Monday, October 5, 2009

Chain: On the road again

I just had an "Oh crap!" moment, realizing my post on the blog chain is due today. (Note to self: Check schedule more often.)

Straight from her trip to Japan, Sandra brought us this question.

What kind of journeys do your characters make? What effects do they have on the characters and the plot? Also (if you wish), please tell us about one of your personal journeys and how it changed you.

Well, with a name like "The Long Road to Heaven," you can pretty much figure there's some traveling -- physically, spiritually and emotionally -- going on with my most important characters. Oddly enough, by the end of the story, Heather (my MC) physically ends up in the same place she started, but emotionally and spiritually, she's in a completely different place.

Heather leaves the *somewhat* fictional town of Brayton in haste. By fate, dumb luck or divine intervention (whatever you want to call it) she winds up meeting someone who challenges her to find the one reason to believe in heaven.

Heather scoffs at the idea of a world beyond that which she can guage with her five senses, and she gets angry at the notion that there is a reason for everything. How could there be a reason for the suffering she's endured?

But the death of a loved one and a life-threatening addiction give Heather a different perspective on the person who caused all of her suffering -- her father. When her father sends a deathbed letter begging for forgiveness, Heather is forced to return to Brayton and choose between forgiveness or revenge. But if heaven doesn't exist, what purpose is there for forgiveness?

So, what kind of journey does my MC take? I guess, it'd be accurate to say she goes to hell and back.

If you're interested in my personal journey, you can find that here, my first-ever blog post.

(I apologize for the lateness and the somewhat scattered response. Again, note to self: Check the schedule more often.) :-)

Now check out what Christine has to say. Or check out what Eric said before me.


christine said...

Love this! And I really dig the idea that your MC winds up in physically the same place, but majorly changed in her spiritual and emotional up my ally...and so typical in life, right?

Great job!

B.J. Anderson said...

Oh wow! YOur book sounds really cool! And very inspirational. :D

Sandra said...

After a journey, you can see a familiar place through fresh eyes. I think that's why "there and back again" stories are so common in fiction. Good post. (And I hear you about checking the schedule; I thought at first I started on the 5th, not the 3rd.

Jillian Livingston said...

Traveling has been a part of my life since I was a little girl and it is very distressing to me that I cannot provide that lifestyle for my boys.

Instead, we read books and travel way over to the other side, which happens to be the topic for my children's book that I am trying to get an agent for.

I love reading about all of these journeys and am very glad that I found this group.

As for finding heaven...Lately, I have met a few people that have been there and back and think it is a fascinating topic.

Michelle McLean said...

You're book sounds wonderful! And I also think that what you go through emotionally and psychologically can change how you see the world, even the familiar place in which you've always been. Great response!

lynnrush said...

Oh yeah. You could say your MC goes to hell and back for sure! And you take her on a fantastic journey, Kat. I cried many tears while reading it.

I just too the Donald Maass class at the ACFW conference, and he constantly asks, "how can you make it worse?" for your main character. It'll add depth. I'm editing with a whole new perspective now.

Kat, are you doing NaNoWriMo???

Kat Harris said...

Christine -- You're more right than you know. It is so very typical in life.

B.J. -- Thanks!

Sandra and Michelle -- Have you ever noticed how places from childhood that you haven't visited in years seem really small as an adult? That's the craziest thing to me. I really think it's part of the "fresh eyes" and a maturing perception of the world. I love exploring that idea.

Jillian -- I'm in the same boat with my girls. I can't afford to take them to exotic destinations. Heck, sometimes it's tough getting them to school. :-) We also look through travel books and make lists of dream destinations that we want to visit someday. It serves as a helpful tool in the "Do your best in school, and your education will take you far" lecture I always give them. :-)

Lynn -- You're awesome! I can always count on you to brighten my day. Please don't ever change. And yes, I am planning on Nano-ing this year. Thanks to my oldest sister, I have a new idea brewing.

Rebecca Knight said...

Very interesting! I like that you take your characters "to Hell and back!" ;)

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Just in case I haven't said this before, I love the title "The Long Road to Heaven."

KM Wilsher said...

Nice, Kat! What a great chain :)

Crimogenic said...

Kat, your MC sounds like (excuse my French) one hell of a girl. Looks like life has put her through the ringer and she came out better for it.

Eva Gallant said...

I think I mentioned when I started following you early on that I found your writing both instructive and inspiring. Don't change.

Mandy said...

The premise of your story sounds wonderful. I'd say you top the list for a character's "trip". The spiritual journey is the hardest, and most rewarding and it looks like you have a winner here!

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I love the full circle trip that your MC takes in your book - I think the fact that she ends up in the same physical place, but changes so much internally makes it all that much more powerful.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

What a great journey your MC gets to make. The literal "To Hell and Back" makes for a great story.

Cole Gibsen said...

Wow. I have to say, you've made me very interested in your book.