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Archive for the ‘Kung-Fu Faith Series’ Category

I find the task of creating fictional characters a fun experience, for the most part. I determine their physical aspects, personality traits, background information, aspirations, fears, joys, and so on. No-one can tell me how to design a fictional character, because each one is created by me.

But what if the character takes a life of his own…I mean, that’s great, right? It drives the story along, creates a more natural piece of fiction. But what if the character becomes uncontrollable?

It doesn’t happen with all of my characters, but every now and then the odd boy (or girl) takes it upon himself to reveal an idiosyncrasy or personality flaw that bends and twists my story-line in a fashion that redefines it. It’s not always a negative awareness. Sometimes it’s a good revelation, but one that ultimately affects the story in some way.

Still, I allow him to let loose, and all I can do is follow his lead and hope that he behaves as best he can. Should the revelation be a negative one, I find myself in a bind. In order to maintain the integrity of the story, I am forced to lay down the law.

I have to remind my character of what’s expected of him, to a certain extent, of course.

I’m like a controlling mother, with more children than the ones I gave birth to physically. These are the babies I gave birth to creatively, and they had better behave, or they’ll be put in a time-out…which, of course, means I’ll save them for when another story, more fitting their rebellious nature, is conjured up.

Have you ever had a rebellious character take control of your fictional story?

Visit me on social media for more news and reviews on my Catholic fiction or just to say hi:
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Image: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Hey friends! Check out my book trailer for my recent release, “Saving Faith.” Enjoy!

 

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Freeing Tanner Rose-Book Study Questions for Homeschooling, Youth Groups, and Book Clubs

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*Note to youth leaders and teachers: You can pick and choose the questions depending on the purpose of your instruction and the age group of your students/readers.

Character development:

Characters-specific: Determine which characters you wish to discuss, either from the list given or others- Gabriel, Faith, Christian, Nina, Adam, Miss Ruth, Tanner

How important was self-control in this novel?

Compare and contrast the characters Faith and Nina.

Explain the relationship transition between Faith and Christian.

Compare and contrast how Gabriel and Christian used Kung Fu.

In what ways did Gabriel struggle with his own advice?

Describe how Christian’s lack of control was destructive, specifically when it came to kung fu and his relationships with his father and Faith.

Describe the struggles of each of the following characters and how they relate to each other and the theme of the book as a whole- Faith, Gabriel, and Christian.

Why was Faith’s transition so difficult for Nina to endure?

Do you see any similarity between Faith’s struggle with her faith and Gabriel’s? Explain.

How do you feel about the return of Tanner Rose?

Which character was your favorite and why?

Which character do you feel was the strongest emotionally and why?

Characters-general:

Were you able to relate to any of the characters portrayed and in what way?

Were the characters believable?

Was there any experience in the novel that you feel you can apply to your own life experience?

Do you find this novel valuable? Explain your response.

Which character made the biggest transition, in your opinion?

Which character made the smallest transition, in your opinion?

Spirituality:

How is the verse Romans 12:2 reflected throughout this story?

In your opinion, how well does the author portray the presence of God in the everyday lives of the characters?

Is the author successful in presenting faith in a relevant and relatable way?

Give an example of each of the following Catholic values and explain where they were best presented in the novel: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, humility

 

Book Structure:

Discuss some of the narrative devices that the author uses? E.g. Flashbacks, foreshadowing, third person narration, plot twists, dialogue, and imagery. Do they work?

Do these narrative devices help move the story along or are they just distracting to the story?

Style:

What can you say about the author’s writing style?

Discuss the narrative style.

What are some of the noticeable themes in the book? How did the author develop these themes? Were these methods effective?

The Author:

How well did the author take you into the story?

Was the use of description effective?

Could you envision each character?

Could you envision the setting?

Did you find this novel enjoyable?

Would you recommend it to a friend? Explain your response.

Does this book prompt you to want to read more from this author?

 

Quotes:

Which character quote did you find most effective?

Which character quote do you feel is the defining message in the novel?

 

.PDF VERSION of book study for Saving Faith

Image Credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

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Freeing Tanner Rose-Book Study Questions for Homeschooling, Youth Groups, and Book Clubs

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Please excuse my lack of attention here on the site. I’ve been working on finishing up my next novel, Freeing Tanner Rose. It’s actually the beginning of a four-part Kung-Fu Faith series.

  • Fun fact- Freeing Tanner Rose was not originally written as the first in the series. I actually began writing one of the other books eight years ago and intended that to be the first. I began writing Tanner Rose three years ago, and decided that this story would be a better intro to the series.

With Freeing Tanner Rose, I’m at the point in the process where I’m trying to tie up loose ends, but keep finding reasons to move things around. Such last minute decisions are not always smart –although common in my writing style- but I’m confident that the final draft will likely benefit from it. The big problem is that changes mean more thorough readings and constant editing, and this process often drains the love I feel for any story. Once love is gone, it’s not completely lost, but I usually have to set the project aside and allow some space to grow between us. Just enough room to feel the loss.

I hope such space is not necessary during this revision. In order to ensure that and to avoid falling out of love, I’ve been splitting my novel writing time with cover design and novel description. I’ll post these as soon as I have them completed. Then once the final draft is complete, I’ll share the first chapter.

Freeing Tanner Rose is scheduled to release late fall of this year, God willing. I plan on keeping this schedule, but it’s more important that the finished product is perfect –or as perfect as I’ll allow it to be before forcing myself to let it go. To let go! Ugh. Another step I have a difficult time with.

Lord, bless my words so that I glorify You in everything that I write.

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