Monthly Archives: February 2018

Writing Believable Characters

Today I’m hosting SM Ford with some great advice about

Writing a Believable Christian Character

You may have read Christian fiction that was contemporary but felt like fantasy as the main character just wasn’t believable. He or she was too perfect. How do we make our Christian characters believable?

First of all, Christian characters should never be perfect. Instead, they should make mistakes, and, yes, sin. They might be busybodies, loud mouths, too shy to speak up, gamblers, addicted to too much wine, gossips, judgmental, easily angered, etc. They don’t have all scripture memorized either. Nor do they have an answer for everything.

When creating your character, plan for failure. Plan flaws. I’ve been a Christian for over 50 years and I still say things I shouldn’t. I still grumble. I still sin. Fortunately, God forgives me when I repent and that’s what you’ll show your main character doing.

As in real life there will be consequences for sin in your character’s life. If a character says or does something they shouldn’t, will it hurt someone? Betray a confidence? Break a friendship? Cost a job? Break a law? Hurt their Christian testimony? Or damage the main character internally? Yes, very possibly.

Sometimes the people we hurt most are the ones we love the most. We snap at our spouse because we are irritable. We yell at our kids because we are self-focused. Your Christian main character might do the same thing. And hopefully as we do in real life, will ask forgiveness from both whom they offended and our Heavenly Father.

Plan for uncertainty, too. There may be scripture your main character doesn’t understand. Issues that aren’t black and white. Lack of knowledge. I remember years ago when a new gal at our church who was not married to the man she was living with said, “no other church ever told me this was wrong.”

Make your character as real as you can. I still experience depression. I still get sick. I’ve not paid close enough attention and have failed to yield the right away. I’ve had others hurt me. Your character should have similar problems. Use what you know in your own life. It will make your characters better.


A little about SM Ford 

SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She uses the above techniques in her own writing.

Sue is a Pacific Northwest gal, who has also lived in the midwest (Colorado and Kansas) and on the east coast (New Jersey). She and her husband have two daughters and two sons-in-law and three grandsons. She can’t figure out how she got to be old enough for all that, however.

She loves assisting other writers on their journeys and is a writing teacher, speaker, mentor, and blogger about writing. Her website is And you can purchase her book ALONE which is available as an ebook or audio book on Amazon.

Ready for adventure in the snowy Colorado mountains, Cecelia Gage is thrilled to be employed as the live-in housekeeper for her favorite bestselling author. The twenty-five-year-old doesn’t count on Mark Andrews being so prickly, nor becoming part of the small town gossip centering on the celebrity. Neither does she expect to become involved in Andrews family drama and a relationship with Simon Lindley, Mark’s oh so good-looking best friend. And certainly, Cecelia has no idea she’ll be mixed up in a murder investigation.

Will Cecelia’s faith in God get her through all the troubles that lie ahead?

Thanks for the great pointers, Sue! And ALONE looks like a great read.