In Others’ Words: Author Whispers

Beth Vogt Life, Quotes, Reality, Writing 18 Comments

Writers try to get so many things right.

We try to figure out when to follow the rules — and when to ignore ’em.

We try to make our fictional characters true to life so that readers talk out loud to them as they turn the pages of our novels. (Come on, admit it! You’ve done it too!)

We try to write stories that keep people up at night. After all, we’ve lost a few nights sleep over these same stories in the hopes that our readers can’t put our books down.

So much effort goes into the writing of a book … and yet, sometimes the most powerful moments are those unexpected moments of truth. The phrases almost left out. The sentences that slip into the story because they are the can’t-be-hidden beat of an author’s heart.

In Your Words: Writers — What are you trying to say when you write — and what have you whispered to your readers? Readers — What was the last whisper that escaped from the pages of a book, causing you to stop and think more deeply about life?

Comments 18

  1. Oh I love this post. I’m in the middle of writing a story about a woman who thinks she can save her family but discovers that God has other plans for her life. As it evolves, I’ve found other truths to come out and it is those whispers that I lean into.

    1. I’m so glad this quote speaks to you too, Terri. This is one I am going to post over my desk, to remind me to listen for the whispers …

  2. Last night I was talking to my husband about the books I’ve written and the underlying themes and things I was dealing with when I wrote them…makes me think of this. I can be trying to say one thing and it gets communicated in a unique and almost unidentifiable way.
    ~ Wendy

  3. What a thought-provoking post. I think the message that I hope comes across is that forgiveness can lead to freedom, and that freedom can foster the relational intimacy between my characters.

    Thanks for sharing the quote today, Beth. I’m pondering it.

  4. I will never forget working on the novel I finished earlier this year–which comes out fall 2013!!–and suddenly feeling like God was whispering to me: “Melissa, this is why you’re writing this book. Because you needed it.” My characters struggle with their identity, finding their identity in the wrong things. I hope readers catch that whisper, too. πŸ™‚

  5. There isn’t a book of mine in which I don’t whisper numerous somethings, but only as a subtle thought breathed between the lines, as I am unwilling to say it aloud for fear of saying it wrong or in my garish, awkward voice & causing it to be misunderstood. Perhaps we authors are simply whispering to ourselves a precious truth as a reminder and hoping to encourage one or two others while we’re at it. Or could be it’s just me. πŸ™‚

    In one of the books I’m reading now, the character made an observation that instantly connected me with the author: “It was as if she understood that each person she met would have wounds—some hidden, some on the surface—and the name of the wound wasn’t a high concern for her.”

    The whisper I heard: someone does understand about hidden pain and cares.

  6. I think this is true – sometimes the things that touch others aren’t things we completely intented in our stories. I read Wish You Were Here a while ago and really enjoyed it!

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