I never expected to author a book. Certainly not a novel. A theological book someday? Maybe. But a novel? Several novels? No. But that’s how a lot of things have gone in my life. I end up doing things I never thought were possible and they become a major part of my life.
The Dream is now something that will always be special to me, though it wasn’t originally intended to even be called The Dream. It wasn’t even my first attempt at writing a novel. I had another concept that I began working on without much preparation, which was scrapped after a thousand words or so, some of which became an inspiration for The Dream’s sequel, The Vision. But The Dream itself was originally titled End Communication. Although I have learned to be better prepared for writing novels with each release, I did have enough sense with The Dream to have a general storyline mapped out. What I didn’t have before I started writing was any notion that I would be writing about dreams. That just happened during the creative writing process.
The protagonist in the story is named Timmy after my best friend growing up, Timothy Gleghorn. Although I write books now, I was more of a math nerd growing up, and my SAT scores (not that anyone has asked me for them in the past 15+ years since graduating high school) will back that up. But Tim, he was always reading books. I wanted to play sports, he wanted to read books. So because he was into books and I was writing a book it only felt right to name the protagonist after him.
But Timmy’s character has nothing to do with Tim Gleghorn. And the character isn’t me either. Timmy has parts of me. But so does his brother Justin. And Lindsey, Peter, Sophie, Anthony, and Sunflower. And maybe even Jack. You see, every character I create is a part of me.
Every Character I Create Is A Part Of Me
Every conflict my characters have with each other is really a conflict I have in my own mind. Sometimes I’m the hero and sometimes I’m the villain. We all have these debates in our head on what is right and what is wrong and along the way we learn from them. That’s what my characters do too. Timmy would say in the beginning of The Dream that his main problem is that his job is a dead end. He has nowhere to go and no hope that things will get any better. He’s just shuffling along in life. By the end, as anyone who has read the book will understand, he has a much bigger problem on his hands. He needs God. He has other problems, such as a long string of failed relationships (his former fiance, his mother, his brother, no friends, etc.) But they all stem from a lack of relationship with God.
But those are problems we all face, in some way or another, but the characters are still fictional. I have a great relationship with my family and friends. But I still need to work on my relationship with God every day. So I work out some of the conflicts that I do have and translate them into the conflicts that the fictional character Timmy has. I am a failure. He is a failure. Why? Because we’re human. We fail. Even the best of us fail. But there is hope in God. So that’s what I write about.
I’ll be talking more each Thursday about the writing process of my books, starting specifically with The Dream, while including thoughts on its sequel The Vision and possibly ideas on the forthcoming finale to the trilogy I have titled The Nightmare.