Creating Characters that Readers Can Love

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by Ann H. Gabhart Why do we love picking up fiction books to read? Great settings can add to a story, like the Appalachian Mountains setting I used for Along a Storied Trail. Interesting history makes me dive into a story. A plot that keeps me turning pages is a big plus. All those definitely contribute to a good novel, …

Are Your Characters Overeating?

ACFW Authors and writing, Characters, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing 2 Comments

By Patti Jo Moore At the beginning of each new year, many of us set goals that we hope to achieve during the upcoming year. One of the most common goals relates to health—losing weight. I’ve heard many writers lament that sitting at their keyboards for long stretches of time hasn’t helped their weight or health in general. If you’re …

When Your Setting Takes on Character

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Description, Friends of ACFW, Setting, writing 2 Comments

By Norma Gail Setting that takes on character brings our stories to life in the minds of our readers. When the author knows the setting well, small details can enhance what our characters experience. In a recent review by Connie Porter Saunders, she wrote, “You know an author is talented when they can convince readers that a country is one …

Do your characters talk to you?

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Friends of ACFW, revisions, tips, writing 5 Comments

By Glynn Young The news report made quite a splash. Researchers at Durham University in the U.K. teamed up with The Guardian newspaper and the Edinburgh Book Festival to do a study of authors. And the study reported that two-thirds of authors hear their characters speak while they’re writing. My first thought was, this is news? The study was more …

Those Important First Pages

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Editing, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, revisions, tips, writing 3 Comments

by Jamie Chavez Sometimes you set out to do a thing for one reason only to find it was so much more than you ever imagined. More than you could have actually planned. In this case, I learned just how much value can be wrung out of focusing on the first chapter and how it relates to the rest of …

Why Do Imperfect Characters and Story Worlds Resonate with Readers?

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Conflict/Tension, Friends of ACFW, tips, writing 4 Comments

By Cynthia Herron You might think because I write Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction my story worlds are a delightful Sunday-Go-to-Meeting escape. Well, I can’t fib. That’s somewhat true…to a point. However— As a conscientious writer whose goal is to share a great story, I strive to balance the delightful with reality-based conflict in a heartfelt, homespun way. Today’s readers want meat-and-potatoes stories that resonate. …

What is Your Character’s Happy Spot?

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By DiAnn Mills Characters, like people, need a place to escape tension, stress, and conflict when life’s challenges threaten to steal their optimism. A writer uses a character’s happy spot to add a slice of real life to a three-dimensional character. The character knows where this place is and returning physically, mentally, or spiritually instills peace, happiness, and a sense …

A Spotlight on Forgiveness

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by James R. Hannibal Last week in an AFCW blog, I wrote about pre-flighting your laser spotlight—putting thought and preparation into the message in your Christian fiction. This week, I’d like to delve deeper into this spotlight by offering some examples of how I attempted to communicate the urgency of forgiveness in my latest story, The Gryphon Heist. Remember, this …

A Cast of Characters

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By Shirley E. Gould As we strive to craft amazing manuscripts, our plots and genres are nothing without great characters. An interesting hero or heroine coupled with a riveting plot keeps us at our laptops creating word count. For our characters to be imprinted on our reader’s memory, we continue to search for unique people to put on the page. …

Christmases that Rock Your Characters’ World

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By Susan A.J. Lyttek When I signed up to write this Christmas blog post, I had dozens of ideas on what I would write about. I knew, somehow, the star of my post would be my seasonal mystery Plundered Christmas. It still will be, just not in any of the directions I had originally considered. For instance, I had notes …