Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Christian fiction’

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:
Facebook: facebook.com/TMGaouette
Twitter: @TMGaouette

Image: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Read Full Post »

saving-faith-cover

Saving Faith is featured on Book Reviews and More. If you’ve read the book or like my work, please leave a comment and share it with others.

Sometimes when you return to a series, especially if it has been more than 2 years there is a little trepidation. I have read many series that ended up going downhill after the first book. Especially if the first book, Freeing Tanner Rose, was so good that at the time I considered it one of the best Catholic Young Adult book I had read. That was not the case this time. And returning to the small town and characters in the Faith and Kung Fu series was like visiting with friends that you have not seen in a long time.

Like book 1 in this series this is an intense read but for very different reasons. Instead of being about someone who has not ever really interacted with people of faith, and helping them turn their life around. This book is about a girl named Faith, who has always been a Christian, a good Catholic girl. He brother is a Catholic and her parents raised her well. But all of a sudden she is making some bad choices, some very bad decisions. She has started blowing off her closest friend. She is making jokes and disparaging remarks about things she believed and was committed to previously. She is interested in a guy with a wicked temper and who has hurt her and left bruises. The boy she is interested in named Christian, is on a Kung Fu Scholarship at their Catholic school. He does not have any faith, and a lot of anger. When he is suspended from school for fighting, Faith has the idea that he can continue to train with Gabriel at the local dojo. And like his namesake the angel, maybe Gabriel can save Faith, even from herself, and maybe, just maybe even be able to influence Christian to help his change course.

There are a number of strengths to this book and the series. First are the characters. Gaouette does an excellent job fleshing out her characters. They are real, and very well written.   Read more of this review and others at Book Reviews and More

Read Full Post »

ID-100101368

*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, Tanner, Miss Ruth, Alicia, Nina, Faith, Adam

How did temptation affect each character?

How was temptation dealt with as the character developed?

How important was modesty in this novel?

In how many ways was modesty presented?

Compare and contrast the characters Miss Ruth and Miss Alicia.

Explain the relationship transition between Gabriel and Tanner.

Explain how kung fu helped Gabriel remain focused on his faith.

Why was Gabriel not interested in competing?

In what ways did Gabriel live his faith?

Did Gabriel ever struggle with his faith? Explain.

Why do you believe that Gabriel continued to have a recurring dream about his father?

Why was it so difficult for Tanner to return to Hollywood?

Do you believe that Tanner could continue in her career without compromising her new found faith?

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:

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 Christian values and explain where they were best presented:
forgiveness, strong faith, honesty, loyalty, perseverance, purity, charity, compassion, tolerance

 

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 Freeing Tanner Rose

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

You may also be interested in:

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch-Book Study Questions for Homeschooling, Youth Groups, and Book Clubs

Read Full Post »

Freeing Tanner Rose final draft

With the conclusion of “Freeing Tanner Rose” impending, I’m feeling a tad depressed, and somewhat fearful! Don’t get me wrong…there’s definitely some joy included in the vat of mixed emotions.

This has become the norm as the end of one book is replaced with the beginning of another! At least, it’s also what happened when I finished “The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch.”

I started typing up “Freeing Tanner Rose” in 2009. I’m not sure when I began scribbling in my notebook. I usually begin my novels this way. My point? It took approximately five years to write this novel. And now I have to let it go. This is it. Once it’s published, it’s done!

So, I’m a little sad because I have to let it go, and I’m afraid for the same reason. At this point I’ve drained all possibility of anything else occurring that would benefit this story further. But what if something comes to mind when it’s published?

I’ve loved, hated, laughed, and cried through the process. The only thing left to do is pray. I pray that I wrote the best story that I could write, and that I glorified my Maker in doing so.

Creating “Freeing Tanner Rose” is over. But getting to know the novel is not. It’s just the beginning for my readers.

Now, I just need to decide which of my back-burner novels to work on next!

More about “Freeing Tanner Rose”…

“Freeing Tanner Rose” – Book Description

Revising Woes for “Tanner Rose”

“Freeing Tanner Rose” Update: Jumping into Chapter One When Writing Fiction Novels

Read Full Post »

ID-10029218

I’m reluctant to get into editing the “final” draft of Freeing Tanner Rose. Why? In contemplating it’s conclusion, I’ve realized that I have to introduce a new beginning. This may seem like a drastic change at such a late stage -and maybe there would have been a time when such a decision was unnerving, but it won’t be the first time.

When finalizing The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch I did the same thing. What was supposed to be the first chapter of that novel is now four pages into chapter 4. And I feel the story has been strengthened because of it.

If the idea of moving chapters around, changing the introduction or even changing the ending of the whole novel enters your mind, don’t brush it away. It’s tempting, I know, but the notion exists for a reason. Your reader has to jump into chapter one and not want to leave your story until it’s absolutely necessary. I’m not sure the first chapter of Freeing Tanner Rose achieves this.

If you decide to make a drastic change to your fiction novel at the last stage, remember to make sure that the change is reflected wherever necessary throughout the novel. To ensure this is the case, you’ll have to get a pair of fresh eyes to read the whole novel for you.

Sure, the change will likely knock you off schedule, but if your desire is to put out quality fiction, the wait will be worth it!

Good luck, God bless and wish me the same!

Ugh! Time to get to it.

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

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

Read Full Post »

In the recent author profile by Steven McEvoy at Book Reviews and More and Catholic Dads Online, I was asked a few questions about my all-time favorite books.

  • If you could only recommend 10 books to a reader looking to be a well-rounded and whole person what books would you suggest?

I would offer up a variety of genres. Narrowing it down to 10, I’m pretty sure I’m going to forget some great books, but here goes- To begin with, and I hate to be cliché, but I have to suggest the Bible, beginning with the Gospels, C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, The Great Divorce, and Mere Christianity, Milton’s Paradise Lost, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Sr. Helen Prejean’s Dead Man Walking, Henry James’ The Beast in the Jungle, and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

  • Who were some of your favorite authors in your teen years who helped shape you?

I loved reading as a child and read a variety of genres, but the ones that had the most effect on me, as a person and a writer, were C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Kenneth Grahame, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Brontë sisters.

Other titles I neglected to include in the interview were Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Johanna Spyri’s Heidi, and Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. I’m sure I’m still missing more great reads, but let’s move on.

In responding to these questions, I was reminded of how often I read as a child and how much I devoured each book. Little did I know back then that I’d build a deep connection with the classics.

You know a book’s great when it stays with you throughout your life.

These books were not only inspiring and motivating; they also challenged my subconscious-if not immediately then as a child, then at least in later years when I recalled them -when they were pertinent to a specific time or situation. I’m often prompted to think back on these novels from long ago. They were classics then, and have continued to maintain elite status, even as millions of new titles come on the market.

When I get the chance, I like to reread a favorite classic. It’s inspiring for me as an author. And it’s motivating as a reader. Chapters and scenes are randomly recalled throughout the pages of many. I just wish I was habituated to dog-earring and highlighting for future referencing and inspiration. Then again, a full reread is always worth the endeavor.

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

Friends, feel free to share your favorite classics with me.

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

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: