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Listen to me! Or: The non-list-making, non-threatening, let’s-have-a-cup-of-coffee-and-chat method of creating living breathing characters.

Christian books should reach beyond our hearts to touch our souls. Regardless of the genre — suspense, romance, historical, or chick lit — stories can touch our lives, even change us. And, while plot lines are important…it is characters that drive stories. When we think of the Hunt for Red October, we think of Jack Ryan. When we think of the Fugitive, we think of Dr. Richard Kimball. Characters drive the plot. So, how do we create characters that live and breathe and drive a story into our hearts?

Throw away the list!

When I began writing, I did what seemed logical – I filled out character lists. Answered hundreds of questions. But my characters still felt flat, and more than that, their actions, dialogue and conflict didn’t seem to connect. At the time, I was home schooling, and as I looked at developing my children’s self-esteem, it hit me. People reveal themselves from the inside out, based on how they see themselves, or want others to see them. And discovering how a character defines himself is the key to making them come alive.

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Research For Today’s Writer

I wanted to take a fresh look at how to research novels. I polled some of my writing buddies both unpublished and published and got some great ideas for researching.

Home Improvement?

If you’re trying to write a home improvement scene and are totally repair challenged, try Youtube.com.

Crazy Psychopath People?

This is obviously for people who write suspense. The FBI website offers research for you to profile your villain(s). Not for the faint of heart.

Local law enforcement

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2014 Frasier Bronze Medalists!

I remember the days of submitting to writing contests…if I didn’t final, I wanted to know…how close was I to the top 5? Because writing is a journey, and we’re always about improving our craft, we want to celebrate those who earned the spot of top 15, right behind the Finalists. Great Job! Frasier Bronze Medalists 2014 Nancy Sample LAYERS OF TRUTH Piper Huguley A Virtuous Ruby Londa Hayden Jasmine in Bloom Cindy Stewart Only One Life to Give Dee Bright Murder Between the Lines Jennie Atkins One Last Miracle Lorna Woods Storm Tossed Heart Delores Topliff Cruising Down the River Sally Pitts Surprise Marriage Christina Suzann Nelson Torn Edges   Erin MacPherson Painting Home Jennie Atkins Black-Eyed Suzie Chandra Smith The Turtle Box Jennifer Dyer The Secret of Shelazon Heidi […]

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2014 Frasier Award Finalists!

Congratulations to the 2014 My Book Therapy Frasier Award Finalists!

Join us on September 26th in St. Louis, MO at the 2014 ACFW Conference/My Book Therapy Frasier Award and Pizza Party to discover the winner!

(Click on Read the Rest to discover the finalists!)

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