Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Unlike Wounds, Scars Can Work Wonders by Zoe M. McCarthy

Friday, I wanted to delve deeper into my heroine. For the first time, I used my copy of The Emotional Wound Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. I chose my heroine’s compromised basic needs, her false beliefs, her fears, her personality traits, the triggers that aggravate her wound, and what she needs to overcome the emotional injury. As my heroine came alive, I planned to take her on a journey, one where she rises above her wound and falls in love.

I was pumped.

Then on Easter Sunday, our pastor said resurrected Jesus no longer had the wounds he’d suffered on the cross, but he bore their scars to help Thomas's unbelief. Wounds and scars are different. Indulged wounds prevent us from being whole. Scars show our wounds are healed, but they also testify that the wounds happened.

I was intrigued.

That night, I went to our local movie theater to see the true story I Can Only Imagine. When Bart Millard held on to his wound, it prevented him from being authentic in his music. Only glimpses of his gift surfaced. When he faced his wounds and saw the miracle God performed in the one who’d wounded him, he forgave the man and wrote a new song in ten minutes. That creation, “I Can Only Imagine,” has been the most played Christian song on radio ever.

I was inspired.

Then Monday night, I watched Breathe, the true account of Robin Cavendish, whom polio paralyzed from his toes to his head in the sixties. Doctors told him he'd live only three months. While lying in a hospital ward with other paralyzed men on ventilators, Robin wanted to die. He wasn’t interested in God’s ability to work good from his condition. To him, he lived in a prison. His devoted wife asked him what she could do to make him give up his death wish. “Take me home,” he replied.

Robin was the first paralyzed person to live at home hooked to a ventilator. His life improved as his brainstormed inventions aided his movement and communication. Skeptics looked through clinical eyes at what he'd accomplished and thought his life outside a hospital was too dangerous. A pioneer, Robin traveled over the world, advocating for disabled people. God used him to better countless lives.

I was awed.

I’ve been praying for excellence in my writing. Defining my heroine's needs, beliefs, fears, and personality traits from the wound thesaurus was a great start. Then these past few days, the Lord gave me a broader understanding of wounds so I can develop believable characters and reach the hearts of my readers.

What has pumped, intrigued, inspired, and awed you to become a better writer?



A full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy, author of The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress, Gift of the Magpie, and Calculated Risk, writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. When she’s not writing, Zoe enjoys her five grandchildren, teaching Bible studies, leading workshops on writing, knitting and crocheting shawls for a prayer shawl ministry, gardening, and canoeing. She lives with her husband in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Zoe blogs regularly at www.zoemmccarthy.com.

 Cooking Up Kisses (Five Sweetly Scrumptious Novellas)


LOVE ON A DARE BY MARY MANNERS
Alana Mulvaney’s life is in a holding pattern. Consumed by day-to-day operations of the family business, Alana has no time for fun or romance. But a little fun and a whole lot of romance is just what Alana’s sisters have in mind when they learn childhood friend Donovan O’Reilly has returned to town.

HUMMINGBIRD KISSES BY DELIA LATHAM
Toni Littlebird believes that when she meets the man God created for her, she’ll know—and she’ll love him in that very moment.
But then Dax Hendrick roars into Hummingbird Hollow on a noisy, crippled Harley, stinking up the air and chasing away her beloved hummingbirds. One look into the intruder’s eyes and her heart sinks. He’s “The One.” She’d been right about knowing, but wrong about something far more important: She will never love this man!

HEARTS ON THE HARBOR BY ROBIN BAYNE
Cara Peyton is content with her life, her trendy Baltimore bookshop is perfect for her. But when her ex- turns up to remodel the store, asking for a second chance, she’s torn and unsure about risking her heart again. Can he convince her to trust him, and God, before the job is finished?

