Containing the Rebellious Character in Fiction Writing

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?

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Image: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Control Your Fiction Novel With a “Moral Premise”

MPCover

I’ve read many books in my journey to become a better novelist. Some have been awesome, in my opinion, and others…not so much! One resource that I’ve found to be very helpful is The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue and Vice for Box Office Success. Stanley D Williams is the author, and his insight on novel writing is definitely inspiring.

The Moral Premise describes how successful motion pictures are always structured around a psychological (or spiritual) premise based on true moral values, and how screenwriters can appropriate the structural elements of the moral premise to write successful movies. (moralpremise.com)

Before reading this book, I found my writing would easily drift off into irrelevant directions. Williams helped me bring everything back to the “moral premise.” I read the whole thing years ago, but I continue to refer to it often. I highly recommend this book.

Do you find yourself getting lost in your own story line? Have you read The Moral Premise? Share your thoughts!

If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

I Want to Write a Novel, But Where Do I Start?

 Why People-Watching Enhances Characterization in Fiction Writing

My Cures for Defeating Writers Block

Introducing My Upcoming Novel, “Freeing Tanner Rose” -The First in Kung-Fu Faith Series

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.

T.M. Gaouette – Author Profile Featured on Book Reviews and More and CatholicDadsOnline.org

Following is an author profile just published on Book Reviews and More. There are 20 questions. Check it out!

T.M. Gaouette is a writer, a mother and a wife. Born in Africa educated in London and now she resides with her family in New England. Her first novel is out and she is new on the Christian fiction market. Her first book The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch was an amazing read. So I wanted to find out more about this author and her writing. She agreed to be interviewed for Book Reviews and More and for CatholicDadsOnline.org so here is Tm in her own words.

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you nurture that dream?

I began writing as a child. I always had a diary so I’d write my personal joys and sorrows in that. I also loved to write poetry, songs, short stories, and scripts, and I read constantly. In college, I majored in English Literature and that’s where I really found a passion for writing and marveled at the power of words. I’m constantly learning from other authors, and striving to perfect my own style.

2. If you had not become a writer what do you think you would be doing for a living?

I don’t think I could have been anything else. I’ve kept on writing throughout my life, and I’ve had various jobs, from waitressing to sales to marketing. But at home, on my own time, I wrote. I can’t imagine not writing, even with its ups and downs. I’ve taken breaks from it, even considered quitting, but I’ve found that I need to write. I’m confident now too that writing is God’s gift to me. And I have so many stories to tell.”

Read more.

This profile is also posted on CatholicDadsOnline.org

My Cures for Defeating Writers Block

It’s a writer’s nightmare!

Writer’s block can be devastating for a fiction writer who doesn’t know how to fill the void.

But there are ways in which you can take advantage of writer’s block, at least until you’re ready to resume your manuscript.

  • Writer’s write, and even when the dreaded writer’s block sets in, you need to write. There doesn’t have to be a reason behind the words and you don’t have to stick to writing fiction. In fact, you can just write about how you’re feeling. Write about writer’s block. Why? This exercise will give you a reason to write. It also provides you with an outlet to communicate your emotions. Lastly, it’ll give you material for future projects.
  • Are you in the midst of a fiction novel and you just can’t move forward? Then jump to the good part. You know the part. It’s the scene that you play over and over in your head. It’s the reason why you’re writing the story. By jumping to the good part, you’re stimulating your outlook, and you’re making the story exciting again.
  • If you just can’t write, and no scene inspires you, then read. Reading is the next best thing to writing. Read back on your own work. Oftentimes, when you read your own work, you become inspired to write more. Or better still, you can use the opportunity to proofread and revise chapters.
  • In the event that reading your own work of fiction only depresses you, then read the work of your favorite author. This is often a great motivator because it reminds you of why you became a writer in the first place. It’s also a lesson in writing. When you read the work of your favorite authors, you’re often inspired by their writing and your desire to write like them -or in some cases, better than them- grows.
  • Do you have another fictional story in mind? Start writing it. The idea of having two manuscripts in the works may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually less stressful. It allows you to chop and change from one story to another when the mood strikes you. Your writer’s block is on one story, so just take a break from it. And rather than do nothing, work on the other story. Go back and forth as it suits you. Returning to a story after a period away often provides a fresh perspective.Read motivational stories from writers, such as Stephen King’s, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. This memoir recalls King’s successes and failures, in addition to tips and advice on writing. Reading inspirational stories by successful writers motivates you to keep writing, because you’re reminded that even the most successful authors were lost for words.

