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Just as Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy rather than a wooden puppet, your characters also want to be real.

Just as Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy rather than a wooden puppet, your characters also want to be real too!

Creating Novel Characters With Depth

I am currently finishing the final draft of one novel and finishing the second draft of yet another novel. All this editing has given my muse so much of a break lately that my muse is looking for an outlet so I am thinking about what I want to write about for my next novel that I will write the first draft of in November. Because it is part of a series, I pretty much know where the plot is going, however, where I can focus some creative work right now is with the characters of this upcoming novel. Fortunately I have covered this ground numerous times before so I am going to share how I develop characters who, like Pinocchio go from wooden puppets to becoming real people.

In my article Creating Novel Characters with Depth, I discuss how I start my character process. First I create pages for each of my characters. I then look for pictures to describe my characters and develop the character even further. For more details, check out this article on hubpages:

http://hubpages.com/literature/Creating-Novel-Characters-with-Depth

Developing Characters from Real People

Develop characters from real people. As a historical author, I take real people and make them into fictional characters. In my book A Coward’s Solace, I developed the Real life Lucy Flucker Knox into a character. In addition to using the research about her in my novel, I developed that research into an article about the real person.

http://hubpages.com/education/An-Unsung-Heroine-Lucy-Flucker-Knox

However, you don’t have to use these real people as real people. These same people can be developed into what are called composite characters which combine the characteristics of various individuals. This works well, especially when you are dealing with real people that you know.  If the real person has dark hair, make their hair light. If they are right handed, make them left handed. Combine the characteristics of Uncle James with characteristics of your best friend’s father. Take a tag line from someone else and change it enough so that the individual that you create is unique.

Remember the All Important Back Story

Once upon a time, novels started with the birth of the protagonist and went through that protagonist’s death. We, of course, do not do that today, but just as we weren’t born yesterday, our characters shouldn’t appear to have been born yesterday either. We have a history. If we don’t want our characters to appear wooden, they need a history too. This history is called a back story.  This back story helps to tell the why behind what the character does especially when that character does something quirky, and you want your character to have quirks because without them, they are as wooden as Pinocchio.

I will discuss more on backstory development in a later post (perhaps even another article.)

Building Character Arcs

Just as a character does not begin at the beginning of the story, this same character cannot be unaffected by the events of the story line. Just as the story brings the character that much further down the road, Characters develop through the story in what is called a character arc. Just as the events of the story unfold with a situation crisis, climax, and conclusion, so should a character’s development in the story.  The character should not be the same as what he or she was at the beginning. The person needs to change because of the situation.

For instance, as the protagonist in When God Turned His Head, Drusilla goes from abused wife to contented mother thanks to John Codman’s murder.  In Soldiers Don’t Cry, Phillip goes from stiff soldier to a human being thanks to his relationship with Elizabeth.  In A Coward’s Solace Head of Stone goes from grieving woodsman ready to murder to a backwoods diplomat thanks to Martha’s tenacity. In my upcoming book Sailing Under the Black Flag, Jonathan goes from starry eyed boy to seasoned veteran thanks to his adventures as a privateer.

For more about story arcs, read my article Novel Scene Arc Building: http://hubpages.com/literature/Novel-Scene-Arc-Building

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Now that Christmas is in the Past. . .

At the computer, again

At the computer, again

I know that a lot of people are taking this week off to spend with family. I spent time with my daughter last week and she went home a couple days ago., so I am pretty much done with the Christmas celebrating and am already focusing on the upcoming year. Now that the holidays are winding down and the year is coming to a close, this week I am finishing three of my writing projects to give to my beta readers. Two are the booklets Help From Kelp and Better Living with Diatomaceous Earth. I have completed Better Living with with Diatomaceous Earth and intend to have Help from Kelp.ready before the first of the year. I hope I can get the novel-Sailing under the Black Flag done as well.

Filling in my Writing Calendar

In addition, I am also putting the final touches on the blog post calendar for the year. My goal is to clear my calendar of planning ongoing projects so that I can put more focus into building my career. I have a big job next month where I will be editing another author’s work. I cannot talk too much about that right now. In addition, I intend to put more time into actual online marketing of my books. My novel writing focus this next year will be final editing both of my books In the Shadow of the Mill Pond and The Anvil. In November I will then be starting a new novel for NaNoWriMo. It will be my eighth year. In addition, I intend to finish two nonfiction books about preventing writer’s block. One is about nonfiction writing and the other fiction.

Book Marketing

This is a big part of what I intend to do during the upcoming year. Now that I have a number of books written both fiction and nonfiction, I in tend to focus a lot of my time during the next year on this area of my work. This week my focus is researching different ways that I can improve my online presence. I will tell more about what I discover in upcoming posts.

