Nov 21, 2011

Character Development Part 2


     One of my writer friends asked me how my writing was going. I told her that I haven't been writing much. I've been developing my characters. I expressed my frustration over my antagonist. My story, at the moment, has no antagonist. The old  manuscript had your average evil villain, but I am striving for more. 

     My writer friend asked if I had tried character boards. After I displayed my ignorance, she explained that character boards are when you write down character information on index cards. "Sometimes the 3-D, being able to touch the cards, triggers something in your mind to help you find what you're looking for," she said. 

     So I tried it. I wrote down different traits for my antagonist on pieces of paper. Some of them were obvious: "Prideful," "Selfish," "Vain." Some were contrasting: "Male-Female," "Rich-Poor," "Easily Angered-Not Easily Angered." Then I picked out the ones I really liked and wanted to see in my story. I had a "Eureka!" moment after looking at them for a few days and wrote down some possible motives. 

     Since the antagonist board is going slowly, I also wrote down each of my characters' names and made a "main cast" character board. I found that the characters naturally fell into pairs. After a while, I felt that something was missing. Then I realized I had forgotten the most important "character." Jesus. I wrote His Name on a paper and it really helped me figure out how each character relates to and views Him, which of course affects their personalities entirely.

     Have you ever used character boards? How did yours work?

Post Tenebras Lux!

Oct 29, 2011

Scared Stiff


     I have many fears when it comes to writing. I'm afraid I'll never finish my book. I'm afraid no one will like my story. I'm afraid that I am wasting my time. And I am especially afraid someone will have the same idea I have and publish before me.

     My Dad has told me many times that fear is the opposite of faith. Faith is trust, after all; so I am afraid when I am forgetting to trust God.True, but there is another reason for my fear.

     Pride. Ow, just reading the word hurts. I get caught up in this work I am doing and forget Who I am doing it for. I get competitive with my fellow writers and then I feel bad for not measuring up. Then that still and quiet Voice reminds me that it doesn't matter what the world thinks. It is all going to burn in the end. What really matters is what HE thinks.

     Do you ever feel insecure about your writing?

Post Tenebras Lux!

Oct 9, 2011

Character Development Part 1

character development

“A Day in the Life”
     I have decided that developing characters is much harder than developing relationships with real people. With real people, all you have to do is ask them what they like to do for fun or what their opinion is on something, but with characters you have to make up their response. And all the characters have to be different.
     I want my characters to feel like real people. So I decided to write them in different situations that would be normal life to them. For example, I wrote a short story about one of my characters taking a trip to a mall to go shoe shopping. Not a thrilling plot, and the story has no real “point,” but it really helped me discover more about what he thinks about himself and others, what he fears, what he likes, and, most importantly, what he wants.
     I wrote the story from 1st person POV, as if the character was telling me his story. I also purposefully avoided listening into the characters thoughts; so not only am I learning about my character, I’m also practicing my writing skills in “showing” instead of “telling.”
     That particular character is a new one I am adding to the story. For one of my original characters, I went through the old manuscript and pulled out everything that would tell me what kind of a person he is. It was tedious, but now I have a list of characteristics for him.
     How do you develop your characters?
Post Tenebras Lux!

Oct 3, 2011

The End is... Somewhere...

     I have started writing again, but with a clean slate. The previous plot is obliterated. I have many of the same characters, but I am trying to develop them fully. Right now, all I have is the bare bones of a story. It's exciting and nerve wracking; I can't wait to see where the characters take the story, but I don't have a clue where the end might be.

     Maybe to say, "I'm writing again" is misleading. I have not begun the first draft. But I have given some careful thought to what messages I want to weave into my story. To me, messages are the most important part. Whether writers intend to or not, every story carries messages. Most are subtle. Satan likes to use messages to make people think certain behaviors or beliefs are normal and ok. Jesus also likes to use messages. Look at His parables - every parable has a message that points people to God. So here are some questions I asked myself while I was thinking about the messages in my story:

Why should someone read this book?

Entertainment will be the reason why they pick it up, more often than not. As for those who want to have a break from the junk in the worldly stories, this book will be a safe haven.

What do I want my readers to remember after reading this book? How do I want to encourage my readers toward the straight and narrow path?

I want to make my readers hungry for God. I want to feed them with His Word so that they will develop a craving for it. My characters must be constantly encouraged with the Word, because then my readers will be encouraged. At the end, I want the reader to be well aware that God is loving and trustworthy; whether they truly believe it or not is up to them.  

Like I said, these are the bare bones of the story. I also wrote down some other questions, like:

What is my goal with this book?

What do I want to see happen at the end?

What lessons must be learned along the way?

These are yet unanswered. We'll get there.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? 

Post Tenebras Lux!

Sep 20, 2011

Where in the World has Storyteller Been?

     It has been more than a year since I've taken a break from writing to do other things (see post God's Timing). This post will attempt to explain where I have been, what I have been doing, and why I haven't been writing.

     I told some of my "elf" friends in the Underground that I'd been busy "learning how to wield my sword." What I meant by this was that for the past year and a half I have been at the Word of Life Bible Institute receiving biblical training. It was amazing.

     Picture this: a full year of learning about the Bible, surrounded by people who are pursuing God with all their hearts and Bible teachers who are ready to answer your questions. The Word of Life Bible Institute (affectionately, WOLBI) offers classes on nothing but biblical training; no English, math, science, etc. Just the Word of God. Amazing.

     Not only are you being taught the Bible, WOLBI gives you various opportunities to put what you learn into practice. You are sent with your Ministry Team to help out in the local community throughout the year. Then, at the end of your formal training (sometime in June), you serve as a counselor at the kids/teens summer camp. Serving is not for the faint of heart, but it is what God calls us to do, and He certainly provides everything we need to do it. Amazing.

     This past year at WOLBI has been the most challenging year of my life. It has also been the best year of my life. God has changed me through His Word, and that is always a good thing.

     I HIGHLY recommend you consider going to WOLBI, no matter what age you are (I know many couples who were married and had kids when they went). What could be better or more important than studying the very Word of life (Phil. 2:16)?

     If you have yet to graduate, then I also suggest you look into summer camp. It is a week of absolute fun!

     Post Tenebras Lux!

Word of Life website link:

Here is a video about the Bible Institute:

P.S. No, WOLBI did not ask me to write any of this. These are all my true thoughts that I just couldn't wait to share with you!

May 4, 2011


If you were chosen to go on a quest in another world, what would your immediate answer be? Comment below! (Feel free to write a short story)