Writerly Wednesdays

Bring Characters To Life

This is Sarah. Sarah is a tall blonde biker chick who wears black leather and a ridiculously bright bum bag. This bum bag makes me very happy, and I started taking pictures of it. I even suggested it needs its own photo album.

Now, when she travels, Sarah takes pictures of the bum bag on the beach, or on the mantle of a fireplace in a Victorian restaurant. She calls her photo collection, “Fanny Pack Adventures.” So whenever the people I ride with are supposed to be getting on our bikes to go, Sarah might be missing, taking pictures, and the road captain points at me. “You started this.”

I tell him, “You’re welcome.”

For me, this bum bag symbolizes the fun writers can have playing with a unique quality or trait that brings a character to life for our readers. So while it’s okay to start with a stereotype, don’t stop there.

  1. Add a twist that surprises the reader.
  2. Give them a backstory that fits the twist.
  3. Make their motivations connect to the twist.
  4. Have the twist challenge other characters.

Sarah is no average biker. She’s better because she’s real. And our characters should be too.

About this post: Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.


  • Angela Ruth Strong

    Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been nominated for a Christy, won the Cascade Award, and become Amazon best-sellers. Her book Finding Love in Big Sky filmed on location in Montana and aired on UPtv in 2022. To help aspiring authors, she started IdaHope Christian Writers where she lives in Idaho and blogs regularly for My Book Therapy.

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