Monday, September 29, 2008

Review: Desire and Deceit

Some books you read to learn something. Some books you read for enjoyment. Some books you read because you think you should. For me, Desire and Deceit fell into that last category and after reading it, I think it should for everyone. It is not a fun book to read and I knew it wouldn't be when I bought it, but Albert Mohler does an excellent job of covering a very sobering subject, the subject of how the change in how people view sex is causing problems that will not be easy to solve.

In Chapter 14, he brought out something that I had never really considered. I had never considered that lesbians might hold such contempt for men that a lesbian couple would be ostrisized for raising a son or that the mother of the child might fear her female sexual partner would move out because the house was no longer female only. Ironically, it is statistically more likely that a lesbian will have a son.

As I said, it is not an easy topic, but Albert Mohler address the topic well. He brings out how we should view the issue of homosexuality as well as other forms of sexual sin and talks about how we are to desire to win these people to the Lord. The book is short enough that it is easily readable in three or four hours, but it is full of information that everyone should read.

Dreaming Characters

I love putting dream sequences in novels. A dream removes all the barriers. Even though a novel is fiction, it can’t completely disregard the rules that control our world. A dream sequence allows us to put a character in an unusual or even surreal situation. We can send him flying through the clouds. We can let him hear what his friends are saying about him behind his back. Then he wakes and nothing in what he considers the real world has changed.

A dream sequence lets us show the reader some of the character’s fears in a more interesting way than having him talk to himself. If he fears his wife is about to leave, we can have him dream about her leaving. Maybe he is concerned about money, so we have him dream that someone gave him a suitcase full of money but he can’t find it. A dream sequence gives us a way to show the reader what the character is thinking rather than telling them so much.

Fiction allows us to make a dream prophetic, but that isn’t always a good thing. Telling the character what is going to happen before it happens will drastically change the tone of the story. If the character knows what will happen, then he will prepare for it. This is different from fearing that something will happen and preparing for that possibility while also preparing for other possibilities. What works in one story will not work in all stories.