Friday, August 21, 2009

Conference Recap - Linore Rose Burkard, Writing Characters of Faith

First, a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Renee S, winner of Truth or Dare and All that Glitters, the first two books in the Scenarios for Girls series by Nicole O'Dell.

YAY, Renee! The books will be on their way to you very soon! Hope your girls enjoy them as much as I did.

Now, on to today's blog post.

I am thrilled to bring you another FaithWriters conference recap. Writing Characters of Faith was an elective workshop taught by author Linore Rose Burkard. You could say that Linore has plenty of expertise in this area! This workshop not only covered building faith-filled characters, but also included advice on general character-creating.

Here are a few main points to consider as you begin putting together your cast of characters:

What audience are you writing for? Who do you want to read your book? It's not enough to say "everybody," because the truth is, your story won't appeal to everyone. When you know what type of reader will likely be drawn to the story you're writing, you will be better able to create characters they can relate to.

Even evil characters need sympathetic elements. For the most part, humans are not entirely bad. Even the most evil people have some positive traits. Your goal is to make believable characters that your readers will empathize with.

See your character. Sometimes it helps to visualize your character and what he/she looks like. Browse magazines for faces that "look like" your character. Once you have that point of reference, he/she will be easier to describe, at least physically.

Make your character come alive. Here are a few of the ways your characters come alive on the page:
  • Physical attributes
  • Quirks - things that set your character apart
  • Clothing style
  • Psychological attributes
  • Inner thoughts and actions - think about whether that particular character would do/think those things.
  • Dialogue - the way your character speaks is a powerful way his/her personality will shine through.

Finally, I want to leave you with the one thing Linore said about specifically creating characters of faith that really stuck with me.

The best way to create a Christian character, is to HAVE a Christian character.


Catrina Bradley... said...

I learned so much from Linore's workshop! Thanks for the recap, Lynda.

Linore said...

Lynda (and Catrina),
I must say, it's a pleasure to know I had such attentive "students". : ) Great recap, Lynda, especially of the idea that writing a Christian character begins with BEING one. There's just no better teacher than experience.
The conference was a pleasure, and I hope to meet you both again in the future. (ha! before heaven, that is!)

Sara Harricharan @ Fiction Fusion said...

Great recap, Lynda! Thanks for posting it. It was such a great workshop-definitely helping as I work through my edits!

Joanne Sher said...

I was actually in the "other" workshop at this time, and am SO glad you recapped this for us! Love that last bit of advice! Thanks hun.

Jean said...

Interesting recap. I bet the Faith Writers Conf. was terrific.