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Thursday, January 12, 2012

What does it mean to write uncaged?

It's a question worth considering. This week I launched my new website for aspiring writers called Write Uncaged. It's chock full of information and (hopefully) inspiration.

I wonder how many of us write uncaged. How many of us give ourselves permission to say it all, to bleed onto the page, to be genuinely free when we write.

As novelists, you may think that this isn't even a valid discussion. Because everything you write is fiction, or untrue. And yet, story is the truest medium I know to dispense truth. And to be honest, I feel more naked when a novel releases, even more than when my memoir Thin Places released. Why? Because so much of me is splayed in the pages of my fiction.

Unfortunately, I've read several novels that fell flat to me, where I felt the author simply told a story, devoid of himself, his angst, his stress. I believe the best fiction comes from that deep place inside us that wells up when we see injustice, or emits from those parts of us we'd rather hide.

It's pure bravery to write a novel from the deepest parts of us, but in so doing, we write uncaged. And our readers experience a deeper more satisfying reading experience as a result.

Great writing flows from withing, from great hearts willing to be naked on the page. May it be that we dare to write uncaged this week, this month, this year.

Question for you: What authors, in your opinion, typify writing uncaged? Why?


  1. Thanks you awesome folks at Novel Rocket for letting me be a part of this blog. I'm humbled and thankful. You provide an amazing service to writers!

  2. Mary, you're my kind of writer and person as I'm sure you must know. Writing uncaged--yes! Khaled Hasan comes to mind. If anyone by now hasn't read The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, you need to. Those books touch on such angst, such reality as he knows it. Sheer brilliance. I think you're one of those writers Mary. Lisa Samson comes to mind and Francine Rivers. It's uncomfortable writing truth as we know it, particularly when it rings close to home and reveals our most personal trials but man, when you combine that with great writing and a fascinating story there is magic. If I can't write that way, I don't want to write at all. Good luck with the new site Mary.

  3. I can think of 3 off hand. Christa Allan, GIna Holmes, and Alison Strobel Absotootinglutely amazing fiction, deep and uncaged. What puts me in awe is how God prepares us for this writing gig.

  4. You. Lisa Samson. Gina Holmes. Sibella Giorello. Kristen Heitzmann. Francine Rivers. Ted Dekker. Steven James. Mark Mynheir. J. Mark Bertrand. Robert Liparulo. To name a few in no particular order. And, honestly, me.

    These writers give us real characters that echo our souls, good and bad. Situations appear that show us down and dirty and high and heavenly. We feel when we read the stories. We ache, we rage, we suffer and weep, and we laugh out loud with a hitch that brings us back to a reality we taste.

  5. Christa Allan. Twice now, prior to knowing the backstory and having never met her, I've read her work and could feel her on the pages.

    I'd also say Gina Holmes, Lisa Samson, Francine Rivers, Steven James, Ashley Weis, Julie Lessman, Patti Lacy, Jody Hedlund, and Tosca Lee.

  6. Yikes: I forgot Tosca Lee! How could I do that?!

  7. Phil Callaway has just released "To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of (Almost) Living Truthfully Could Change Your life. No Lie." No, it's not fiction, but I feel it must be included here. Phil is a humorist, and I've never read anything so hilariously entertaining yet refreshingly, painfully honest. I can relate to this guy.

  8. Thanks for all the great names. I agree!


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