Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is My Novel Catholic Literature?

As many of you have read, via my twitter, I have been hard at work on my novel in the past couple of weeks. In fact, the sequel is already in the works as well. (There are a total of 3 planned books in the series.) I have been working on this novel for quite some time now... and it's taken longer because a few chapters are being re-written. There are a few reasons for this, mostly because I want to make it more realistic (and closer to actual events that inspired certain chapters and characters). With these changes I've gotten one question: are the changes done to make the novel more Catholic? The answer is no... because I already had the fate of the characters and the story in mind when I was still dreaming up how I would flesh out the story and dialog.

SPOILERS AHEAD (Skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to know the themes).
From the beginning, the character Lina was always going to be Catholic and the character Will was not. That's how it is in real life - I'm obviously Catholic and the inspiration for Will's character is not. Though I (and thus Lina) don't shove Catholicism down the reader's throat, I do mention it and other things we believe such as being pro-life, pro-abstinence, and attending Mass and confessions regularly. It's a part of who Lina is. If this qualifies it as Catholic literature, then I guess it is. Again, I do this without being preachy.

I've always disliked books that try to convert me to whatever the author's religion is. Nice try, but not even professor and classes at school have succeeded. As a Religious Studies major at a public college (for now... I return to my Catholic college next semester), I've studied the various religions and all of them have just strengthen my faith. I'm just going to write about Catholicism the way it is, the way one lives it faithfully, without any secret motives. I've read many books in which a character is Catholic, but the way they are portrayed is horrible. Either they are Catholic but they "fall away" and start sinning like crazy, or they're portrayed as being completely psychotic and obsessed about their faith to the point where they hurt others around them. It totally ticks me off that there aren't enough good Catholic characters in literature, but I hope so change that (with the little I can do). I am not saying that Lina will be "perfect" Catholic model, because I know I'm certainly not, but I hope that people who aren't Catholic will realize that we're not the way we've been portrayed in literature (or the media for that matter).

As for how the none Catholic characters (like Will) will fare... well, I guess you'll just have to read the novel. I did not bash any religion or any person's lack of religion. I just wrote things as close to real life as I could; portraying how life actually is... not how idealistic or pessimistic it can be, like in other fictional stories.

And while I'm still thinking about this... I forgot I have to go rewrite a certain chapter. This is what happens when you start off with one idea and then, as you write, it changes course -- for the better! At this rate, I'll never get done. lol. I hope I will before the semester starts next month. I'm averaging about 4,000-5,000 words per night, but I don't write every day/night. We'll see. :)

Alright, I guess I should go back and work on it for a bit. :D OH!! If you're a Facebook bud, keep your peepers open because I'll be uploading pictures of places mentioned in the novel. Sort of a sneak peak thing without knowing anything about what happens at these locations. :D

That's it for now. I need to get some dinner in me and then spend the night writing. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!


Catholic Chicks said...

Can't wait to read it when it's done. I'm avoiding the spoilers by the way. Lol. Get back to writing!

Emmy Cecilia said...

Haha, I will try not to put spoilers up on Facebook then. The pictures don't count because you have no idea what happens in the location... or if they're only mentioned in passing. :D

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I'd be on facebook, but no, fb keeps deleting me :(...But I have my ways, hahahahahahahaha :)

BONIFACE said...

Hi. Sorry to jump in your combox on something unrelated, but I could find no other way of contacting you.

I am a Catholic Youth Director in the Diocese of Lansing and an occasional reader of your blog (well, since January, at any rate).

I chair a teenage writing club built on the model of the Inklings. This has been a source of inspiration in my own writing and great fun, too. Recently I wrote and self-published a fantasy novel just for the enjoyment of the boys in the writing club. But after their tremendously positive response, I decided to attempt to publicize the book to a wider audience.

It was my humble hope that you might take a look at the book's website ( and think about doing a post about it on your website. I know there's not much you could say, seeing as you haven't read the book - but just to mention it and draw people's attention to it would be helpful. If I had some kind of promotional budget, I would send you a copy to review, but as it stands I am doing this out of my own pocket I really can't afford to give out a bunch of free copies.

Please take a look at the site and let me know if you think you would be willing to to a little plug for the book. In my opinion, kids need some more good, Catholic fantasy.

Blessings and grace,
Phillip Campbell
Ann Arbor, MI.