When Your Main Character Isn't A Character At All

January 02, 2016

Sometimes, within a story, an object that might otherwise be valueless takes a throne of precedence - absorbing power until it holds almost the same significance as a main character.

In The Church In The Wildwood that object is a nail - an old, rusty, wildly significant nail. 

Ultimately, it is the villain of my story. But it is also the key to locking down redemption. It doesn't have a story of its own, per se, but it does have such an effect that without it there would be no story to tell.

When you write of such a 'character', you have no way of knowing whether it will move your reader in the same way it moved you, the writer. BUT, when it does, you feel heaven open up and a hallelujah chorus fall down on your head so all you can do is stare at them stupidly and stumble through an embarrassed thank you.

My book has gone through its first stage of beta-readers. One such reader happened to leave a copy lying around her house and her husband picked it up. 

And read the whole thing before she even had a chance to read it.

And he's not a reader.

That has to mean something, right?

We were at a family skating event on New Year's Eve. He skated up to me where I was leaning against the sideboard and pulled a long, thin jewelry box from his jacket pocket.

I felt a bit stupidly speechless when I opened it and saw a nail - the nail - laying there.

And I don't want to read too much into it. Truth be told, I haven't received my manuscript back from them yet - they could have hated the whole thing - BUT, the fact that the nail stood out as something worthy of creating art around...yeah...that speaks volumes and my heart is warmed at the thought that my words inspired a reciprocal creation that I can wear around my neck.

I mean, isn't this like the greatest compliment ever?!

Some friends have told me that they've avoided every little piece I've shared about The Church In The Wildwood because they don't want to ruin their eventual experience when they finally hold a published copy in their hands (I have the BEST friends!!!) but I wanted to share a little tease. And, to protect them, you'll have to click over for it. Click here to read the opening paragraphs...to meet the nail and one of its haunted co-stars...

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