“Research” is a great excuse to do things. I’ve never ridden a train, unless you count the one that runs around Disneyland. And I was five years old at the time.
I’ve read about trains and seen them in movies, but since this is something I can actually experience–as opposed to, say, flying on the back of a griffin–I figure I should go ride a train.
So I’m off to ride a train today. “Book research.” Yeeessssss, that’s what we’re going to call this.
Oh, the above picture of Burg Stolpen has nothing to do with trains. Oh well.
I always try to draw on my own emotions and experiences when writing, to make my characters more life-like and relatable. But sometimes a story idea itself springs from my struggles, and perhaps that is when I do my best, truest work.
Why? Why do I change my name and my face, my culture and maybe my planet, to tell a story from my own life? It might be to gain a little distance, a little perspective and objectivity.
But I think I do it out of loneliness.
I create another person in another place going through my struggle so I feel less alone. Finally there is someone who understands every iota of my pain, and works through it alongside me.
That’s what I hope my best, truest stories can do for someone else in this world, maybe just one person I’ve never met, who picks up a story out of loneliness and finds she is not alone after all.
In writing this out, I’ve realized something else: if I’m looking for the balm that comes of deep, shared pain, I’ve already found Him. I hope I can remember that, going forward, and lean on my Lord Jesus Christ more than I am wont to.
As I write, and try to help, and try to heal.