The Writer’s Journey, A Search for Friendship

In many ways, a writer’s journey becomes the reader’s journey. Writing is more than just putting words on a page. It’s an opportunity to find the story within a story, digging to find the nugget that makes the story come alive for the reader. If done well, it creates a connection between the author and the reader—that “Aha!” moment where there is a magical unity of the human spirit.
Some writers are drawn more to the art of writing, and many of those become authors of literary fiction. They love words juxtaposed on the page, the poetry of the sounds read aloud, the evocative images, appearing like a Monet painting, swirling in the air and provoking conversation around the meaning of things. Many of us enjoy reading literary fiction for how it stimulates the intellect and challenges us to think about ideas from a different perspective. Every now and then we hit on the place where the author intended for us to land, and it’s another one of those moments in which we find ourselves a little changed from where we began when we opened the first page. And we hear ourselves sigh, “Ah, me too!”
Other writers seem to have a multitude of stories in genre fiction that continually bubble to the surface and must be written down to make room for more. They’ve homed their craft and write wonderfully well at a prolific pace. They seem to have a certain mental acuity for getting the word down on the page. We admire them for their quick wit and keen mental capacity to create story. And then we see it! It may be just one word or one phrase—the insight, the take away—and a secretive smile lights our faces.
I cannot speak for all authors, but I know many authors aspire on some level to connect with their readers—at least to know that you have taken something away from the story.  If you are an avid reader, and even if you’re not, I encourage you to let your favorite authors know—whoever they are—what grabbed your attention or made you smile.
I love to hear from my readers—to know what, if anything, inspired you or made you stop to ponder something one of the characters did. Perhaps you were uneasy about some aspect of the way the story unfolded or how a character responded to a particular situation. Maybe you enjoyed the historical suspense or the way the setting triggered your imagination. Maybe some phrase humorously hit you just right and you repeated it on Facebook (To my absolute delight, one good friend did exactly that!).  Perhaps you have a question or some point of clarification. I’d love to hear from you.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.’  —C. S. Lewis
For more information about Donna Wichelman and her suspense novel Light Out of Darkness, you can find her at www.donnawichelman.com. Books available at

Comments 0

  1. Donna, I reads a lot of secular fiction in addition to Christian fiction. I wish Christian publishing houses would put out fiction that is less "fluffy." It's not that I don't enjoy a sweet, happy-ending Christisn novel, but, can't we also have grittier material? Perhaps the Christian houses will rethink their same-old same-old offerings!

  2. Donna, you've done a great job of synthesizing those 2 articles. I read them both as well. Are you going to give us your idea of what we need to see happen in Christian publishing in your next 2 installments? Can't wait to read them. Cheers

  3. Dena, I read a lot of secular fiction as well for its thoughtful treatment of a lot of subjects. But I think you've hit on the interesting conundrum Christian houses find themselves in. Historically, the numbers were based on what Christian bookstores said they could sell to their conservative audience. Those bookstores are beginning to disappear as online booksellers grow and the audience is changing. It's not that they aren't as passionate as their parents. They just have a different way of relating to the world. I really recommend the book I mentioned in the blog by Gabe Lyons. He seems to have a pulse on this new up and coming generation.

  4. Marilyn, thank you! I know I've taken on a huge task, and I hope I can do it justice. The bigger task will be to get a response from the under 40s, since they seem to be the hardest to reach. However, I hope the evidence will speak for itself, and hopefully, it will give us an idea of at least some elements that need to be in consideration as Christian publishing looks toward the future.

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