The Romantic Hero~ The Christian Way

male modelFound this wonderful and helpful article I might add on the Christian Romantic Hero for all us fiction writer…via socialpolitan.org

What attributes and characteristics make a romantic hero? Does he have broad shoulders tapering to a trim waist? Is he tall and dark? Is he blond and witty? Each author and each reader has her own answer to these questions. Yet in creating a hero, authors are wise to know the more defined guidelines of most Christian publishing houses.

A Hero’s Past

The past creates who he is today. The past formulates his present needs, goals, and weaknesses. Even if he is a Christian, he has flaws, sorrows, and shames. Christian’s sin and so does the hero. He’s behaved in ways that makes him feel unworthy or makes him feel unforgiven. A perfect hero is a cartoon, not a believable, compelling character. Give your hero an event in his life that he wants to forget, deeds he fears others will learn, secrets that smother his growth. Then love moves into his heart through the heroine and the workings of the Holy Spirit and the character will grow.

In Loving Ways, December release from Steeple Hill Love Inspired, the hero’s present life is paralyzed by his past.

Ken winced. Annie’s attitude jarred his memory. He’d been a drinker, created fear in others, embarrassed his family, and caused them shame. For better or worse. Annie’s words crept like tendrils through his conscience. His life had been worse not better. Since running into Gordon, the old days kept niggling at him and brought back fear of discovery. He wished the guy hadn’t remembered him.

Physical Attributes

Though physical attributes are highlighted in most romances, Christian romances tend to focus mainly from the chest upward. The hero might have broad shoulders, a square jaw, raven black hair, mesmerizing blue eyes and an expansive chest, but references to the lower extremities is avoided except for a specific purpose.

Any physical description is most effective when it appears for a greater purpose: drawing out emotion, deepening characterization, or providing details important to the story. Kate Davis sees her friend the arms of a stranger in Secrets of the Heart is jolted by his appearance which brings back unwanted memories and serving an important purpose to the stories conflict.

Not his near six foot stature, but his broad, square frame like a football player. Thick neck, powerful chest, strong muscular legs, and bulging arms she saw wrapped around Phyllis.

In the novella “Better To See you” in Barbour’s Once Upon A Time, the heroine recalls her earlier relationship with the hero.

The arm holding her dropped to his side, and he raised the other, running his fingers through his thick, wavy blond hair. His near-center part tugged at her memory–the way she’d kissed his forehead just below his hairline.

No matter how tall, dark, and handsome the hero is in Christian fiction, the physical attributes are not the most important characteristic to the heroine.

Attributes of the Spirit

The qualities that are enjoyed by most people-compassion, kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, all gifts of the spirit-are the qualities that a heroine looks for in a hero. In the romantic suspense, Adam’s Promise, a July release from Steeple Hill Love Inspired, Adam is depicted as a handsome, arrogant surgeon, but Kate’s description deepens the characterization.

Kate’s heels clicked along the hallway as her thoughts swung from her frustration with Adam to her admiration. The man could be self-centered one minute and filled with compassion the next. . .when it involved the patients. Beneath her irritation, she admired the man. He’d come from a prestigious family in Colorado Springs. His father was the mayor, and yet, here he was in Venezuela providing health care to the poor in the rustic community so many miles from the comforts of home.

Notice what is important to Kate-his compassion, his willingness to leave family wealth behind-attributes most women would cherish in a husband.

In “Christmas Moon ,” in the two-in-one, That Christmas Feeling, released in November by Steeple Hill, the hero sees the heroine with new eyes.

The truth settled over him. For the first time since Della died, he was looking forward to Christmas. Rose had been the catalyst. They’d become friends. Their lives had become entwined. Blest be the ties that entwine. The words twisted in his head.

As they’d spent more time together, Paul sensed a kind of like-minded spirit they shared. The painting came to mind. They’d both been drawn to it immediately. But it was more than that. He felt comfort in her presence. She exuded compassion and evoked from him a new tenderness.

Is he a Christian?