HIS VALENTINE PROMISE BY DORA HIERS
Another Valentine’s Day and Quinn Randolph prefers to spend it with her sweet rescue lab. Who needs men and their broken promises? Especially Pierce Karson’s! Years ago, his desertion shattered her. Now he’s trying to steal the property she targeted to expand her florist shop! Pierce only wants to belong…and for Quinn to choose him. His Valentine Promise…

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN IN A RED DRESS BY ZOE M. MCCARTHY
Candace Parks lives a passionless life in Richmond. The computer programmer returns to the empty family home in the Blue Ridge Mountains solely to evaluate her job, faith, and boyfriend. Her high school crush, Trigg Alderman, who barely remembers her, visits his Gram next door. Sorting her life out? How about nothing of the sort!É

17 comments:

  1. Wow - this was REALLY a good one, Zoe! For me, it's experiencing how real my characters are - realizing they interact in my daily life (as these movies did in yours) and work out their challenges together. Sort of a double life, but you know what I mean. Thanks.

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    1. Gail, I do know what you mean by a double life. That's why I like to write in Deep Point of View so that I from inside my character. Zoe (Blogger is not working for me to reply)

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  2. Such an inspiring article. Thanks so much for encouraging in excellence!

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    1. Thanks, Jody. I pray for excellence in others, too, such as in editors, cover designers, marketing people, etc.
      Zoe (Blogger isn't working for me to reply.)

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  3. Great article, Zoe! I haven't seen I Can Only Imagine yet, but plan to. I've heard so many good things about the film, and the song has special meaning for me as it was played at my stepdaughter's funeral. A young woman of nineteen with a strong faith - she was killed in a car accident.

    I have seen the movie Breathe, and I loved it! Inspiring!

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    1. Dawn, when I recommended the movie, my sister said she had decided years ago to have I Can Only Imagine sung at her funeral. Sounds like the perfect song to me. Your stepdaughter sounded like a blessing. Nice that she doesn't have to imagine any longer. Zoe (Blogger isn't working for me to reply.)

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  4. What a beautiful post, Zoe!
    Thank you so much...this definitely helps with deep POV writing
    Good luck and God's blessings
    PamT

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    1. Pam, I'm excited to start my next story with the research I've done on the heroine's wound. Zoe (Blogger isn't working for me to reply.)

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  5. Great article, Zoe. I always begin by creating a wound for both hero and heroine. From that dark moment story, I create the lie and fear they believe before they ever walk onto the page. The truth replaces the lie and the hero and heroine each heal one another's wounds throughout the story. Knowing the character "wound" at the beginning is so essential so I know what it is I'm trying to "heal" by the happily ever after.

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    1. Mary, thank you for sharing how you create wounds. I, too, identify up front my characters' greatest fear and the lie they believe. The wounds can cause flaws in the character, e.g. distrusting people. Like you mention, in the character arc, the characters grow and can at least do something in the end they couldn't do in the beginning. Now, I'm using the wound thesaurus to help me think about the nuances of how my character might act and think from their wounds and flaws. Zoe (Blogger isn't working for me to reply.)

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  6. Excellent post, Zoe! I will use this information in fleshing out my own characters in my WIP. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Hi Patti, it really helped me to get into the emotions of the men in those movies. Zoe

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  7. Enjoyed the post, and totally agree. Your pastor's sermon sounded spot on. I tend to write healing arcs with my leading characters as well. I've been waiting for Breathe to come out on DVD since the limited release meant it did not come to my town! :) Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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    1. Denise, I think we watched Breathe on either Netflix or Apple streaming options. Can't remember which. Zoe

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  8. I just used my Wound Thesaurus for the first time this week too! I loved what your pastor said about the Resurrected Jesus. So true, wounds get healed but scars remind us of what we've been through and what God has done for us.

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    1. Hey, Kelly, I, too, liked the new thought to me that scars are different than wounds, yet still connected in a good way. Zoe

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    2. Loved your thought-provoking article, Zoe. You have inspired me. Thank you so much!

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