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Advance Plot With Character Descriptions (excerpt from P.O.W.E.R.* Writers book)

by Tonja Taylor  
7/27/2023 / Writing

If your storyline is not clear, or not clear at some point, then this can help you get going again: Write, or update, your character descriptions, as I've done with each book of my novel series, The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R.* (Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards) Girl. 

While updating my character list (because, of course, over a multi-book series, the characters are maturing, changing, growing, just like in real life), and thinking about events that would shape their lives in the current book, the LORD (Who is Elohim, The Author; we writers are His Royal Matthew 13:52 Scribes!) gave me the idea to list the birthdays for everyone, because birthdays are a big deal for kiddos (and sometimes for us adults). 

By listing birthdays (and other important events, like the wedding), the LORD helped me bring better order to my plot line, and also inspired me with scenes about the parties and such. 

He is so goo, and the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, our LORD the Creator, is the ultimate Writer!

13 However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you.…---John 16:13-14, Berean Study Bible (BSB)

Here is my list of characters for Book Five:


P.O.W.E.R.* Girl Book V

     Let’s Celebrate!

January 4 - Ms. Sophia

February 14 – Valentine’s Day

March 5 - Robert

April 29 - Xiomara

May 14 – The Wedding!

June 10 - Queen Mother

July 9 - Robin

August 15 - Burt

September 24 - Risa

October 1 - Pearl

November 2 - Lucas

December 24/25 – Christmas


Then, I tweaked my character descriptions a bit more, after deciding when their birthdays will be:

                                                           List of Characters – Book Five

Ariel Dominique Williams, a.k.a. Princess Pearl - She is a creative, energetic soon-to-be 13-year-old who loves God and wants to be used by Him. She still misses her dad, who got killed in a motorcycle accident less than a year ago. She loves people, horses and ice cream; being outside in her treehouse; writing in her journal (especially praying over her Vision List); making things that help others know God; learning Spanish; and playing her harp to celebrate God and encounter His Presence. Pearl’s entrepreneurial gift from God has led her to work with her uncle Burt to launch her online business selling Jesus’ Christmas Tree ornament kits, plus an organic produce business.                     She is excited about starting sixth grade at GraceLight Academy in the fall. She wants to go to Europe, and help all the kids in her town and state and the USA know Jesus! She is not sure what she wants to do when she grows up, but she loves what she’s doing now helping people with the harp, business, and otherwise. She is also excited about the new house that will be built soon.

Xiomara Farrar - She will turn 16 this spring, and will be able to drive. From the unconditional love shown to her by the Williams and from Ms. Sophia, who hired her and pays her very well—and who told her in January that she is training to become her foster parent--she is starting to understand more of the faithfulness, mercy, and grace of God.  She also is learning to relax in the warmth, with, and wisdom of Ms. Sophia, who asked her to go ahead and move in. Now she has her own room, and an excellent relationships with Ms. Sophia.                                                                                                               Xi has not yet received Christ Jesus as her Savior and LORD, but she is learning to forgive her mother, who was hooked on drugs and kicked her out, then went to jail last October 31—but who very recently was born again from the efforts of a ministry who told her about Christ Jesus. Xi is tolerating a semester of being homeschooled by Mrs. Williams, and nervous about starting ninth grade at GraceLight in the fall.  She’s thinking about cosmetology school after graduation.

Charlotte Williams, addressed by Pearl as "Queen Mother" - She is recovering from losing her beloved husband Jimmy less than a year ago. The LORD is helping her rest more, even as she continues to homeschool Pearl, Robert, and Xi, for this last semester. Otherwise, she works as a virtual assistant and online holistic health coach, but only about 10 hours a week, around homeschooling the kids for this last semester.  She has mixed feelings about her new house that will soon be built.

Burt Walker - Charlotte's brother, who served as a Marine, then peace officer for 25 years and then served as a part-time ranger for the Buffalo National Park area where they live. He is a widower, of a wife who died many years ago, leaving no children. He retired just before Pearl’s dad’s death, and that worked well so he could be there for Charlotte, Robert, and Pearl. He met Risa and her kids at church, proposed last Christmas, and will marry her May 14.  He is a leader in his church, GraceLight, and likes to help people, cook, and be outdoors. He is helping Xi with 8th grade math in the homeschool, and helping the kids with the JCT line and the organic gardens, in addition to helping plan for the building of the new house for Pearl and her family.

Robert Williams - Pearl's soon-to-be-9-year-old brother. He has healed some from losing his dad, and is full of curious energy. He loves his Uncle Burt and playing with toys and video games, although his mother is very selective of which he can have. He is learning to cook and really likes it, especially desserts. He recently received Jesus Christ as His Savior and LORD (Book IV) and is growing in his understanding of some things about God. He wants to learn to use the tools in his uncle’s shop.

Risa Mendez - She is bilingual and teaches Spanish and science at GraceLight Academy. She met Burt a couple of years ago at GraceLight Church, where she co-teaches faith and worship to 1-6 elementary grades.  She and Burt were engaged at Christmas, and will be married May 14. She and her two children (Robin and Lucas) are good friends with Pearl and her family, and will be moving into Burt’s house in May.

Robin Mendez - Risa's daughter and Pearl's friend. She is the same age and grade as Pearl, and likes horses too. She is thrilled that she and Pearl will be step-sisters! She has been attending GraceLight Academy for the past two years.  She is joyful, really likes animals, especially horses, and wants to go on trail rides with Pearl as often as possible.  She wants to be a vet when she grows up.

Lucas Mendez - Robin's younger brother. He is very quiet and studious. He really enjoys playing video games such as Roblox and MineCraft. He would rather read than talk. He likes science and technology, and knowing how things work. He wants to be an engineer. He has mixed feelings about his mother marrying Burt, although he likes and respects Burt and Pearl and her mom and brother.

Sophia Serrano - A wealthy Spanish woman in her late 60s. She is a recent convert to Christianity. She moved a few months ago from Spain to the lovely mountains of Arkansas, “because Dios told me to!”. She plays the harp, and has a unique and amazing collection of those instruments, one of which she gave to Pearl for Christmas. She is now giving Pearl harp lessons, and is also completing her training to become a foster parent to Xiomara, whom she is learning to love as a daughter she never had.

 May these tips help you to be even more productive and creative in your writing.

Also, of course, it's very important to resolve the plot points, especially throughout a novel series.  I highlight "plants" or points of foreshadowing in each manuscript, to make sure I'm keeping the timeliness correct, and following up to bring a resolution to each plot point, in as natural a flow as possible.

May the LORD continue to give you more things to write, for Him to use your knowledge, heart, and skills to bring Christ to the world in creative ways!

But those who plan goodness find loving devotion and faithfulness. There is profit in all labor...--Proverbs 14:22b-23, BSB



Tonja and her husband live to exalt God. They lift Him up in books (P.O.W.E.R. Girl!; LEGACY; Visions of the King; Your Holy Health; more); presentations; service in church, community, and the world; and via the "River Rain Creative" (309 videos) and "POWERLight Learning" You Tube channels.

Article Source: WRITERS

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