Is the hero a believer? At times the novel will present a weak Christian, one who believed and allowed his faith to waver, but who is brought back to the Lord through his own growth and change. Being repentant and seeking forgiveness is often part of a hero’s struggle. A Christian hero who is flawed makes a Christian novel realistic as in this selection from Adam’s Promise.

“Is it me, Kate? Can’t you forgive me for my egotism. I can only promise you that I’ve changed. For the first time in my life, I realize that God is the only power in my life. He’s my only hope and strength in this world. No one can do it all alone, and no one can take credit for success because the Lord gave us the abilities. The gifts. It’s as simple as that. . .and somehow I missed learning that in my spiritual journey.”

If a hero is not a Christian, he must be by the end of an inspirational romance, but a full conversion must be through the hero’s own struggle, and not the result of the heroine’s “missionary” dating. In “Better To See You,” a novella in the Barbour anthology, Once Upon A Time, the hero learns through th heroine’s example of Christian living.

Was this God’s work? He wondered. He’d been such a difficult person back then, not only disbelieving, but scorning those who believed…except Lucy. She had made her faith so desirable, so sincere that he had a difficult time taunting her. 

Still, her happy heart and open arms had instilled a small seed of question, of wonder about her beliefs. And he’d done the rest, fertilized by memories of her joy in living, he’d stumbled along until one day, alone in a motel room, he’d picked up a Bible. That day was only the beginning. Lucy would never believe how much he’d changed.

Make the hero realistic. Give him flaws and give him a past that shows his weaknesses and shames. Show how the past molds the hero’s goals and motivations, then how overcoming them changes him for the better. No matter what qualities and characteristics you give your hero, limit the physical description to above the waist and give the hero spiritual gifts that arouses the heroine’s love and respect for him.

 

© Gail Gaymer Martin


About the Author

Gail Gaymer Martin was born and raised in Michigan, Where she live with her husband, Bob, who is her greatest fan and the best proofreader in the state. Second to writing, she enjoy music, especially singing as a soloist and choir member at her church and a member of the Detroit Lutheran Singers. She also play handchimes and handbells. Visit Gail at:http://www.gailmartin.com.

Nice article via socialpolitan.org

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5 Things Stopping You..

img-nanowrimo-typewriter1-300x198Hi y’all, let me start off by saying that I didn’t write this. I will say however that when I read it, it seemed the writer was in my brain when she did.  I started writing my book in 2006 but I can definitely say that all of the reason listed and more where the reason I stopped. Year after year, I kept putting it off till the little hospital incident I told you about.

So if you are reading this, let this be your wake up call…….

“Don’t let another year go by without getting started on your very own book!

There are many reasons why you have not gotten started. Don’t let anything stop

you now. You need to identify what is holding you back and begin working to reach

your goal. Take a look at this list and see if you see yourself in any of these reasons.

1. Fear – You are scared of what people might think of you as an author, and you may be hesitant to share personal information with the world.

2. Lack of Knowledge – You simply don’t know how to get started or how to be successful.

3. Lack of Support – Your family and friends may not encourage you as much as you would like but they just may not understand how important it is to you.

4. Lack of Resources – You have not found a cost effective way to get your book published.

5. Procrastination – You keep putting off writing until later, and the years keep passing.”

via http://www.facebook.com/superstarauthors

Be Blessed

Unoma

When You Move, He Moves…

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Release date for my debut novel An Unexpected Blessing is just about eight weeks away. I’m excited but humbled at the same time. Why? Well let me tell you my back story…..

I always  knew I wanted to write. I have so many books that I can’t even count them anymore. When I finish a good book , I will spend the next five to ten minutes just thinking about alternate endings. Ways I would have ended it if I were the author. I am also hopeless romantic, during my spare time ( which isn’t quite often) you will find me with a good romance book or watching a chick flick. I  love the cliché argument and the make up at the end.

