My Writers’ Group Update

This past Saturday, I attended my second Christian Writers’ Club meeting.  The guest speaker was Michele Chynoweth, who has written and published two novels and has a third one currently in publishing.


She explained that she writes modern Bible stories and that The Faithful One is based on the Book of Job and The Peace Maker is based on the story of Abigail.  I purchased both books and she autographed them for me.

She spoke about building character in our stories.  She talked about how important our characters are because they are what connects the reader to your story.  They make the reader feel.

Ms. Chynoweth encouraged us to allow the reader to make his/her own judgments rather than stating character traits directly, which, she explained, is part of the “show, don’t tell” mantra.

At the end she gave us a handout that includes 85 Character Development Questions for Writers.  I won’t post them here, but I will give you the acrostic she gave us:

Communication:  How does your character talk and sound?

History:  Where does your character come from?

Appearance:  What does your character look like?

Relationships:  What kind of family and friends does your character have?

Ambition:  What is your character’s passion, goals, needs?

Character defect:  Flaws make your character real.

Thoughts:  How does your character thnk?

Everyman-ness:  Your character needs to be relatable and believable.

Restrictions:  Your character has to deal with a challenge, weakness, handicap

Those are some of the things to consider when creating your characters in your writing.

I have never been fond of writing outlines, but Michele Chynoweth shared how important it is to be able to keep track of your characters so that you are consistent and don’t make errors.  She told of how she had once created a minor character and hadn’t made a note about him and one place had written about his dark hair and later said “he ran his hand through his sandy blonde hair”.  So, she said, even the little guys are important.  Therefore, I will at least keep a notebook about all of my characters, even if I don’t do an actual outline.

A New Direction in my Writing Journey

So, I have a short, short story started that I was planning on putting on this website, but I got stuck.  I also have a novel begun and I’m feeling a bit stuck.  I’m at a place where I just don’t know what genre I should write; which one I would write best.

Therefore, I have stopped writing for a little while, aside from my blog posts.  But, our local library had a huge book sale last weekend and the beginning of this week, and my sons and I were standing in one of the rooms near boxes of books, when I asked my oldest son if he had seen any books on writing.  He said, “No.”  Then, “Wait, what’s this?”  He handed me this book:


I purchased the book and took it home and began to read it.  I am reading about some of my favorite Christian authors and how they began their writing journeys; authors like:  Janette Oke, Terri Blackstock, Francine Rivers, Randy Alcorn, Bodie Thoene and many more.  I love reading of their experiences, both struggles and successes.  I was surprised to read how some of them began with the New York publishing houses and were writing things that they are not proud of now, but how God led them to change that.

The most important message I am learning through reading this book is that, as a Christian author, the most important thing to do is to take your desire for writing to the Lord.  I have learned that I need to make my writing a matter of prayer and seek God’s direction for it.  If I give it up to Him, He will show me what he wants me to write and He will help me write it.   I began praying and asking God to show me what kind of story He wants me to write and for whom, and I believe He has already shown me my mission.  Now I continue to pray and wait believing that He will lead me and open the doors for me, as He knows I have had a desire to write fiction for a very long time, but now I have decided it to give it to Him.  I want to write stories that will be pleasing to Him and that will bring Him glory and, hopefully, allow people to see how much they need Him in their lives.

I do not plan to write anything until I finish reading this book, and I will continue to pray.  I will also continue to attend my Writers’ Group meetings.  If you’ve been reading here for a while, you’re aware that I have joined a writer’s group that meets monthly.  They began their season last month and that’s the meeting I attended.  You can read more about it on one of my previous posts.  Anyway, tomorrow is the next meeting, and I am so excited about this meeting.  Our guest speaker will be an author speaking on creating characters.  I look forward to hearing her and learning from her.

As I continue to pray and learn, I believe God is preparing me for His work in the fiction world and I can’t wait to see what He’s going to do through me.