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3 things I have learned from writing the Crystal Series

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June 9, 2015 by Dayo Benson

Crystal Box Set JPEGSo, all 9 books in the Crystal series are complete, and I’ve just finished doing my own edit of Delirium (book 5) in preparation for sending it to my editor, and I’ve realized that I have learned a lot of things from writing this series. I thought I’ll share with you 3 of the things I have learned.

1. Women (even Christian women) love bad boys

I envisioned Juda’s character before I started writing the series and I knew how weird I wanted him to be, but I wasn’t sure if readers would be able to handle him. In fact, I almost made him just some ‘normal’ guy; still Luke’s son but not a practitioner and not a killer. More like a son that Luke is disappointed in. But I thought there would be much more scope for conflict and moral dilemmas if I wrote him exactly as he looked in my imagination. I’m so glad I went with my gut. I thought everyone would hate him, but even at the end of Surrender (Crystal 2), before Juda had shown many redeeming qualities, readers were rooting for him. I knew I’d gotten the portrayal of his character right when my best friend who is a voracious reader, very serious about her walk with God and hates reading anything that isn’t ‘sound’ scripturally told me she likes Juda after reading Surrender. My jaw almost literally dropped. I thought she’d hate him and just not give any comment about the book so as not to hurt me. Her name is Sade, by the way. I usually write with her in mind as she represents my target audience. I thought she would either love or hate this series and that she might just about tolerate Juda. I’m so glad she, and most of you, get what I’m doing with Juda’s character.

2. Spanish words and phrases

As I edited Delirium, the next installment of the series, I realized that Alejandro wasn’t speaking enough Spanish, so I added some phrases and exclamations as I went, and for most of them I didn’t even have to use the online translation tool that I usually use. I just know so many Spanish words now as a result of writing his character. I love Alejandro. His silly, obnoxious, flirtatious and vain–but lovable. I enjoyed writing from his POV in Delirium.

3. Christians truly have nothing to fear

I recently tweeted this quote because it really resonated with me:

‘The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe’ – Gustave Flaubert.

This has been so true of me in writing this series. I come from a Christian background where I have seen a lot of things happen with regards to ‘deliverance’ and things like that. I have heard things that freaked me out but simultaneously gave me an awe for God. And I am a total wuss who was terrified when I watched Scary Movie 2 (lol, okay I’m actually not that bad), so I’ve always thought I need to deal with my borderline fear of the supernatural.

I believe in the power of God, I believe in His supremacy, I believe that at His Name every knee bows, and these beliefs guided this series. The whole series has taken me just under a year to write, which is a long time to spend thinking about how God is greater than anything/anyone else and how the occult is all just counterfeit. My mind has been immersed in thoughts about God’s nature, His power, His love and His supreme authority over everything, and I have found that the more focused I am on God and His attributes, the less afraid I am of anything else and the stronger my faith is.

There is a scene in Secrets (Crystal 6) that made me stop and think about just how matchless God’s power is. There is another scene in Powerful Enemies (Crystal 8) that moved me to tears because I tried to imagine myself in the situation I’d put my characters in and asked myself if I would have faith and trust God to deliver me. Lol, if people watched me as I wrote this series they’d think I’m nuts, ha ha.

Anyway, writing this series has made me a stronger and more confident Christian. Writing about Crystal’s defiance and refusal to submit to pressures that would estrange her from God has made me more resilient myself. I hope the series has this impact on everyone who reads it.


8 comments »

  1. Laura Pol says:

    Dayo I just want to say thank you so much for sharing how God made you more stronger and resilient in your relationship with God as you wrote this series! I’m currently writing a series and this morning during my Bible time I realized that I have really been struggling with my fear of writing. Thank you for sharing your heart and encouraging me. I know there is hope for writers like me and that if I continue to write unto him, that this series I’m writing will have a big impact too.

    • Dayo Benson says:

      Hi Laura, I didn’t know you’re a fellow author. That’s so cool. Yes, writing can be really scary, but I’m sure you’ll overcome it. May God guide your writing. I’m glad you found this post encouraging.

  2. Alaura says:

    Dear Mr. Benson,
    I love this series! I have been reading it off of amazon ebooks. Do you know when the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th book will be put on amazon ebooks?

  3. Alaura says:

    I mean Mrs. Benson. Auto correct happened when I didn’t spell mrs right. Sorry

    • Dayo Benson says:

      No worries 🙂 Book 6 will be out this month. I’m going to try to get books 7-9 all out before the end of this year too. I’m glad you like the series. God bless.

  4. Joko says:

    An excellent writer. You put the story together very strategically. They are presented like a very tasty meal that you just have to finish. Well done. When are the 6 and others in the series are coming out? I hope Juda becomes a Christian. I like the character. The qualities can be very useful as a preacher, just like Crystal said. Your presentation was very good. From the beginning to the end. The series can also encourage those who think they are too bad for God to use them to know that nobody is beyond redemption.

    The Crystal series reinforced my believe in the omnipotent and omniscience of God. It also remind me to keep praying for Christians who are facing the same opposition that Crystal faced. Blessings.

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