Sunday, March 4, 2012

Guest Post: Karyn Henley

Rafting Down a Novel

Reading a novel can be like whitewater rafting. Just as many streams flow into a river, many currents flow into the main story of a novel, rushing you toward the rapids.

You may not see all the streams running through a novel, but the ones you do see will usually be those you recognize from your own life. Maybe the courage of the main character inspires you, because you need courage. Or your conscience nudges you when the character is too angry to forgive. Is it the love story that grabs you? Or do you identify with the character’s struggle to forge his or her own identity? Do you know how she feels when she’s betrayed? All of these are streams that flow into the main story of Breath of Angel and Eye of the Sword.

But you probably won’t see all these streams, and you don’t have to. You raft through a novel for the joy of the ride. In fact, not even I see all the streams in my own novels. I was surprised when a friend read an early draft of Eye of the Sword and called it a novel about brothers. The more I thought about it, the more I realized she was right. But I hadn’t seen it.

As you read Eye of the Sword, you’ll discover other themes and streams. But if you want to look for the “brother” streams, here’s a guide: Watch Trevin and Dwin. They’re the most obvious brothers, but their relationship definitely goes through the rapids. Look at Kedemeth and Haden. And Benasin and Rejius. Watch how the brothers are alike and how they are different. Keep a lookout for the friends who are closer than brothers.

There is one more pair of brothers in Eye of the Sword, but I can’t spill that secret or I’d spoil it for you. In fact there are hidden relationships all up and down the river of this novel. So grab your binoculars, put on your life vest, hop aboard the raft, and watch out for whitewater. Happy rafting!  

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