Characters Developed from the Soul by Tyora Moody
Often times at book events or interviews, I’m asked when did I start writing. I always answer “officially” in 2006. I have always been a writer and loved making up stories since I was six or seven. 2006 was a pivotal year for me. I started that year burnt-out and a very near close to depression (I didn’t know it at the time). I think I spent all of 2005 whining and wailing in my journal.
On New Year’s Eve, I like to spend time curled up with a notebook and a pen, my two comfort tools. At the beginning of that year, I asked God for a new direction creatively. You see I live and breathe creativity. I get bored easily and in all honesty, being creative is an escape for me. I love brainstorming and seeing ideas come to life. Though I love the creative process, I had taken on projects that I might should have prayed for better discernment from God.
So after making my teary plea, it may have been a few days later, but characters showed up in my mind. The concept wasn’t foreign to me, like I said as a child, and then as teenager I loved making up stories. I liked seeing reactions to my stories from my parents, teachers and other students. But like a lot of us as we grow older, I buried the joy of storytelling.
In the midst of turmoil in my spirit, God brought back a seed He planted in me through these characters. The timing was perfect because unlike the past, I had grown as a Christian. In 2006, I had been a Christian for about a decade and due to the grief in my life at the time, I was spending time in God’s word at a much deeper level. I can tell you there were instances when I literally was on my face because I was trying hard to be submissive, but was feeling tormented in my surroundings. I was trying to wrap my logical brain around the circumstances around me.
So, those characters that formed in 2006 literally came from my grief. In fact in When Rain Falls, the main character, Candace, suffers what appears to be extreme grief and loss. I didn’t suffer the loss she experienced, but I had the type of loss that rocked me on my foundation and shook up my “Alice in Wonderland” mentality. Life was harsh and it seemed downright unfair when I, a relatively loving and nice person, that others would take advantage or treat you in a manner that’s quite the opposite of how I treated them.
Funny, later as I started writing When Memories Fade, I was thinking this was simply a story of a missing person and a detective with Alzheimers. Instead it became a story of forgiveness. Once again as I wrote this fictional story, I started to see elements of myself in the main character, Angel. You see forgiveness is completely necessary, but not an easy task. My character struggled. I struggled too. It dawned on me that even though I thought I had moved on, something would stir in my memory and bring to mind the grief I thought I left behind.
Here I am concluding the Victory Gospel Series, what I have always known in the back of my mind was a trilogy. Interesting in book three and the final book in the series, God ministered to my spirit at a deeper level than the two previous books.
In When Perfection Fails, the main character Lenora Freeman bears a frightening resemblance to myself. No, I certainly have not experienced her fictional situation, but her personality. She was me. I had to own that Type A personality. The endless to-do lists and the drive to dot every “i” and cross every “t.” I would never admit I’m trying to be perfect, but the “good girl” that has always been there, wanted to come as close to perfection as possible. Sometimes the drive for perfection wasn’t pretty. It anything it left me feeling awful and like an utter failure on the other side.
That drive brought me grief too many times, as I remained bond to toxic elements in myself like “people pleasing” that didn’t allow me to grow in the purpose that God has for me. In Proverbs 16:9 it says, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (New International Version).
I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit who guides us in the direction in which we should go and in the midst will minister to us, sometimes jolting us out of our current state. That God would use my introvert need for creativity and use those characters to reach me in my pitiful state is just plain awesome.
I believe in each one of these stories in the Victory Gospel Series, readers may see themselves. I certainly saw me and I’m more determined to fulfill the purposes in my life.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. – Proverbs 16:3 (New International Version)