One of my few memories from World Lit 101 is a fascination with Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. It’s not just that its storyline could have inspired a tabloid teaser: “Working Man Turns Into Beetle.” I love the word metamorphosis—and the idea that some miraculous force can change me into something entirely different.

My newest book, The God Interviews, initiated a dramatic change in how I approach my writing. The book is a hybrid—half fiction and half my typical genre: Christian living/Bible study.

Until recently, I was comfy in my nonfiction niche. Then agent and friend Rachelle Gardner nudged me to envision an edgier way to package the story. She helped me see it was time to risk metamorphosing.

What’s the Difference?
Early in the writing process, I realized this isn’t such new territory. In journalism school I’d learned to tell nonfiction stories using a novelist’s tools:

● drama
● character development
● point of view
● dialogue
● narrative arc

A few times I’d take up one of those tools to craft a chapter that readers would consider especially inspiring.

But this book’s foray into the imagination zone reminded me to make greater use of a novelist’s tools. I envisioned scenes and let them flow. I conceived and grew characters who delighted, frightened, enraged, and surprised me.

Even the nonfiction chapters that follow each fictional scene (especially those) benefited from my renewed emphasis on writing to captivate reader imaginations. They began to sparkle with newly infused, dramatic light.

A New Joy
I now know a secret of my novelist friends: the joy of seeing products of my imagination spring to life in readers’ minds. Whether I’m writing fiction, nonfiction, or a hybrid, I’m redoubling my efforts to capture their fancies.

Join me in metamorphosing into a writer who uses the novelist’s toolbox to enthrall readers in a way that plain text never could.

Julie-Allyson Ieron investigates God’s truth and crafts her discoveries into books and presentations that engage readers’ minds and resonate with their hearts. A conference speaker and writing coach, she serves as a mentor for CWG’s Writing Essentials, Apprentice, Articles That Sell, and Journeyman courses. Learn about Julie’s September 2012 release, The God Interviews, at

Photo credit: wiangya

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