I am working on my very first novel, which has been both daunting and exciting. I am also simultaneously finishing a couple of short stories and writing speeches– it is a very busy time.
However, in comparison to the short stories, which are primarily memoir pieces, the novel requires so much more time and energy and RESEARCH. When writing essays and creative nonfiction, which has been my focus since undergrad, I am telling stories from my own memories and experiences– what I’ve seen and felt and conquered, if you will. But when creating fictional characters and scenes, some of which are complexly different from me and what I’ve experienced, I am learning that I may need to go beyond beautiful language and pictorial settings to get at the heart of my characters. Instead, I must actually meet these people, live their lives, hear their stories, and watch them work– that is, if I desire a well-rounded, well-written body of work.
That said, I am looking to meet people and hear some stories. So here it is, my call for personal stories:
- I am looking to meet young black men who are or have been members of a traditional, predominately black church and active in some form of ministry (ie. choir, praise dance, mime etc.) who are or have also struggled with sexual/gender identity and lives or have lived a double life or ultimately left the church because of it.
- I am also looking to meet pastors or church leaders who have relatively strong views regarding same sex relationships, gay rights, and “homosexuality” as a whole.
There will be no judging or telling here– I simply want to hear your story. All correspondence will be kept confidential.
Lastly and for the record, I will not be telling your story, but rather listening and gathering information to help inform my characters’ point of view and help me create a narrative that is both realistic and relatable. If you are interested in sharing your story or would like more information about what I am writing, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com