Diary of a Christmas Novella, Day 3

A two-time Christy Award winner and member of CWG’s Editorial Board shares the journey of writing his new Christmas novella, A Marriage Carol (Moody Publishers), in three blog posts this week. Read Day 1 and Day 2. The book is available everywhere. Read our review.

With every story I write I want readers to discover or uncover a surprise. With a story patterned after A Christmas Carol, there isn’t a surprise. They’ve read the story/heard the story/seen the story a hundred times.

Charles Dickens highlighted the consequences of Scrooge’s choices, his miserly ways, the way he shut his heart down, and that each day he fashioned a chain that shackled him from love. In A Marriage Carol, Gary Chapman and I use snow to reveal our characters’ choices. Each snowflake, soft and fluffy, falls into drifts that become impassible. Couples give up because they see no way out.

With hope, with a vision of what might be, couples can use the snow to climb to greater heights than ever imagined. This is the twist Dr. Chapman and I put into our story. Marlee Ebenezer, our main character, sees not only the devastating effects a divorce will have on her, her husband, and her children, but she also sees what could happen if they choose a path together.

I won’t give away the ending, but most readers tell me they didn’t see it coming. The end should make any married person believe that with God all things are possible.

There is great hope for marriages in trouble. Dr. Chapman and I are praying that, through A Marriage Carol, at least one marriage will be saved—and maybe more. That’s up to God.

I have always believed in the power of story, but in writing this novella I was captured anew by that thought. Jesus used stories to prick the hearts of his hearers. David’s life was changed by a story. If God is in the business of changing hearts, why couldn’t he use a story today?

If God has put it on your heart to tell a story—fiction or nonfiction—may He empower you to tell it well, write it true, and confidently send it on its way to the heart of your readers.

Chris Fabry can be heard daily on Moody Radio’s Chris Fabry Live, where he talks “over the back fence” with listeners across the country. He won the 2011 Christy Award for contemporary fiction and the 2011 ECPA Christian Book Award. Learn more about him at chrisfabry.com.

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