Friday, April 14, 2017

Character Development by Alexis A. Goring

Alexis A. Goring

We fiction writers focus a lot on character development, but what about our own growth? Author Alexis A. Goring encourages us to take another look. ~ Dawn

Character Development

Recently, a reader who reviewed my new novella, A Second Chance, pointed out that, “There wasn't a lot of time for character development.” She is not the first reader to comment about character development in my fictional stories. Years ago, when my first book was published, a few readers expressed the same view.

Since the publication of my first book, I worked hard to improve my craft as a writer. I invested in books for writers, went to workshops, networked with seasoned authors and hired an excellent editor. So by the time my second book was published in Jan. 2017, I thought that my characters were well-developed and believed that no one would say that the story moved too fast or that they’d rather it have been a full-length novel to give them more time for…you guessed it, character development. 

While it was disappointing to find that I had not yet mastered the skill of fully developing my characters even after four years of practice, I also found this reader’s comment to be inspiring because I thought of a spiritual parallel that’s true to our real-life story as humans on this Earth.

I realized that The Creator of the Universe (God) is always working on our character development. No, not for the fictional stories that those of us who are authors may write, but He is working on our real-life characters. The only attribute we’re taking to heaven is our character. We cannot take our money, our possessions, our food, or any material thing that we acquired on this Earth. Therefore, God works on our character development.

Just like earthly authors who create plot twists, obstacles and other challenges for their fictional characters to grow, our Heavenly Father (God) is continually putting us in situations and pruning us to develop our character and make us more like His Son (Jesus Christ).

It gives me hope that according to Hebrews 12:2 (KJV), God is the Author and Finisher of our faith because that means He doesn’t discard us or give up on us when it takes months or even years to develop our characters to be more like Jesus. He patiently works with us to get us to where He wants us to be and complete our character.

The Bible says that we can be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:5, NIV).

Now that Bible verse gives me great hope because it means that no matter what obstacles are placed in my path to develop my character, God is not going to give up on me until my character in my real-life story is perfected. This applies to everyone who believes in God and follows Jesus Christ.

So if you’re in the fight of your life and you just don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, keep pressing into God. He is right there with you and He promises to never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). So be patient as your Heavenly Father completes your character. It will enrich your story and you will be a blessing to others because it’s Jesus Christ who lives in your heart and it’s His Love for humankind that shines through you.

And if you’re an author of fictional stories who struggles with character development, keep learning how to improve your writing. Ask God for His blessing on your stories and trust that if it’s part of His plan for your life then He will teach you how to develop your fictional characters as He develops your real-life character.

Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life.

Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

To learn more and connect with Alexis, please visit the following sites:

“God is Love” blog: