to see if she makes it through! Great writing.

But somehow, as you do edits you feel like something is missing. That "mm" factor. What perfect gem is needed to satisfy your soul, MC's heart, and keep this story in the forefront of reader's minds?

In truth, this is the jewel of Christian fiction. 

The pearl of great price that draws readers to this story.

MC has whispered the answer in your ear. She has a hidden need. One that is deeper than the story. One that she has kept secret, afraid to admit the truth to you and herself. It is a spiritual need.

Have you noticed, from the beginning, MC was in the right place where this spiritual need absolutely had to be met--so desperately? At first romance or some other need struck MC and even you, the author, as the primary need. And maybe it was. But much, much more--this hidden spiritual need poke it's head up in crucial times of the story.

How can this hidden need play a greater role in the story?

1. Introduce the hidden need progressively. One of the key components of a spiritual truth is to not write preachy. We all have spiritual needs. We know this. But we don't want to be beaten up with it. Jesus always worked these truths like a fine golden thread through the tapestry of His stories. 

2. MC then needs something tangible to provide the way to meet this need.

3. Unfortunately, MC will not have an easy time of this. No MC ever does. MC now understands the way to satisfy this hidden need, but must walk through the steps. And fail. And try again. And question before a bona fide change will happen in her life.

4. Just as the man dug to find his pearl in Jesus' story and held it in his hands, so too, MC's hidden need must be displayed in her story. Not blatantly. Instead, creatively woven in MC's pages.

5. MC's hidden need should be crafted not as a layer, but as a spice in her story. First, bitter. Then, as MC walks through her story, the hidden need becomes a savory revelation, and finally a sweet, delicious change. One she will never regret making. In fact, the reader, too, will find herself wanting to satisfy the hidden need in her own life and desire to pay the price to buy the field and own the pearl. 

Maybe you have a personal hidden need begging to be satisfied. You know the answer. God has told you. But you are afraid to follow through because of the great price. If we can be of any encouragement to you, if we can pray for you, please let us know. You will find the Alley Cats are prayer warriors.

What examples of heart needs can be used in our stories? Sometimes the answer is in front of our face and we can't see it. We can help each other by making this resource list. Please share you idea in the comment section.

Research for today's post came from Nancy Rue's class at Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference.  Photo courtesy

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Mary writes young adult mystery/suspense, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and tell Bible event stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids. She has finaled in several writing contests.

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Robin E. Mason said...

i threw quite a few hurbles and obstacles in my MC's face! and a secondary MC, even. and was told (by one reader) that people don't really act that way, that the abused wife wouldn't keep going back like mine did, that Clara Bess would have told her husband what she found out. if that was true, we wouldn't have stories to write, though, would we?

Mary Vee Writer said...

True. I find that believability in a story is in the eye of the reader, which comes from their world view. Understandable so. But frustrating when we know of real life experiences that have gone the way of our story.
As a case worker, I do know that most abused women go back to the abusive situation or fall into a new relationship where abuse will happen again. They don't do it on purpose. There just seems to be a magnetic pull for them.
On the other hand, it is good to have a deep-rooted Christian truth that is so important to MC. This is the tug that will draw readers and help them see that although, in your story's case, the woman returns to her abusive situation, she is growing in the area of the Christian truth.
Love chatting with you, as always, Robin.