Jack Cannon's American Destiny

Rachel Thompson

Friday, May 30, 2014

Donald J. Amodeo's Thoughts on Real Life Informing #Fiction @DonAmodeo #Christian #AmReading

We’re told that good stories are about the characters, and good characters are supposed to be relatable. But what about when your characters are riding dragons or breaking free from a prison planet on the outer rim of the galaxy?
I’ve always had a love for over-the-top fiction. A book is a journey, and if I’m going to embark upon one, why not make it a grand and exotic journey? Suspending disbelief is seldom an issue so long as the rules underpinning an author’s world are consistent. As such, when I began writing my own stories, I naturally gravitated towards high fantasy and far-flung science fiction.
As I soon discovered, crafting relatable characters in otherworldly scenarios can be somewhat of a challenge. In the beginning, it wasn’t a problem that I really gave much thought to. Sure, my characters needed to be interesting, but relatable? When one of your protagonists is a 10,000 year-old immortal with a sword that tears open seams between dimensions, it’s hard to imagine anyone relating to him.
And yet it can be done. As it turns out, it’s as easy as giving your immortal, dimension-hopping protagonist a weakness for cheesecake. Being relatable doesn’t have to mean that your character works in an office all day and struggles to pay the bills (although you can certainly go there). Often, it simply means that he or she has loves and hates that correspond to the things we love and hate.
It’s wise to let a bit of real life creep in, both to color your characters and the themes that shape your story at large. You might have written a tale of dark sorcery and ancient demigods resurrecting to devour the mortal world, but what is your story really about? What do you want to say? This wasn’t a question that I broached at all when I first started writing. The adventure was everything. As a result, my stories felt exciting but ultimately hollow.
I’ve heard it said that depressed people make the best writers. I’m not so sure that that’s true, but I can see the rationale. When you’ve got strong emotions to pour out onto the page, readers can tell, and since most of us have seen hard times at some point in our lives, depression and despair are easy themes to relate to.
With my novel Dead & Godless, I decided from the outset to draw inspiration directly from life experiences. Being raised in a Christian home and living in a post-Christian society, I’d spent much of my early life arguing the case for God against my atheist and agnostic friends. I wanted to infuse my story with the spirit of those debates, while keeping it very much an adventure, not an apologetics textbook. Doing so meant capturing both the logical back-and-forth – the sparring of ideas – and the emotions stirred by existential questions.
Whether or not I’ve succeed in that endeavor is another question, but even if some critics tell you that your story lacks brilliance, a tale imbued with your life’s struggles and passions won’t lack heart. And when it comes to connecting with readers, a little heart does the job better than a boatload of lucid prose.

When outspoken atheist Corwin Holiday dies an untimely but heroic death, he’s assigned a chain-smoking, alcoholic angel as his defense attorney in the trial to decide the fate of his soul.
Today many cast Christianity aside, not in favor of another faith, but in favor of no faith. We go off to school or out into the world, and we learn that reality is godless and that free thinking means secular thinking. But must faith entail an end to asking questions? Should not the Author of Reason be able to answer the challenge of reason?
Dead & Godless is a smart and suspenseful afterlife adventure that explores the roots of truth, justice and courage. In these pages awaits a quest that spans universes, where the stakes are higher than life and death, and where Christianity’s sharp edges aren’t shied away from, because we’re not called to be nice. We’re called to be heroes.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Christian Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Donald J. Amodeo on Twitter

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