Hosting Seminars

Recently it was suggested that my church host the OSLU seminar (Ozark Sustainable Living University) Seminar on Saturday January 23, 2016. (A second day would be held at a 7th Day Adventist Church on Sunday.). I have been thinking about planning an event or two over the course of the year as well. This may open a few other doors for me, my church and my community, and I am excited at this prospect.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church one and a half miles south of Brandsville, Missouri.  As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener. She is also coming out soon with two additional nonfiction healthy living booklets Help from Kelp and Better Living with Diatomaceous Earth

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


We Are At War

crusaders

If you are a Christian who desires more than life itself to follow Our Lord Jesus Christ, you have probably noticed that we have been under attack lately from all different directions. Put a post up that you love Jesus and there is apt to be someone who tells you that you are ignorant for believing “fairy tales”. It is not politically correct to believe that life begins at conception or that marriage is between a man and a woman-period. Our schools allow every other religious belief to be taught to our children, but if our child brings his or her Bible to school, that child might be sent to the principal’s office. History books are being rewritten to exclude any mention of our forefather’s Christian faith.

It is not only that true that the powers that be make it difficult for us to share our faith with others, but it can even make it difficult for us to work in what is often a hostile environment to Christians. Militant groups have in recent months targeted Christians and posted gruesome videos of torture and sacrifice. We are in a war which if we lose, even those who persecute us will lose as well.

Fighting the Wrong Enemy

We however have been fighting the battle on the world’s terms, not God’s terms. In Ephesians Chapter 6, verse 12, It says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood,, however, I have noticed however, that the entities that we do fight against try to use that flesh and blood against us Christians. This causes a very serious problem because we are allowing that enemy to use us to prevent the very people that we want to see come into the kingdom from entering into God’s fullness. The Christian culture is trying to fight the battle  politically. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. . .

We Should Be Winning

In Isaiah 54:17 it says, No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is of me,saith the Lord.”

But this doesn’t seem to be the case. If we look around us, it looks as if we are losing. Our churches are more than half empty. Ministers of the gospel giving into lusts of the flesh. Why does it look as though we are losing, and what can we do about it?

We’re Not Using Our Greatest Weapon

our greatest weapon against the rulers of this world is God’s love. Here are a few ways to sharpen our weapon of God’s love.
The beloved verses of John 3:16-17 tell us “For God so loved the World that He gave us his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have ever lasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.
To use our greatest weapon, first we have to attain that weapon. We have to ask the Lord Jesus Christ into our Lives and ask him to put his Love into us. Then as with any other weapon, we have to learn to use it. It might seem awkward at first but believe me, it gets easier. Here are a few ways that you can begin practicing God’s Love in your life.
Take ACTION:

1.Rather than looking for the sin in the lives of others, look for ways that you can show God’s love to them. Begin with just a smile.  On your next trip to the grocery store, the dry cleaner, or out to lunch, practice smiling at everyone you see. Smile and say something to break the ice..

2. Go beyond yourself and find out the story of the person you are interacting with (cashier, clerk, wait person, etc.) get to know that person’s name.

3. Consider how you can “give beyond reason” and make a difference to them. It doesn’t need to be money, it may be advice, an opportunity, a connection, a suggestion.

4. Notice in your life, the times someone has “given beyond reason” to you. I’ve no doubt it has happened to you, you just may not remember it in the warp speed world we live in. Cherish it and look for opportunities to create that for others as it will attract more of it in your own life.

5. Every time you come to a time of prayer, sit down and pray for the people that you have randomly met. Ask God to allow you to feel his love for that person.
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Donna Brown is the Pastor of Faith in God Church in Brandsville, Missouri. . As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


You Can Call Me Crazy, but. . .

Intentions without goals is like a path without direction

God has a clear path for each of us if we would just trust his direction

Some people might call me crazy, but as of late, I have been asking God to direct my every step. I have actually taken to heart the verses Proverbs 3:5&6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not unto your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all of your ways, and he will direct your path.”
It is amazing the changes that have come over me since I have been listening to the still, calming voice that I sense inside my spirit.

Laying It All Out

God leads me to scripture. Recently he led me to this verse in Philippians 4:6 which says, “be careful (anxious) for nothing , but in everything in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests known unto God.”
He has led me to study out the meaning of words in the Bible by using the Concordance.
I learned that the word “prayer” specifically in this verse essentially means to lay it all out to God. He wants us to allow him to look at not only the situation and the request, but also to look at our motives behind the request.

Knowing He’s Got Our Back

He wants our motives to line up with his mission for us which can be found in Matthew 28:19&20 and in Mark 16:15-18.
He doesn’t want us anxious. He wants us to ask him for what we need and trust him to supply it to us.
I have had a problem with anxiety for a long time. Whenever I have ever had a problem that I didn’t have an immediate solution for, I would get anxious.
Now whenever I feel that anxiety coming on, I lay it all out to him. He knows when I feel anxious, but he wants me to acknowledge that he is always my solution. I just have to learn to trust him and believe that he wills the best for me.

God Opened a Door

Having learned the need to trust in God and his direction, I have recently accepted the position of pastor of a The Faith in God Church in Brandsville, Missouri. This is not a position that I can take lightly. As it says in Psalm 127:1 Except the Lord build the house, we labor in vain. Also I am thinking about the idea that as pastor, I am responsible for others. Its sort of like when I was raising my children. I couldn’t just leave when I want. I am excited and scared all at the same time. I have been praying concerning how the Lord wants me to proceed. I have to remember that this is a  journey, one day at a time.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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