Where Have All the Morals Gone?
I wrote to Dusty Crabtree, this author, that in some ways I attacked her same themes in “Ready or Not,” albeit for adults. My point is to “look-back-and-wince” at the changing morality already beginning in 1985 Iowa; worse, since all this occurs in the “Heartland” of decades now past, how much worse must our youth be facing today?
I added that “I sometimes wonder if I didn’t make a colossal mistake in structuring my piece as I did, for YA books are at such a rage.”
Chapter 1 of “Ready or Not” may be read on its own page.
Click to the right of “Home,” this blog.
“Ready or Not” is copyright 2012 by Todd L. Ehlers. The novel’s cover illustration is copyright 2011 by Liza E. Paizis.
When I was writing (and rewriting) my book, I often found myself at Holy Mass receiving inspiration about how to handle a particular plot issue. This happened so often, in fact, that I felt that the project was sanctioned somehow. Further, single lines–or touches upon existing lines–would occur to me. Do other writers feel this? I am certain Christian-based writers would attest to a similar experience. How about others? When inspiration comes, it is endemic to creativity, and the creative potential comes from our maker.
Far too many times this occurred for me to count; I can only recollect one particular for certain, though, worthy of recounting that won’t also be a spoiler.
A loss of virginity occurs during “Ready or Not.” Yet this was not my original intent. I had every hope I could get a protagonist through the experience having withheld his integrity. But it wasn’t to be. It wouldn’t have been the Truth as a youth would have weighed it, both given his character and the themes of the novel. Considering the location I was in (the Church), I took this realization as inspired.
So I plotted it out as I had received it. I took care not to be titillating, for erotica is not what I sought. Realism almost precludes that genre.
Have I wrought a kind of Christian Realism? Christian Determinism? One day I will explore that possibility further. The concepts seem to clash, and yet I feel that such is the case.
What may have been the toughest problem I had with this story was how to thread traditional values through so much mire and daunting material. It came up over and again, and yet, perhaps nodding towards my literary hero Theodore Dreiser, I realized I had to stick to the truth as I knew it, as I’ve known it, and where I knew it would have to go.