If you died tomorrow, what would be the one thing that people would always remember about you? I always love questions like this and in the same token I think at some point in our lives we all hate questions like this.
What would people remember? We have no control over that. They might remember how you were always there to talk when they needed a person to talk to. They might remember that you could always make them smile with a good joke. They might remember that you loved what you did and how they lived their lives. Or that they could always lift you up when you were down. They might remember the time you yelled at them. Or abused them. They might remember how you were always cold and distant and didn’t care.
Character. That’s what people remember more than anything. One person might not remember the same things another person remembers, but that’s okay because it really has to do with how that person affected you. It’s character.
The common theme throughout all my books, if they have one thing in common is that I use a favorite quote of mine from “It’s a wonderful life.” I love that movie, not just because it’s a feel good movie but because it shows you what things might have been like. The quote is.
“Interesting isn’t it. One person’s life affects so many others, and when they’re gone they leave a big whole done they?” Clarence “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
People are going to remember your character and your character is going to be your legacy.
Many years ago I was reading a lot of books at the time. And the characters were really good, but the more and more I wrote my own stories and was growing through that, I realized that maybe the characters were too perfect.
At the time, the books I had been reading had characters that seemed to have all the answers, were completely likable, and if they had any skeletons in their closet they were in the past…if they had any.
Any other writer would tell you that that’s a great way to build a character, but I disagree. There’s nothing real about the character. Where the conflict? The roughness? The hard times that so many of us live through at one point or another? Why not write a character that people can actually relate to?
Therefore, I set out to write books with more character in them, and they ended up being called “The Love Books” which will be next after Redemption comes out in the future. It was curious though; you know what I discovered once I started writing the characters this way?
I found they had a lot of me in them, in fact in some ways “The Love Books” is my story, not necessarily that it’s an autobiography because it’s not, but on a more spiritual level.
I found that I became much more attached to the characters and the story, because after all it was my story. Out of all the books that I’ve written, those personally mean more to me than any of the others. Our character is noticed and that comes through in our writing and in our lives in general.
Whether you like it or not, whether you’re ready or not, you will influence people. What kind of an influence will you be?
Writing is more than just telling a great story. It’s life.
To God be the glory!