Monday, May 17, 2010

Threads of God's Grace Series by Louise M. Gouge

Hey readers (Annette here), it's Manuscript Monday, and we're welcoming back Louise Gouge to continue her series on weaving together our stories. Happy writing!

Threads of God's Grace Woven Through Time,
Part II by Louise Gouge

This is the second installment in my four-part series on Manuscript Monday, in which I describe my tagline: “Threads of God’s grace woven through time.” In Part 1, I discussed the Plot thread that forms the “warp” for the tapestry of our story. The remaining three threads: emotional, romantic, and spiritual, make up the “weft” that we weave through the plot to bring our story to life.

A story can’t take place without characters, and in the most compelling stories, the protagonist matures in some way and ends up a better person by the last page. This is called the character arc. For my historical romances, a heroine and hero usually share the stage. But for me, it is not enough just to have two people meet, fall in love, overcome conflict, and live happily ever after. Each of my characters must grow in several ways, beginning with the emotional facet of their personalities. In this thread, the protagonists deal with issues common to humankind: External difficulties such as cheating spouses, rebellious children, threats to home, job, family, or life; or Internal problems such as self-control, honesty, anger, fear, distrust, forgiveness, and a host of other problems. The way the characters react to these issues reflects their degree of emotional maturity. Throughout the plot journey, each character must grow and mature, learning something about himself/herself along the way, usually as each one reaches for a personal goal.

In romance novels, we know the accepted format is to have the hero’s and heroine’s personal goals be in opposition to each other, which throws back to the plot and some of that internal conflict required for an interesting story. For instance, if the heroine’s goal is never to marry a seafaring man because her father was always gone and finally died at sea, of course she must fall in love with a naval captain. She knows this man will be gone much of the time. Perhaps he will die, as her father did, and she will be left alone to raise any children they may have. In this scenario, she must deal with the emotional issues of fear, distrust, and loneliness, and her struggle should take the reader on an interesting journey. Likewise, if the hero, a captain in the royal navy, desires to marry a wellborn lady who can entertain admirals and advance his career, of course he must fall in love with a commoner whose social graces require some work. He must overcome his arrogance and snobbery and gently show the way for his lady to find acceptance among his peers. OR, even better, he can resign that life and live happily in a country cottage with the woman he loves. Each character has overcome an inborn emotional difficulty and let love triumph. Love, of course, takes us to the romance thread I’ll be discussing next Monday.

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Torn between love and duty, American Patriot James Templeton must deny his heart to help win his country's freedom. Templeton's orders from General Washington are clear. His target: Lord Bennington, a member of George III's Privy Council. The assignment: find Bennington's war plans. The risks: the future of the East Florida Colony, Jamie's life...and his heart. In spite of the dangers of their hopeless situation, he's fallen in love with Lady Marianne Moberly, Lord Bennington's daughter. Desperate to protect his country, Jamie carries out his orders with a heavy heart. But Marianne's persistence is a challenge he never expected. With love and faith, they must navigate troubled waters to win their future together.
Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical, March 2010, ISBN: 13-978-0-373-82832-6
Available at cbd.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com


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Award-winning Florida author Louise M. Gouge has been married to David Gouge for 45 years. They have four grown children and six grandchildren. Louise earned her BA in English/Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and her Master of Liberal Studies degree at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. The author of nine books, Louise is also an adjunct professor of English and Humanities at Valencia Community College in Kissimmee, Florida. Her favorite Bible verse is “He shall choose our inheritance for us” (Psalm 47:4), a testimony to her belief that God has chosen a path for each believer. To seek that path and to trust His wisdom is to find the greatest happiness in life. Web site and blog: http://Louisemgouge.com

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