People milled about the room, almost everyone looking like they’d stepped out of a book. Actually, they had. I guessed that people costumes were dressed as a character from their book. Now why hadn’t I worn my costume? Ah well, at least I wasn’t the only one in normal clothes. Even though I wasn’t feeling like I was completely part of the crowd, I was ecstatic to be there at the One Year Adventure Novel summer workshop.
The One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) workshop was absolutely the most awesome thing I experienced summer 2011. OYAN students are very excited about writing and really fall in love with their characters. That first day at the camp was an exciting way to start with all the people dressed up, talking, laughing, and having fun before the classes even started!
I made several new friends and learned more skills about writing. I’m now better prepared to go out and write good stories and I know whom I want to write for and why.
One of the biggest things that hit me at camp though, was that most of the speakers mentioned the need for more teen Christian fiction. They talked about how most of teen fiction nowadays has fallen far away from God. Most teen fiction is now full of violence and darkness.
After I listened to the speakers, I was so ready to go out and write! I wanted to write something amazing, be published right away, and change lives in the world. I realized that my calling from God is to write for teens; to write stories with God-inspired themes. I realized the amazing gift of story that God has given me.
Story is an amazing way to get our point across. There’s an example of this in the Old Testament of the Bible. After David took Bathsheba as his wife and sent Uriah out to die, Nathan came to David. He didn’t blatantly tell David what he’d done wrong. Instead, Nathan told David an allegorical story about the rich man who took the poor man’s lamb. The story made an impression on David and revealed his sin more clearly than a blatant reprimand would have.
Story has the ability to change lives. Teens need changed lives. They need to hear of the Good News and of Jesus. But, most fiction for teens has become dark and depressing.
God has given me a passion for writing, for story, for fiction, for Him. I want to use the gifts he’s given me in my writing to serve Him.
The camp in itself was not the best part of my summer; consolidating the fact that I’m a writer for God and cultivating my passion for writing were the discoveries that made my summer awesome!
I’m trusting God to use me in the ways He wants. He’s put writing on my heart and I’m going to use it to glorify Him.
Danielle Dodge is thirteen years old. Her top favorite activities are reading and writing although she does enjoy riding horses, ballet, and playing the violin. She’s placed in three contests and written two novellas.