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"Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God." Psalm 102:18

"Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others." Habakkuk 2:2

Friday, April 30, 2010

Great Characters

I have been thinking and musing on the thought of great characters, great writing, great stories, etc. I ponder what it takes to be a great writer, as I start on my own endeavors. Is it something that can be learned and refined? Or is it something that comes from deep within you? Do some people have it and some don't? How much of great writing is talent vs. hard work, or is it a combination of the two? I don't know that I have the answer to any of these questions.

I do know though that great characters can make or break a story. Real characters are ones that you can relate to as a reader. They draw you into their world. I know this from experience!

It's been a busy week and I have been trying to work through three non fiction books that I need to have completed, and write reviews on by this coming Monday. Before these books arrived though, I had started on Vickie McDonough's new book, entitled The Anonymous Bride. She is a very talented author and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I had to force myself to put her book aside for a week, so I could take care of the things that need to get accomplished.

While reading Vickie's book, I am disciplining myself to write down things as I go through each chapter - what is the conflict, how is she furthering along the plot, etc. I am trying to analyze and learn what it is that makes it a great story. This is very difficult. I easily find myself swept away by the story, and want to keep reading instead of analyzing.

This morning as I was thinking of all that I needed to accomplish today, my thoughts were interrupted. "I wonder what Luke and Rachel are doing? What's going to happen next?" These are the characters in Vickie's book. To me, you write a great story when you have characters that interrupt the reader's thoughts in between the time they are actually reading. This is what I hope and desire to do through my writing.

Hats off to you Vickie!!!

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