Building Character

Blog Post

It’s easy to pinpoint a favorite character in a book. Often times, we pick our favorite characters because they are similar to us. Whether we share the same attributes and personality, or we share a common story, there is always a similarity between us and the characters we like. My favorite character has always been Emily Windsnap, from ​The Tail of Emily Windsnap​ by Liz Kessler. I was 12 when I discovered the series, and I always felt like I resonated with Emily’s struggles in life. I loved to swim, and so did she. I had trouble making friends in school, and she did too. More than anything, I loved the way she faced her struggles. She was persistent, intelligent, and stubborn. Looking back, I barely remember the storyline. There were so many books, and everything has blended together since I last read the series. However, I remember the characters.

I think there are two ways to write a book: writing the characters, or writing the story. If you write the story first, you create characters that fit along the lines. If you write the characters first, you create a story to fit the characters. I think the best books are often the ones with the most memorable characters, and the plot that makes them who they are. When it came to writing my book, I created the characters first. Since then, the characters have adapted and changed based on how I’ve grown in the process of writing it. The storyline was always centered around three main characters: two boys and one girl. While these characters have changed since the beginning of the story, they have always been the center of the story. I came up with the characters first, and then came up with the situations that help them to grow over the course of the book. I have always been a lover of psychology personality tests. Myers-Briggs, enneagram, you name it and I have probably taken it. I know the personality types of all my characters (Lex is an ESFP and the Challenger). My favorite thing is thinking up situations based on how I know they’d react, and finding situations to show how the change throughout the novel. One of my favorite parts of being an author, and of writing, is being able to research and understand the psychology of human beings. The human brain is such an amazing thing, and creating characters is an amazing way to experiment with the way the brain works through the various personality types.

Bible Verse

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

By now, if you have read any of my other blogs, you know that I am a context person. I love looking at the context of verses, and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 is no exception to this. The chapter is about eschatology, one of my favorite Christian topics (if you had the opportunity to read my novel a few months back when it was up here prior to my blog then you probably know). Paul, the author of Thessalonians, is talking to Christians about the second coming. He is advising them to hold on and be steadfast in their faith. It’s a rather encouraging chapter of the bible. But this is a verse that always reminds me to stay positive.

This week has just about killed me, quite literally. Last weekend, I managed to dislocate my shoulder again sleeping. On Tuesday, I dislocated my knee walking up the steps to get food. On Thursday, I was in one of my riding classes, and Teauger (the horse pictured) took off bucking with me, injuring my knee once more (I couldn’t tell if I re-dislocated it, or if closing my legs to stay on caused the muscles to begin spasming again). Later that night, I had some friends over and we laughed so hard our abs hurt (the best kind of nights), but I somehow managed to bruise a rib laughing. It’s safe to say that I can now count injuring myself as a special talent, and I haven’t even mentioned dislocated my big toe twice while sitting down. My entire right side has just given up on being pain free. As funny as it is when I injure myself, it can be tiring to constantly have to explain to friends what new injury prevents me from doing something. However, reading this chapter of the bible, especially this verse, can be inspiring. Verse 9 says, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” As someone with EDS, this verse reminds me that because of the salvation offered through Christ, the tribulations we go through on Earth will fall away. There will be a day where there will be healing, and there will be no more pain (or moderately comedic ways to get injured). All the trials we got through on earth are nothing but ways to allow us to grow deeper in our faith. It is how we are able to build our character, and it helps us to lean on God.

Song

Grace Got You by MercyMe

“So when you’re standing in the rain again
You might as well be dancing
Why? ‘Cause there ain’t no storm that can change how this ends
So next time when you feel blue
Don’t let that smile leave you
Why? ‘Cause you have every reason just to
Sing, so the back row hears you.”

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