Competing with Tolkien: Silver Skies 1996 Version

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Ripping right through Dallas Theological Seminary’s Revelation course.

It’s a piece of cake. Straight 100s thus far. As a result of my studies and research, my scene outline for the last part of my novel is really coming along! But I won’t rush this book. It has to be of the same quality as what I did in the 1990s and that was very high quality. I consider Dr. Toussaint a real Bible scholar and agree with most of his Biblical interpretations. That’s why I signed up for the course.

Apple Blossom Time is Silver Skies’s theme song

Check out the page I created for my Silver Skies:

I try to write this work-in-progress only when I’VE BECOME THE CHARACTERS and THE WORLD AROUND ME IS DEAD, except for my dreams.

I actually think the writing quality for my Silver Skies 1996 Version (as I wrote it in the 1990s) is on par with Tolkien and so I’m setting very high standards for myself. It is a fantasy romance set in the tribulation. Though it is a fantasy, I think Bible lovers will not find that the plot violates Scripture.

It’s obvious from reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings that he put a tremendous amount of research into it, which is part of the reason Lord of the Rings is so great. I have put tons of research into Silver Skies 1996 Version as well, to make the story world and characters really come alive for the reader.

You might say, this is another version of the Left Behind series. Nope, I think it’s better than that. The characterizations are deeper, the plot is more complex and nuanced, and the moral dilemmas are more well thought out and not everything is so black and white, like Left Behind. It’s much more literary in style and more thought provoking. Yet, the story moves at a fast pace while remaining deep and nuanced at the same time, with conflict brimming on every page. And lots of surprises! I do a lot of foreshadowing and I pay them off brilliantly in the later scenes. So it’s like the story just unfolds like a multi-faceted flower, and the symbols resonate throughout the story. All that hard work has resulted I believe in a meaningful tale about the salvation of the Jewish nation and how true love can inspire a nation to find their Messiah. I think all those who love Jesus will not be able to read this book with a dry eye. When I say hard work, I’m not kidding. I started on this in 1993 and worked on it non-stop from 1993 to 1996 at full time hours. For about the past year I’ve just spent time in research to finish it. I have found that if you want to have brilliant characterizations, you need to spend LOTS AND LOTS OF TIME IN RESEARCH. There’s no short cut to writing a masterpiece, you have to DO THE WORK. I am about two-thirds done. I expect to spend about another year at least before I’m finished. But my “silent years” on this from 1996 to 2018, I did a lot of thinking about the story and that is another reason the story has so many layers and should really resonate with the readers. I think to write a masterpiece, the writer needs to spend a lot of time thinking. Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings over quite a long period of time. A lot of the thinking happens as you research.

You might say, but Bible for Tribulation Saints is so long and you put it out really fast. That’s just a mere transcript, with my comments about what Jesus said. My main concern with Bible for Tribulation Saints was to have an accurate record of all that Jesus has said to me and my men. If that’s a masterpiece, then I have to give God the credit, because he basically wrote it and used me as the transcriber.

But Silver Skies is MY WORK. It’s a novel, not a transcript, and I have been using my creative writing skills to write it. Silver Skies is a different animal from Bible for Tribulation Saints.

Silver Skies was my first novel, not my first long fiction, which was a teleplay. The Star Trek: The Next Generation teleplay named “Lal” was forgettable and very Mary Sue. I don’t plan to revamp that. I’m just abandoning it. Considering that I was only a one-month old writer at the time (in 1992), it’s an impressive first long fiction attempt though; and gave me skills in characterization, plotting and dialogue that I transferred to my next project Silver Skies. But even though I consider “Lal” forgettable, I still think it was better than a lot of what got produced at Star Trek. I’m not too impressed with most Hollywood writing. That’s why my next project was a novel and I gave up on Hollywood. Most author’s first novels are not worth holding onto. But when I read this cold after I’d forgotten about it, I realized this was special and I needed to finish this story. I couldn’t put it down! And let me tell you, I can put most books I read down. I’m really picky. I’m talking about my 1990s version. I butchered some rewrites I did on it in 2009 and afterwards.

It also helps to study the writing craft to know how to put all those deep thoughts into a meaningful story. Jesus has gifted me as a writer and I owe it to the world to use my gifts. The world will love this book. Adding to great literature is a wonderful thing to do, especially when the story is as important as this one.

Copyright © 2020 Gail Chord Schuler. All Rights Reserved.