Writing Relevant Stories

In your writing journey you will often be urged by professionals to write ‘relevant’ stories. While they of the all-mysterious ‘they say’ fame say your stories should be relevant, the term itself is often abused and misunderstood.

What Makes a Story Relevant?

Is George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series relevant because of all the political hoopla these days? If so, does that mean it was less relevant when it was first published over twenty years ago in (by comparison) sedate 1996?

Would you consider The Hunger Games relevant because of its atmosphere of gloom cast by a totalitarian government (which some people feared would be inevitable under a Clinton ‘regime’)? Or is it irrelevant because it is partly based on the ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur?

Perhaps by relevance ‘they’ simply mean it promotes thought among modern people.

If so, then a story about a public shooting and a man’s struggle to find his way back to faith in God should be considered relevant by anyone’s definition. That’s what my short story The Shooting of Amy Rose is about.

Real Gun Control

Brian Collins survives a church mass shooting, but loses his fiancé—and his faith in a good God—in the chaos. Shattered and alone without Amy Rose, Brian experiences a night vision wherein he receives the idea for a device that could protect innocent Americans from any more shootings, all while bypassing useless gun control laws. But even as he builds his device, Brian is faced with a horrible decision: defend his investor, whose actions may mean the device was paid for with blood money, or hold to his own moral uprightness and reveal the truth. Such personal integrity would jeopardize any success wrought by the device.

All the while, he is confronted by a strange dark woman, who gently tries to nudge him toward forgiveness and a return to the God he abandoned. Can a man ever forgive his fiancé’s shooter? Can a machine really do what the government has failed for years to accomplish? Or is the device a trap, designed to keep Brian forever alone and incapable of loving again?

Inspiration, My Motivation

It is my hope that there might be a device (probably not like the one I invented for the story) which could protect innocent Americans from being shot up in public buildings. My highest hope is that it inspires someone to act on its hopeful theme, to work to create a safer public sphere for our fellow Americans.

It (the story, not the device) will be available soon. I will provide a link in the next post, to where it will be available for free for 5 days! I trust you will enjoy it; I hope you will find it relevant and motivating.