One of my favorite parts in developing my novel characters is giving them a challenge or flaw to overcome, some area of their heart that needs the Lord’s touch to make whole. Readers can relate to characters who struggle through hardships and imperfections because life is filled with challenges.
As a writer, I do my best to create true-to-life novel characters. In order to connect with readers, it’s essential they can relate. No one’s perfect. Neither should novel characters be perfect.
I recall a story of two women, one a Christian, the other a non-believer. So eager to portray the Christian life in a positive light, the Christian woman did her best to present herself as always happy and in total control. Yet, she never quite seemed to gain the woman’s attention, let alone her respect or friendship.
Then one day, a traumatic event happened in the life of the Christian woman, driving her almost to the breaking point. Through tears of frustration and release, she expressed her anguish and insecurities to the non-believer.
To the Christian woman’s astonishment, the non-Christian acquaintance told her, “Now we can be friends.” Why? Because she could finally relate to her. In attempt at being perfect, the Christian had made herself unapproachable.
If we’re honest, I’m sure we’d all like others to think we have it all together. But, like my flawed novel characters, I have to wonder, would we have more of an impact on our non-Christian friends, neighbors, and co-workers if we let them know we’re no more “perfect” or “righteous” than them? Just forgiven?
We’re all bound to fail from time to time, but as 2 Corinthians 12:10 states, it’s in our weakness, we are strong. For it’s then, Christ’s love and power shine through most clearly.
What type of person or novel character can you most relate to? How has the Lord used a difficulty to speak to your heart?
Read how God works in the lives of Cynthia Roemer’s characters in her Inspirational, Historical Romance (Prairie Sky) Series.
UNDER THIS SAME SKY ~ BOOK ONE
~ She thought she’d lost everything ~ Instead she found what she needed most
~Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES ~ BOOK TWO
~ Beyond shattered dreams lies a realm of possibilities ~
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Hi Cynthia, i think i heard Joyce Meyer tell that one about the Christian woman and the non believer, its true we are no better just saved by grace, blessings.
Amen! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ann.
I relate to characters who face temptations/trials but learn to how to overcome them by God’s grace. Broken characters are the easiest to relate to because we’re all broken vessels in one way or another. The Master can mend each one of us if we allow Him.
Exactly, Candace! I think both writers and readers benefit from characters that are broken and in need of God’s love and mercy. Blessings!