Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Would You Read On? hosted by Diana Flegal

Welcome once more to our weekly column: Would You Read On?
Please let us know if you are willing to read on by leaving a thoughtful comment for this courageous contributing author. At the close of this page you will find a reveal of last weeks contributor.

The following portion is from a Nonfiction piece:

How did we get to this place?
Oh, I remembered all the mistakes we had made, but when we finally began to wake up, we immediately turned to God.
We had thought he would come through.
He didn’t.
Our house was going into foreclosure, we were moving into a rental house, and God didn’t seem to care. There was no time to rehash this again; Chad and the girls were waiting. They needed me to put on a smile. It could have been worse. As I walked down those steps, I didn’t know it was about to get much worse.
Over the course of two years, like so many families, we faced foreclosure, job loss, the anxiety of no health insurance, and having to learn to adapt to a different income bracket. Somehow, adapting to a higher one had never been an issue.

Please let us know if you are willing to read on by leaving a thoughtful comment for this courageous contributing author. At the close of next Wednesday's post you will find a reveal of this weeks contributor.


Timothy Fish said...

Not for me. I don't care for these angry at God stories. The simple truth is, God doesn't always do what we think he ought to. Get over it and move on. I don't think it takes a whole book to tell people to do that.

Joyce Magnin said...

Hey Diana, here's the thing, I think this selection has some heart tug, poses some questions, has inherent conflict, all that good stuff, but yeah, it needs some serious reworking. Just skip to the paragraph that begins, over the course. Nope, back story, boring, needs to be woven into the story. This is an info dump and can come out better in dialog etc. I would suggest she (the author) stop at the tears. And then let the rest come out in the truck or with the kids. So, yeah, she has some good stuff here that could be developed but she's not there yet.

Kimberly Rae said...

I think the subject is very timely, as a lot of people are asking these same questions. I would want to read on to see if the author found the answers to his/her questions, though I admit I would skim to find the ending thoughts unless the author could convince me in the first chapter or two that the process is interesting enough to read.

Anonymous said...

Although I can imagine a lot of people reading this book, it's not for me. It seems a little too negative. I imagine there will be revelations of things that are more important that housing, and uplifting scenarios, but I deal with negativity on a daily basis, and I'm looking for more of an adventure. That said, I
wish you the best, and I'm sure you'll find your audience.

David Stearman said...

Yes, I'd read on because I'd expect a triumphant ending. I think I'd edit "He didn't" out of it though. Pretty harsh. Kind of a turn-off for me. And we all know the story isn't over until it's over. ;-)

Jennifer said...

I don't think the story idea is bad. I don't know if I like how it's conveyed. Dialogue or action with a child might pull me in more than internal thought...

Sharon A. Lavy said...

Actually this seems to be a growing trend in stories. A person mad at God learns to trust. So that part does not stop me. A good story shows us a how a person overcomes a problem. So yes we have to first know there is a problem.

Yes, I would read on.

Pam Stephens said...

Don't think it sounds out of the norm right Begin with "it was about to get a whole lot worse than I could imagine--how did we get here?"

sally apokedak said...

I see a whole lot to love in this opening. This woman allows me to grab a hold of her right away. I see that she is a women who 1) lets her daughters paint the rooms their way, 2) has a friend who helps her paint, 3) admits she's made mistakes, 4) turned to God when she woke up, 5) is confused about why God has refused to answer their prayers, 6) realizes that she's not a special case and so many others are suffering, and 7) has a sense of humor, and can see that adjusting to a higher income is easy and maybe we ought to be happy adjusting to any new circumstance God gives us.

I like this woman I'm seeing in this opening. I'd like to spend more time with her and hear what God taught her.

I also think when a writer admits, "This is where I was: I thought God had abandoned me," it helps readers who are struggling to feel comfortable and not condemned. It makes a way for the message to get into the readers' hearts.

My only suggestion would be to work on the mechanics of the writing. I trust the story/content. Work, now, on the delivery.

The first three sentences start with "I" while two of the three start with "I walked through" and the repetition doesn't work, I don't think.

There is a clash between sentence one where you are aiming to pull yourself together quickly and sentence two where you pause.

You admit that many have been through this suffering. I think many have also learned great lessons from God in the midst of the struggle. So all that's going to set your story apart is the language, the rhythm, and the pictures you paint with your words.

Give specifics and use them to set the mood. Don't walk through the house--walk through the dream house you found just after you married, or the house you'd grown up in that was full of memories--make me love that house as much as you do. Don't see the girls' rooms painted exactly as they wanted, show me the colors. Contrast Jessica's bright yellow walls, so full of sunshine like her personality, with the gray day outside where the moving van waits.

Specific details, vibrant descriptive language, and mood. You have a great start here. Take it to the next level now.

Anne Love said...

I like the emotional connection that starts it, but the stopper for me was the God talk--He didn't care. Just too cliche.

Melissa said...

I was ready to read more. I believe that many people can relate to the feelings of being overwhelmed. We are only human and are born to second guess ourselves. We think we are doing everything right and when the tables turn we question our faith, ourselves, and even our God. But in the end it all has to do with how we react to the situation.

Diana said...

I apologize folks, this is a nonfiction title. That might have made a difference if I would have let you all know that ahead of time. So sorry. I posted this piece when I was on the road. The author appreciates all of your impute though. And we appreciate your faithful readership.

Timothy Fish said...

If anything, the fact that it is non-fiction makes it even less likely that I would read this book. For me to read a non-fiction book, I have to have a problem that it can solve. I’m not angry with God, so that doesn’t fit. I don’t currently have financial difficulty. I won’t say that isn’t possible. There have been times when finances were tight, but God has always seen me through and I don’t expect him to stop now. So, as I said before, not for me.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I didn't realize I missed this one.

I'd keep reading. I didn't identify the woman as angry with God. Expecting one outcome and receiving something different happens and it's not fun. But stating that doesn't make her angry. I thought it was matter of fact. We thought for sure God would show us a way out of this mess, but He didn't.

I agree with those who think this is timely. I especially think that's the case if it offers a contrast to the angry-at-God books. Learning to trust Him through hardship is a great topic.

I though Sally's comment was full of outstanding advice.