Thursday, December 15, 2011
Guest Post & Giveaway: TRUE SURRENDER by Tracey Cramer-Kelly
Hi Everyone. Please help me welcome Tracey Cramer-Kelly to AsianCocoa's Secret Garden today! Tracey is here to talk about her flawed hero, Aaron Bricewick from her new novel True Surrender.
Flawed Hero: Aaron Bricewick, Army Officer, True Surrender
Some writers start a novel with a plot outline. I tend to start mine with a character. A flawed character.
Why? Because we all relate to flawed characters. We recognize something in them that is also in us (or perhaps in someone close to us). Perfect heroes are boring!
When I’m in deep imagination about a character, I feel as if I’m getting to know them personally. I even dream about them (often in scenes that SHOW me their character). I ask: “Why is this character like he is? What motivates him?”
I think about what shaped their life to bring them to the person they are. In the case of Aaron Bricewick (hero of True Surrender), his parents’ divorce when he was a pre-teen was a pivotal event in his life. It is the start of his fear of commitment and his need to be in control. The lack of interaction he received from his father contributed to his heightened need for respect from others (which drives him to make personal sacrifices for the sake of his military career).
When I start writing, I try to put myself in the character’s shoes. Because what that character would do in a particular situation is not necessarily the same as what I would do. Sometimes I have the character all figured out and then she goes and does something totally unexpected! In those moments, I stop resisting or trying to place my personal reactions on the character and listen to what she wants to tell me.
For example, when Holly found out about Aaron’s addiction to pain pills, I had intended for her to dole out some ‘tough love.’ Instead, her own insecurities about single parenting surfaced in an unexpected way. When I let go and allowed the character permission to do what she wanted, the scene took an unexpected, intriguing twist.
The second half of the equation, of course, is the situations I put the characters in. In both my novels I was very intentional about this; I chose them expressly to bring out the characters’ flaws (if I didn’t, how would they ever show?) In True Surrender, Aaron finds himself in some unusually intense (and emotional) situations - which lends itself to all kinds of character development.
Tracey’s work fuses writing, music and visual imagery whenever possible, and includes novels, short stories, essays and music videos. True Surrender is her second novel. Her first, Last Chance Rescue, is an Indie Award finalist. Her first full-length music video, The Rose (Surrender Version), includes scenes from True Surrender. Her writing draws from her experience as an Army Reserve paramedic and helicopter pilot. When not managing the family business, Leader Motorcycle Accessories, she enjoys motorcycling and outdoor activities with her husband and two young children.
Web site/blog: http://www.TraceyCramerKelly.com
Tracey will be giving away a Fallen Soldier t-shirt (red, size TBD) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more comments you leave the better your chances of winning.
Leave a comment or question with your email address.Be sure to visit the other blogs on this tour. Click on the tour button below for a list of participating blogs.