Monday, May 24, 2010

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

Hi readers, Annette here. Hope you've had a good weekend and your writing is going well. Please welcome back Louise M. Gouge for her next installment. She does such a great job of introducing her topic, I'll leave that for her. *grin*

Threads of God's Grace
Woven Through Time: Part III

by Louise M. Gouge

This is the third 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. In Part 2, I talked about first thread of “weft,” Emotions, in which the hero and heroine overcome some inner emotional difficulty and let love triumph. The remaining two threads, romantic and spiritual, make up the final “weft” that we weave through the plot to bring our story to life.

Obviously, a romance novel involves a hero and heroine falling in love at some point in the story, facing conflicts, overcoming adversities, and at last living Happily Ever After (HEA). From their meeting near the beginning of the story (some editors prefer the very first paragraph of Chapter One) until the end of the tale, the hero and heroine move closer and closer to each other until they admit their undying devotion to one another. The point at which they make this admission and how they get there varies from one story to the next.

When I was growing up, John Wayne was an iconic movie hero. My favorite Wayne films were those in which he and Maureen O’Hara sparred with each other for nearly the whole movie before admitting their love for each other. In much romantic fiction, that seems to be the favorite set-up. Woman meets man; man meets woman. Woman hates man; man hates woman. Each is out to destroy the other’s chance to reach a goal. Over time, the romantic and emotional threads weave in and out of the plot until their previously opposing goals are resolved, changed, or set aside, and the couple falls in love.

But that’s not the only way to write a romance. Sometimes the hero and heroine hit it off right from the start. They both rush into traffic to save a kitten, thereby meeting another animal lover. They both picket in front of a business with unfair labor practices and find someone else who loves to champion the underdog. This might make it tricky for the author to find opposing goals for her characters, but it can be done. Perhaps the conflict must come from another source. Or the characters discover another part of their lives (maybe in the past) that makes a romance between them impossible. The world is wide open to possibilities if a writer gives herself permission to try something new. The only thing that must happen is this: In the end, the hero and heroine have overcome impossible odds, both internal and external, they are openly in love, and they are committed to each other forever. Many readers are especially happy if the couple has a wedding in the last chapter or the Epilogue.

With the threads of emotions and romance woven into the plot, what else could possibly be necessary to make up a compelling story? For the Christian author, there is always the option to add a spiritual thread. Next Monday, I’ll address this topic.

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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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