I’m feeling quite zealous today. Why? Because it’s April 30, and I’ve made it to the end of the A to Z Challenge without burning out. That deserves an applause!
I’m also excited to be starting on my novel, Lost Boy very soon. While I’m reserving the actual writing of the novel for NaNoWriMo in November, these next six months will consist of more planning, outlining, character sketching, and possibly a few more changes to the plot as things come together, and also a change in title (because I’m still not settled on “Lost Boy”).
I also hope to do more research so that the novel sounds as realistic as possible, because if there is one thing I cannot stand about the Christian fiction genre of today, it’s that the plots are so unbelievable, and the characters are more like caricatures.
One phase of my research will be interviews. Right now, my focus is on interviewing one of my fellow church members who’s in the prison ministry From Leslie’s character sketch, we know that she is very active in the church, including going out to the county jail to minister with the prison ministry. Unfortunately, I know nothing about prison ministries, so it’s time for a little investigation.
I’ve already contacted the church member about interviewing her. Now it’s time to put together some interview questions. Here are a few that I may ask in my interview.
- How long have you been in the jail/prison ministry?
- How often do you visit the jail?
- When you visit the jail, do you go as a group? Do you need specific paperwork or documentation to enter?
- Is there certain dress requirements you must meet before entering? Types of clothing, shoes, hats, purses? Will they let you bring your Bible? Are you searched/patted down? Do you go through a metal detector?
- Where do you go to witness to the inmates? The cells? a chapel? Is there a common meeting area with many tables similar to a cafeteria? Are you separated from regular jail visitation?
- Are you restricted in the types inmates you visit. For example, do you see people who have been convicted of violent crimes like rape or murder?
- Do you talk to the inmates individually or do you stand before a group and minister?
- What do you say to the inmates? Do you talk about them, how they ended up behind bars? How do you transition into talking about Jesus?
- What major points in the Gospel do you like to hit on when talking with the inmates? Does the message change depending on the crime?
- Are the inmates generally welcoming?
- Do people get saved?
These are all the questions I have so far. Do you have any suggestions? What questions do you think I should ask?
And . . . that’s it for the A to Z Challenge! I’m glad I decided to participate after all. It has truly helped me get over my writer’s block. Not only do I have a new novel in the works, but I feel my mojo coming back. I’m eager to dive back into writing more poetry and short stories, and I’m even more zealous to return to the many flash fiction challenges I loved so much. So stay tuned! More to come soon!