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Allynegirl
10-20-2006, 05:15 PM
I have just had my first experience with a character actually speaking to me about herself. She is the 16 year old Christian main character of a YA I was writing. This WIP has actually been set aside for right now as I write a thriller idea that came to me.

So here I am, driving to work and Jessie popped into my head and said:

"I smoke pot."

I'm like: "Uh, no, you don't."

"Yeah, I do."

"It's illegal."

"I'm not hurting anyone."

"You are hurting yourself."

"You drink."

"It's legal and I do it responsibly."

"I smoke responsibly. Just one joint, on Saturday, off in the woods by myself, so I can de-stress about having to put up with my Dad all day."

"You're rationalizing an illegal act."

"It's a character flaw. I'm not supposed to be a Mary Sue, remember."

"That's quite a flaw and too much of a stumbling block."

"How else am I going to deal with putting up with my Dad?"

"You're a Christian, you pray."

She just gave me a deadpanned look and walked away saying, "I smoke pot."

I'm like ... :Soapbox:

Anyone have a Christian character argue with you like this? What's a writer to do? Can I actually write this in a Christian YA making clear that this is not to be tolerated?

I have been waiting so long for my characters to come to life enough to have discussions with them. Why did the first have to be so obstinate about an illegal activity. :cry:

Gravity
10-20-2006, 05:26 PM
Last week at the Glorieta conference one of the workshops I taught concerned "edginess" in the CBA; in other words, what's allowable, what isn't. Long story short, write the story that seems best to you, warts and all. When your gut tells you it's ready, begin submitting it. If a publisher has a problem with your theme/characterization/language/dialog, they'll tell you in no uncertain terms. Believe it.

Robin Bayne
10-21-2006, 09:46 PM
Long story short, write the story that seems best to you, warts and all. When your gut tells you it's ready, begin submitting it. If a publisher has a problem with your theme/characterization/language/dialog, they'll tell you in no uncertain terms. Believe it.

Agreed. If you feel real emotion writing it, it's going to be a good read and just may speak to someone along the way.

Unique
10-22-2006, 01:46 AM
Are you letting your character be who she is or are you trying to make her who you think she should be?

I'd rather have a real character than a stereotype any day.

Save sister sweetshoes for the next story and let this one tell you her story. It might surprise you.

Allynegirl
10-24-2006, 03:10 PM
Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate the comments.

joymark
10-24-2006, 05:17 PM
Your character has just shown her vulnerability. So many times we Christians put up the false wall that everything is ok. We sometimes act like since we have Jesus "in our heart" that nothing bad can touch us. Your character is showing you that not everything is ok, and that she feels she must do this illegal activity to deal with it.

In the long run, she may be delivered of it and it will become yet another facet of her redeemed character. Conversely, she may remain with the problem just like most of us do, and it becomes her personal "stumbling block."

All I can say is let your character be who she is, but if you don't condone the action, make that very clear in your writing. We readers will get it, and agonize along with you about her plight.

piscesgirl80
10-24-2006, 05:26 PM
What everyone else has said. :D

Just because the character is Christian, doesn't mean she's flawless. It may be an important issue for her to struggle with in the novel, and may relate to deeper issues.

I think what's more important than whether or not she uses it is WHY she does.

"Just one joint, on Saturday, off in the woods by myself, so I can de-stress about having to put up with my Dad all day."

Too pat an answer. Keep digging with the character as to why she needs to use a mind-altering substance. Is she using the pot because she's going through a crisis of faith and feels like Christ can't help her the way she thinks pot does?