Dec 11, 2013

One Little Pebble

by H. Linn Murphy

I've been working in a fairly gritty dystopian book called THE DAY IT RAINED GLASS. Last night I finished it, breathing a sigh of relief. It was my Nanowrimo work of love. Thrace Benoit clamored to be heard, and heard rightly. I still have some tweaks to do before I send it out to Betas, but the original draft is done.

The grittiness I worry about. There is a huge influx of very rugged books. They are often full of violence, sex, lax or non-existent morals, and misplaced gender roles. These are the books which are defining our next generations' lives.

That said, I think there's a place for books which show youths solving problems ethically. Evil and bad things do happen all the time. To ignore that is silly. Giving the youth tools to help them navigate can be a good thing.

When I first heard about Hunger Games I thought the premise was atrocious and refused to read the books. Later I heard more about them. Yes, there were still children being forced by an evil and corrupt government to kill children. But it was clear that Katniss Everdeen, the main character, and several of the other characters were as moral as they could be in such a venue. They made conscious choices to be as kind as possible.

We have a duty to be torchbearers. That's part of why I write. I want to put better literature out there for others to read. I want to make a difference. I was talking to a friend of mine who happens to own the church bookstore here in town. He told me he's searching everywhere for books that model greatness for children. We reminisced about the Tennis Shoes books by Chris Heimerdinger, and several others. He told me he's tired of grit and asked me to write him a new Tennis Shoes series. (Maybe that'll be my next project. I'm juggling four right now, though.)

Often I look at the avalanche of evil out there and despair at stemming the flow. But actually, it often only takes tossing one little pebble into the mix to make a profound difference. I'm going to toss pebbles with every book I write. I'm going to go back through my gritty newest book and make certain Thrace is a beacon and a torchbearer, and not one of the rabble.

Join me. Pick up your pebbles, ladies.


  1. While I don't write YA, or middle grade books, I do make sure my tough characters in my novels are morally strong, even if they aren't LDS. It's not all that hard to write around the immorality the mainstream seems to gravitate to. Congrats on finishing your NaNo project. Good luck on revisions.

  2. Great on finishing your NaNoWrMo novel! I love that event! Speaking of grit, a few conversations I'd overheard at the local library in a small city where we were living at the time, spurred me on to become a published author. I'd continued to hear complaints about the "smut" in mystery and romance novels, well, most any of the genres. So I threw my own pebbles into the mix.

  3. Great post! Congrats on finishing your NaNoWrMo novel! And I agree on the pebble thing. I think I give up too often from trying to lift boulders. I like pebbles much better! I can do that! hugs~

  4. Thanks all! Yes, lifting boulders can be daunting. Every time I hear of another wretched thing our government does, or some other evil deed, that boulder thing rares its ugly head. I wonder how in the world I can do a thing about the things I see going wrong. It just seems like there are so MANY boulders piling up. But one pebble at a time? I can do that.


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