poetry and prose about place

writing a novel – re-purposing a church

with 10 comments


So the poet has decided to write a novel…


Title: unknown

Working Title: Saving the Landing Church

Setting: a writers’ retreat and an abandoned church

Characters: main character – a writer who operates a writers’ retreat

Plot: moving a church? (in part)


Since the main character in my novel is a writer, it makes some sense that she would like to earn her living as a writer.  However, she has not yet published her first book, so there are no book deals or royalty cheques.  She turns to an occupation pursued by many talented writers, the education of other writers.

In my book, I want to establish a situation that could eventually lead to other books.   So, I have given my protagonist the dream of establishing a writer’s retreat.  Her idea is to hold writing workshops at this retreat, perhaps every weekend once she establishes herself.    She will be able to teach writing techniques at the retreat,  or hire other writers to carry out workshops.  She wants to sponsor reading events for the community, to encourage interest in local writers.  Now, all she needs is a place to carry out her plan.  She does a little research, selects a community where the artistic sentiment has established itself, and purchases a piece of land nearby.

detail of a larger drawing Jane Tims November 29, 2012

And then she sees the Landing Church, about to be abandoned by its congregation.  She falls in love with the church.  She re-imagines it as a perfect place to hold her writing retreat.  A serene, tranquil place for writers to think and write.  A place with good acoustics for readings.  A place 10 kilometers away.

Now, how is she going to get that lovely little church to her own property???


Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

November 30, 2012 at 7:48 am

10 Responses

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  1. Sounds like a great setting for a whole host of interesting characters. It’s wonderful that you’ll be able to illustrate your own novel. I’ve often thought it would be fun to live in a church. Around here there are a few churches doubling as theaters for musical and theatrical performances – the acoustics are wonderful.


    Barbara Rodgers

    December 1, 2012 at 10:14 am

    • Hi Barbara. The great sound resonnace is one reason for thinking of an abandoned church as a good place for a writers’ retreat… where writers can read their work. Jane


      jane tims

      December 2, 2012 at 10:31 am

  2. I’m not sure how she can ‘move’ the church, other than buy it, but I like the idea very much. It has a tranquil, thoughtful feel, yet will obviously be interesting because of the intertwining relationships of the various people. Maybe their circumstances take over, what begins as a venue for a writing workshop, turns into meetings of tension and intrigue… oops, it’s your book, Jane!



    November 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    • Hi. I appreciate the enthusiastic input! The situation allows for lots of conflict and some characters working together as well. Jane


      jane tims

      December 1, 2012 at 9:26 am

  3. Jane,,,,This is so interesting,,,I love “tuning’ in to your work. Congrats with your accomplishments so far,,,”a novel in the works”,,,,I can hardly wait,,,thanks for sharing. I love the abandoned church.! I love it all.!! Don’t forget to Take the time to smell the roses.!



    November 30, 2012 at 10:35 am

    • Hi Patsi. Yes, as usual I have to remind myself to strive for balance. I have set a goal of writing 2000 words a day, on the days I am writing. At least on day per week, I want to work on my poetry. Glad to hear from you. Jane


      jane tims

      December 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

  4. Yeah–I’m glad that she’s going to save Landing Church. I’m fascinated by the stories of abandoned, small churches that sit along the side of the road, and think that Landing Church will be a wonderful part of your novel.



    November 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

    • Hi. Thanks, Sheryl. Some people in the book will cheer her on, and some won’t. I hope this dynamic will provide lots of tension in the story. Jane


      jane tims

      December 1, 2012 at 9:19 am

  5. An intriguing start and so much possibility for sharing her writing and that of the other characters in the novel. What an interesting idea! I can hardly wait until I can read your novel.


    Carol Steel

    November 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

    • Hi Carol. I think it would be interesting to include some writing bits from the various characters. Only 31,000 words so far… reading it is a long way away. Jane


      jane tims

      December 1, 2012 at 9:15 am

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