Trenches of Revision, Part VIII

I’m finally finished (to some degree) with the revision of the XIII series, which I had started way back in June. All I have to do for that is to make sure all my outlines make sense and flow together… and I will be ready to begin the rewrite in January.

Now I am starting the revision for STEPHEN, a novel I started thinking about sometime in 2006 and started actually writing in 2007. I haven’t looked at it since 2009, and when I read it back, I wasn’t sure where I wanted it to go. I’ve always liked STEPHEN because it’s one of the only novels I’ve written that is entirely un-autobiographical. In other words, none of the characters are based off people I know in real life.

I wanted to make it a story involving religion, but that is a very touchy subject. It’s difficult to have an adamantly religious character without making her sound too preachy, stereotypical, and self-righteous. The theme of a work should be something understated and subtle, but with a story about religion, I feel like the theme would be too “in-your-face” and that too many people would be offended. I know that everything ever written is going to offend someone, somewhere, but I’d rather not play with fire in this case. Religion and politics, to me, are best left out of writing I want the public to eventually see.

So I’m leaning against making it about religion and making it a story about ghosts, spirits, and angels instead. Religion will still play a part in the story, but not as big a part as it originally did. I think it’s definitely possible to write a story about unseen/supernatural phenomena without delving too much into religion.

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