June 9, 2015 by Dayo Benson
So, 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.