Religious speech is extreme emotional and motivational. It is anti-literal relying on metaphor allusion and other rhetorical devices and it assumes knowledge within a community of believers.
I had been a reporter for 15 years when I set out to write my first novel. I knew how to research an article or profile a subject – skills that I assumed would be useless when it came to fiction. It was from my imagination that the characters in my story would emerge.
Imagination it turns out is a great deal like reporting in your own head. Here is a paradox of fiction-writing. You are crafting something from nothing which means in one sense that none of it is true. Yet in the writing and perhaps in the reading some of a character’s actions or lines are truer than others.
So the premise of ‘The Submission’ is that there’s an anonymous competition to design a 9/11 memorial and it’s won by an American Muslim an architect born and raised in Virginia and his name is Mohammad Khan.