Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Of Character and Characters

A couple weeks ago the men from our church went on a three day camping/fishing trip in beautiful pine country (Phoenix is all desert) by Woods Canyon Lake. The first night there my grandson, Nathanael, gave a Bible devotion around the campfire.

The next day they were approached by a couple of ladies from the next camp site. They had overheard the devotion the night before and just wanted to say how much they appreciated seeing a group of men and boys praying and studying the Bible.

Overheard! Overhearing! If others heard our conversations when we weren’t aware, would they compliment us? Would they say, “I knew that’s how she/he really is?” Our character is not how we speak and behave when others are listening or watching. It’s what we do when we think no one sees or hears.

Being a writer is like letting others inside our heads, inside our thoughts. I’ve usually found that most writers’ personalities are reflected in their work. Some live out their dreams, angst, desires, experiences (good and bad), obsessions, and any number of things in their writing.

I write from experience, either my own or others I know or have known. I’m allowing people inside my mind and thoughts. To do so makes us vulnerable. Of course, my writing is fiction and my characters are fictional. I have been asked concerning my book Like A Cedar In Lebanon if I am Lebby. I’ve also been asked by one of my daughters if she is Lebby.

The answer is that my characters are usually a composite of several real people. So if you wonder if I’ve patterned a character after you, well, maybe. Just maybe.


  1. I knew it...I just knew it! I'm that funny, smart, really cute character in that book you wrote about a successful novelist who writes highly entertaining books with an underlying and oh, so subtle message that points people toward God...right?

    Oh, wait...you haven't written that one yet. Well, get on it, girl! And you have my permission to model the main character after me :)

  2. LOL...Oh, that's an awesome idea, Jan!