Monday, May 20, 2013

4th Annual LDS Writer's Blogfest

I'm participating in the 4th Annual LDS Writer's Blogfest. Go check out the other participants.

I want to share just a few thoughts with you on what being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints means to me as a person and a writer.

First, watch this video. It's a poem written by a young woman who is also a member of this church. Just listen to how she speaks about what it means to be a woman.

How can you NOT want to be a part of THAT? I have to be honest and say that I have struggled at times with what I believe to be true and the subject matter of my writing. It seems that no matter how many people I talk with, there remains an even split between the following two thoughts:
  1. You are not your characters and they will do and say things that you would never do. It's alright because not everyone in the world of books are members of this church (none of mine are).
  2. You are in control of your characters so don't let them say or do anything that goes against the church standards.
I consider myself to be a "clean" writer when it comes to things like romance and language. However, sometimes my characters tell me things they did or experienced that I have not and will never experience. It doesn't matter how many times my hubby says, "well just change the story." THAT is what the story is. I don't feel like I'm the one making it up. The characters slowly reveal their secrets to me and I have to find the right words to share it with everyone else.

It's hard.

Sometimes it tears me in two.

Most of the time this is why I stop writing.

I'm not writing things a certain way because I think that's what will sell. If I was doing that I would have written about vampires and werewolves while they were hot. But I don't write paranormals. I don't write explicit sex scenes. But one or two of my characters have said the "D" word.

Somehow hubby has managed to stay with me in spite of that, although he's terrified I will lose my temple recommend (for those who don't know that's a piece of paper that says I'm worthy to enter our temples). If I can find a better way to express the frustration, anger, whatever, then I do. I have some of the cleanest military mouths you will ever find.

Well, I've rambled quite a bit and still not solved my problem or even asked the right questions most likely.

What do you think? Are you completely in control of your characters? Do they reflect who you are on all levels? Or do your characters have personalities and lives of their own unrelated to yours?