My book ‘Tarureka’ has now been read by two different people, a professional writer who has written many historical novels and an editor who has cast her experienced eye over my work which now stands at 60,000 words. Sadly, both have reached the same conclusion – it doesn’t work as a novel. A memoir or a history but not a novel.
Both have suggested changes. One that there should be a rape scene with the minister which forces the heroine into an unhappy marriage. The other has stressed that there must be a resolution, a happy ending. Both are impossible. I am trying to write a Christian novel honouring commitment and fidelity. Although my hero and heroine are both married (fairly unhappily) they fall in love with each other. But unlike so many current novels they don’t gratify their desires and have an affair but instead choose the path of commitment, commitment to their partners, in one case, an invalid wife, and in the other, a large family also. The ending will not write itself as happy. I have tried but it doesn’t work. If I make all the changes as instructed I would be writing an entirely different book. But this isn’t the book I chose to write. Far better to put it away and let the dream die. After all, I have my articles and have been successful with them. For now I must move on and commit myself to the future and not look back like Lot’s wife (Gen 19 v 26) and become a pillar of salt. Please God don’t let my writing fossilise like that but grow the little I have. Amen.