Then again I had another passion which is to speak hope into people. I derive joy in encouraging and making others aware that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I would help people see the other side of the issue, and  why whatever it was they were going through was a blessing in disguise. Let them know that it will be ok in the end. I would have scripture at the tip of my tongue and the people I spoke to will always walk away with the same observation  “why don’t you become a motivational speaker” and I would give the same response ” No I can’t, I don’t speak in front of people”. You see I’m a serious introvert. Then it came to me by the unction of the Holy Spirit, while I was studying the word Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope

Why don’t I combine both passions together? So my first blog was born in 2010.  I would write pieces that would bring a lot of positive feedback and it felt good. It was by the grace of God that what I wrote people read and were encouraged, but life happened and I stopped writing.  Two years later I would start this blog  but that book I had inside me still nagged me…through my husband of cource….LOL… and then everywhere I turned there was an author. But I looked for every excuse in the book to delay writing it, besides I didn’t have a solid story yet. My excuses ranged from the kids, to a job, to being tired, you name it. But I constantly put out content on my blog. I hid behind the comfort of 300-500 words. Then my wake up call…….

Last year, during a routine business trip to another city, I collapsed in the plane and was rushed to the hospital upon landing.  After a week stay; mostly in intensive care, I was released. I had one month of recovery enduring excruciating  pain during that time. I spent the time being angry at God, I begged and asked Him to take the pain away so why hadn’t He? I, the person that normally gave my family encouraging tidbits, couldnt encourage herself nor allow anybody to do it for me.

By His strips I was completely free of pain in about three months but during that time, I thought,  what if I died and didn’t do the one thing my soul yearned for years? How would I explain to my creator that the gift He had so graciously given me had been left to lie fallow? What would I be remembered for?

So after weeks of prayer I had a story, picked up my laptop and began to peck away. During the ride, I wondered how will this story get to 75K+ words. I’m used to spitting just a couple of hundred words at a time. But as I continued to write the story continued to flow; and get this sometimes I would have to stop to write more story ideas in my “vision book”. But in the end I did it!! I finally did it!! And it is only the beginning…

Lessons 1: When you place what you do in God’s hands, He will direct you and give you the power you need to pull through. It wont be by your power but His. Just surrender to it.

Lesson 2: Tomorrow is not promised, take the next step to do what you have always wanted to do. When you move,  God moves with you. You can do it. Just Believe!!

Blessings

Unoma

It’s too valuable…

timIt’s the first day of March, where has the year gone? Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday we were all saying happy New Year to one another? Now we are three months in. That’s the thing about time; it doesn’t stop and wait for no one. I consider it the most valuable thing we have but often misuse.  Once we lose it, it can’t be regained. Reality check: What have you spent the last two months doing? Has it pushed you any further towards your goals or has it taken you away from them. Ephesians 5:16-17 Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is

 You are the gatekeeper of you own time, do you allow people that can’t add or subtract from you in anyway occupy your time? I’m not saying we can’t have those days when we just need a lazy day, our body needs them sometimes. Marthe Curtain said “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time”  But we need to be mindful that we don’t allow those days to turn into extended days of procrastination and idleness. You know what they say and idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Proverbs 12: 24The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor

 As for me I have been very bust but my body recently reminded me that I needed to slow down. My debut novel which will be independently published is set for release next month. I have been re writing, approving cover designs, doing press and writing a couple of short stories in between. Phew! That was a mouthful (or ‘typeful’) and that just for my brand. I also run operations at KevStel Group so I have been busy there as well then add being a mom, wife and having a full time job. Don’t ask how I do it because I have no earthly idea. What I do know is that the joy of the Lord is my strength. That’s all I can say. But my body wasn’t having it yesterday, it literally gave out and I crashed in the bed from 5.30 pm till this morning with a slight fever. With the mindset that I’m healed in His name, I’m back on the grid.

 For March, I will carry on the motto I set for the beginning year; the only people that will occupy my time are those that add positively, the only thoughts that will occupy my time are those full of faith, love and hope. I refuse to entertain doubt about anything because if God put it in my heart. He will provide a way for it to work out. I will hug on the family a little tighter and just enjoy any process I find myself in.

 Happy New Month Y’all. My prayer is that God moves us FURTHER, FASTER

Blessings,

Unoma.

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