Joel Kelly's Blog

Joel Kelly's updates about his latest writing, his process, and his life as a Halifax-based author and marketer.

Where to start?

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When I started writing "No Greater Love Than This", I--

Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself.

How did I start? Well, I knew that my short story would be about my upbringing, about religion and about the loss of my family because of it.

But that first blank page and blinking cursor...

That's why I started with the Story Circles, but even that's a little further down the path. The very first step, and the most vital, was determining how the story would end. What the last line or lines would look and feel like, if not precisely read.

What was the point of it all? Most of my writing isn't like that. Most of my writing has its meaning determined afterward, after it's written and staring back at me and trying to say something. Most of it is all revisionist symbolism.

But this piece had to be for something, it had to teach something, if only to me.

It had to be about love.

My parents spoke of unconditional love; the love they had for me, like the love God had for them. They probably still believe they love me.

But my story had to be about what real love means to me. It had to teach me — I had to teach myself through it — what it means to experience anything like true love for another person. Anything like what Jesus meant when he said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

I hope that's what you get out of my story.

I hope that's what I got out of writing it.