My parents have a picture of my children in their hallway. It always makes me smile to see how young and adorable my kids were back then. Simply seeing the picture floods my mind with memories of their childhood.
My kids are adults now, for the most part. The youngest is sixteen. Not even thirty yet, I still consider them young. Each one has gone from adorable to beautiful. I should say handsome since three of them are men. A recent photo shows how drastically they have changed over the years. They’re taller. Their styles have changed. Their faces are not the faces of children but adults.
The most striking changes can’t be measured in a photo though. My children have lived life. They’ve experienced success, failure, joy, and heartache. Each experience has changed them, grown them into the people they are today. Some things have had a positive impact. Others have not. I can accept the good and bad in their lives because my kids aren’t done growing. None of us are. Change and growth are necessities of life.
As readers we appreciate an author who recognizes this and incorporates it into the lives of their characters. As authors, remembering this is crucial to creating characters our readers will relate to and fall in love with. Our characters need to experience life’s triumphs and setbacks, and those situations should not leave our characters unchanged.
We don’t have to fear letting our beloved characters fail sometimes. Flaws make them human. But we can’t let them stay in that place. Use failures and hard times to sand off their rough edges. Use falls from grace to keep them humble. Use their successes as top of the mountain experiences they can cling to for hope. Let the things your characters go through become the instigating factors in their journey to who they need to become.
When we as authors do this, readers can find themselves in the pages of our stories. Our characters become the readers’ encouragement to keep moving forward themselves. It’s a before and after picture painted with our words. Let’s make it a good one.
Hi! I’m Heather Greer, an author of contemporary Christian romance. Be sure to check out my books, Faith’s Journey and Grasping Hope. You can find out more about me and my writing at the links below. I’d love to hear from you!
website and blog: www.heathergreer.com