Writer’s block doesn’t have to feel like a moment of failure. But you shouldn’t waste it on non-writing projects. Doing so will only cause guilt. Whatever method you choose to defeat your writer’s block, stay focused and disciplined. Think of writer’s block as an opportunity to take a break from your current project and work on another story or maybe catch up on some reading. Whatever you decide, take advantage of writer’s block, use it wisely, and it could be just what you need to make your story of fiction a success.

Best and blessings to you all.

Image Credit http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Project Inspired Posts First Interview For “The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch”

My first Interview for The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is posted on Project Inspired.

I’m a contributing Culture Shock and Style blogger for the website, which focuses on providing advice and news to Christian teen girls. It’s a great forum and I’m excited to be featured on it.

Here’s a snippet:

Girls, you’ve been enjoying T.M.’s Culture Shock and style articles at PI—we’re thrilled to announce that she’s just released a novel! It’s called The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch.

TDSR is about the hardships experienced by a distrustful 10-year-old boy named Benny, a foster child, who is bound and determined to avoid faith and keep his distance from everyone. (We bet you’ve met a few people like that, huh?) David and Martha Credence (his new foster parents) have their work cut out for them to help open Benny’s heart and show him to his path with God—they also have a whole foster family to look after!

You can read the first chapter of TDSR here.

We asked T.M. all about the book and why girls should read it. Check out our Q&A!

PI: T.M., we’re so excited about your new book! First of all, what inspired you to write The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch?

T.M.: My novels are usually inspired by a different number of things. It could be a thought, a news story, an issue I’m passionate about, a biblical verse, or even a random person I see on the street. With Sunshine Ranch, it was a mix of some of these prompts. I imagined my main character, Benedict, a 10-year old foster child, struggling with the fear of his past and being cynical about his future. I pictured him as this grumpy kid who was afraid to be happy. The elevation of children, especially those who come from bad or poor upbringings, is always inspiring to me. I wanted to tell a story about children and teens, scarred by adversity, but strengthened by God. I was inspired by the desire to inspire, and ultimately, I think that’s why I write all of my stories.

PI: What do you hope young Christians will take away from this novel?

T.M.: That past adversity should never dictate or assume an adverse future. No matter where you come from, you have the ability to succeed. Trust that God has a plan for you, and that in difficult times, He will carry you through. This book epitomizes the scripture Philippians 4:12-13. Basically it translates into:

“I know what it’s like to be in need and to have plenty; I’ve learned how to be content in any situation, because God gives me strength to deal with anything that comes my way.”

I pray this truth reveals itself to my readers, because nothing is impossible with God.

Read the whole interview at Project Inspired.

 

A Day in the Life of a Catholic Novelist

“I am grateful for my life, my blessings, husband and children, my home, and my writing.” I continue my daily mantra instinctively but faithfully. Except my words lack the enthusiasm insisted by Tony Robbins. “I’m grateful for finding my passion, although my time is restricted. My life’s full with every second consumed by one being or another seeking my attention. I’m grateful for it all until insanity kicks in.” I suck in a much needed breath and glance at my two little homeschoolers working diligently at the dining room table, my third sits playing with the spice rack. A sudden gush of happiness washes through me, cleansing all remnants of sarcasm and discouragement that taint my mood.

I’ll survive the drudge of today, with its typical formation. I’ll follow yesterday’s steps, same as the day before. I’m not alone. I prepare a snack, send out the dog, clean the kitchen, and change a diaper. My only interruption is to grab a scrap of paper, napkin, piece of gum wrap, anything obtainable for me to safely transfer a soon-to-be renowned phrase or idea from thought.

Finally, I’m onto my beloved chore, staring at my impending bestseller while my boy plays by my feet. The older two are in bed and my time has come. I read prewritten words in an attempt to transform my mind into one of a novelist’s. Distraction comes soon, however, when I feel little hands grabbing at me. I try to type faster, frantic to finish a thought. What was it, again? It’s too late. I’m no longer a writer. I’m a mountain that must be scaled. Little grunts indicate the magnitude of his mission and it’s too endearing to ignore.

I surrender to his command and drag him onto my lap, hoping he’ll be entertained by the words appearing before us. I regain my literary composure, but soon my sleek lines of literary genius are tainted by an intrusive ‘g,’ followed by a roguish ‘p.’ The meddlesome letters continue appearing, accompanied by impish giggles, and my only response is a desperate, ‘no sweetie,’ ‘don’t touch,’ while maintaining as much patience as my deteriorating mood allows.

It’s too tempting for those tiny fingers, however, and again I’m compelled to surrender, save my potential masterpiece and spin away from the screen, causing a squeal of delight. I lift him into the air and he looks down at me, eyes wide with the anticipation of my next move. Who knows what that will be? Even with routine comes uncertainty, but in the sparkling eyes of my child is a promise of something extraordinary, and for that I am always grateful.