2023 Author note: This course was a personal series of journal entries, trying to make sense of my own journey as a Catholic fiction author. In the 10 years since it was first crafted, LegendFiction was born and has grown to incorporate our Orthodox friends.
We share enough of the same outlook and traditions where this manifesto still matters. Given that I’m Catholic, I’ve chosen to keep the tone and intent of it’s first title, ‘How to be a Catholic Author.’
Really, its principles are for any and every faith-inspired fiction author. God bless you!
About this Course
Are you excited to write a novel full of drama and meaning? Help your creative novel be the best it can with fiction author and passionate Catholic, Dominic de Souza.
In this course, Dominic de Souza shares the insights that helped him overcome his struggle about being a ‘Catholic author,’ and start his own path as a novelist. Today, it’s accepted that our faith and fiction shouldn’t touch. Dominic believes that’s actually impossible.
The secret? Fed up with feeling like an imposter – afraid of doing it wrong, shoe-horning the faith in afterwards, or watering down his story – Dominic took a step back for a decade to reflect. He learned how the faith doesn’t limit our creativity.
Now, Dominic is sharing what he’s learned, so that you can do the same: explore any topic and genre with honesty and imagination.
Together with Dominic, you will
– Rediscover the role of an author
– Understand how to respect your audience
– See your call in a new and greater light
Packed with insights, quotes, and references from Dominic’s favorite readings, this course is designed for every author who struggles to write Catholic fiction.
Whether you want to go deep into a character’s journey, enrich your worldbuilding, or uncover your Catholic inspiration, this 9-lesson course will bring you more confidence.
All you need to follow along is right here. As you finish each lesson, you can leave a public comment with your key takeaway or question. Or you can grab a pen and paper to journal offline. Send Dominic a private message any time.
Our faith is a lifeline that lets us explore anywhere without getting lost.
Welcome to the most exciting journey in the world: being an author. And on top of that, being a faith-inspired fiction author.
We who are fortunate to be filled with the creative call, passionate about folk and fields that no one else can see or hear… we star-browed wanderers, with a need to weave wonder and spin stories from the fabric of our beings…
We are a happy few.
But many of us live under a cloud of unease, unsure how to integrate our Faith with our fiction. Perhaps afraid to connect our witness with our worldbuilding.
We have heard a call to explore a deep and challenging idea. To go on an inner adventure to find and fight dragons.
I know I have.
Sometimes I’ll be busy with a task, and I’ll suddenly hear the horns of elfland, a resonant note that sounds out of my heart. And like a surprised child, I’ll look around and wonder at it all, and feel a sense of happy loss. A nostalgia for the future.
These impressions on our writer’s hearts may be true. And if we have a call to identify ourselves clearly in our faith, then we need to clear up how it all fits together for us.
I want to fill you with confidence that you write almost anything you want to, go anywhere and tell any story you’re inspired to tell.
We just need clarity on where our craft inheres with our Christianity.
My goal is to try and clear the air, reset our impressions, and more likely than not, provide hope that it’s not as difficult as it’s made out to be.
This course is not about the craft of writing – since many good blogs and books and online courses teach that. Most of all, your intention and attention to your own writing is a key teacher. Every email, blog post, story… that teaches you to be better.
This course is like a manifesto. A reframing. A hope to share the eyes that I see with you.
You’ll see a lot of quotes from various Catholic writers, many from Flannery o’Connor. She became famous for a gritty, grace-fueled genre of realist fiction that continues to challenge readers to think deeply. I’ve read nowhere near enough of her work but she’s present in this project like a cornerstone.
And you’ll also see me circling a core idea; God is not in competition with his creation. In fact, he reveals himself through it. And since time exists within him, he acts across lives and aeons.
There’s no way to be simple and straightforward with this task. Of its nature, it blends psyche with story, myth with mysticism, faith with word-smithing. I’ll do my best.
This mini course covers three basic concepts:
- Who you are
- Who your readers are
- How to answer the call
I can only share my own forays into the frontiers. I’m limited by things I think are true, that may only be comfortable to me. The happy biases that haven’t yet been aired out by human contact.
But I will also promise that I try hard to only say what I think is true. This is very hard. The things I’m sharing with you are the flags in the sand, the banners that define my loves and my inner map-making.
Most of all, I hope to share my deep, deep love of Christ, Mary Theotokos, and our Catholic faith, a faith that fights with me on every front, because I’m a flawed and fascinated human being.
Maybe you are too.
Fantastic advice on bringing Catholic values into the media of our secular world! I admire the upbeat and whimsical tone this course is written in. God bless!
THIS WAS SO HELPFUL! THANK YOU SO MUCH
This was wonderful–just what I needed to read and take to heart. I’ll be sharing this (and rereading often!) God Bless!
Great read! I was actually thinking of writing a blog on a similar topic, ie. how ‘ethical’ does a Catholic author have to be when telling their story, etc., because even though we don’t want to risk promoting evil along with the good, stories cannot exist without it simply because Life is not without its share of evil, failing, struggling and striving. As you pointed out, if you try and just write ‘goodie goodie tales’ where everything is all happiness and sin free, the book doesn’t ring true, and no one will pay attention to it. I remember when I was explaining the storyline of my first novel to someone, and since the book centers on the art world of New York, I had to include a colourful character who is gay since they are very creative individuals after all. The person I was talking to was shocked that a ‘Catholic Author’ would include such a character, but he’s one of my interesting personalities, and you can’t write about Life (and the art world!) without including all the personalities you come across. I have many faulty people in my book, but several who want to do better, plus there is a ‘saint-in-the-making’ written in too! My tactic is, I focus on the people, the characters, hint about their failings, try and show where their choices have led them, but don’t go into explicit details of any sins they commit.
This was awesome. You brought up a lot of things that made sense because they were… already written on my heart, somehow? I’m one of the write-for-yourself writers; I fall in love with the idea of a story, and have been thinking that there was something wrong with me (think about your readers, girl!) until I read this course.
There were just a few little typos I noticed. In the Who are You Writing For section (in You and Your Reader), there was a sentence that ran: “Or that you have seen a truth that can’t be said, but has to ne (be?) dramatized.” And when Seeker met the Resonants, his ears were blinking like bats (or maybe this was purposeful?)
Also loved that you brought in some hidden quotes, like Galadriel (“The quest stands on the edge of a knife”), Indiana Jones (“Only the penitent man shall pass”), and the Beaver from Narnia (“Further in, further up”)! Thank you!
Thank you Dominic for this fantastic course! Every segment provided wisdom and hope for this exciting (and daunting) journey as Catholic authors. It was deeply inspiring and encouraging and something I’ll be referring back to often!