Be Stunning

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing Leave a Comment

By Lauren H. Brandenburg

As writers we work hard to create stunning characters. Our protagonists feel more, say more, and often express more than the writers who create them. Our characters have a mission and are not only driven by the plot line we set them upon, but rather an inner desire, conviction, or conflict that we have placed inside of them. To reach their end goal, the final moment, that high point of resolution, they must walk through a collision of self-evaluation and perhaps physical obstructions until they face their antagonist. There will be a decision to make . . . fall to the enemy or embrace the struggle. We are not so different than our characters (for some of us the similarities are quite frightening).

As Christian writers, we too have an imbedded mission-a goal to reach-where in some way the Creator of all things is given the props He deserves whether directly or covertly. Our characters cannot begin their quest until they realize their motivation; it is no different for the author. Our motivation should begin with who we are created to be-children of the King, writers of and for Him. Our end game, regardless of our chosen market, should be to defeat the enemy. We do not allow our characters to knowingly compromise the goal at hand for a few accolades. In fact, we write and rewrite to craft strong protagonists that will do whatever it takes to declare victory before we place a period on the final sentence.

Our characters are not always prepared for what is around the next corner; in reality, neither are we. The enemy pops up when we least expect it with a thought, an idea, and a nudge to the World. He tries to make us question our reasoning, shift our focus, and attempt to twist that original motivation that set our pen to paper. It is not usually an epic battle, but more likely a decision to be made. It’s tempting. But as good writers have the ability to shock the readers, we have the ability to stun the enemy.

Just when we begin to question and evaluate whether or not to add in that element that shifts the attention to the World and away from the Father, we can toss in a plot twist of our own-that creative element of weaving in the things that are true, honorable, right, pure and lovely in such a way that the reader, and the enemy, never saw coming. The enemy is thrown for a loop, dizzy with confusion. His way seemed so much more appealing-it is no wonder we write such interesting villains. We have faced an attack of the antagonist and fought back with the original desire that was placed inside of us.

Our characters face many obstacles along the way, as will we, but like our characters, we must hold fast to the task at hand. When the charmer of the World tries to plant his seed, remember what it would mean if our characters let go, even for a moment. We must persevere, remember who we are created to be, and when the enemy is least expecting it . . . BE STUNNING!

Lauren BrandenburgLauren H. Brandenburg is the author of The Books of the Gardener. As a former English teacher and now homeschool mom, Lauren combines her love of “the what if” with her spirit of adventure and her faith to delight and encourage readers young and old. She teaches creative writing in her homeschool community and to young writers across the country. Lauren and her husband, Jamie, live in Nashville, Tennessee with their children Kensington and Jackson.

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