Military Orders Novels
In the Middle Ages, military orders like the Templars defended Christians and fought for justice. Now, in Martin Roth's latest series of novels, a church has established a clandestine new military order, to fight for today's persecuted Christians...
When Your Characters Come Alive - Guest Post from Novelist Sidney W. Frost
May 18th, 2012
Texas writer Sidney W. Frost is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and a minister with Stephen Ministries, which works to provide Christian care to hurting people. He was an Adjunct Professor at Austin Community College, where he taught computer courses for 31 years. As a singer with the Austin Lyric Opera Chorus he has appeared in 42 productions. His first novel, "Where Love Once Lived," was a first-place winner in the Southwest Writers contest and the Writers' League of Texas contest. His second novel is "The Vengeance Squad." He blogs at Christian Bookmobile.
I received an email not long ago that said, "I find myself thinking about the characters in your book even after I've set it down for the night."
That is music to a writer's ears.
For me, the characters became real so gradually, I can't say exactly when it happened. Early on in the writing of my first novel, "Where Love Once Lived," I would sometimes go to the fictional biography I had written for each major character to remind myself about something distinguishing about the character. I didn't know the characters yet. I don't know when, but at a certain point in the writing, I quit doing that. In addition, the biography was no longer useful because the characters grew beyond what was in it and it happened so fast I couldn't keep the biography updated. But it didn't matter. By then, I knew them intimately. I cried when they were hurt. I laughed when they were happy. I thought about them when I was writing.
One caution for writers.
As the characters take on a life of their own, it is important to maintain control of them. I feel it is good that the fictional characters evolve, seemingly on their own, but you can't let them do anything to mess up the story. No matter how much you like a character, don't give him or her full rein.
In my second book, "The Vengeance Squad," the main character Chris was a young college professor with little experience with the seamy side of life. To counter his lack of knowledge needed to go after the killers, I partnered him with Tex, a student in his mid-forties who had been in the marines as well as in prison. Tex was also in a wheelchair, but his positive attitude about life only added to his likeability and strength as a character.
At first, my writing instructor, Bonnie Hearn Hill, loved Tex. But, soon, she was warning me he was taking over. She reminded me my main character had to take charge.
I had the same problem with Liz, the bookmobile Librarian in "Where Love Once Lived." All my readers love her. She says what she thinks, and gets into everyone's business. It was easier to control her because there were two stronger main characters. Liz is in "The Vengeance Squad," too.
No use wasting a good character.
The Vengeance Squad
(Kindle edition) will be free on Amazon May 23 and 24.
Where Love Once Lived
(Kindle edition) will be free on Amazon May 25 and 26.
Click on image for more details.
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