Know Your Character

A Guest Post by Vanessa Davis Griggs

During a conversation in the book of Job, God asked Satan, “From whence cometh thou?” Satan’s answer: “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” God then said, “Hast thou considered my servant Job?”

When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and cry against it for their wickedness had come up before Him, Jonah didn’t want to, so he fled to Tarshish. After three days in the belly of a great fish, Jonah was told again to go to Nineveh; that time he complied.

When God gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins—Jesus, born of a woman (Son of God and Son of man)—God knew that no matter how difficult the task to come, how bitter the cup, Jesus would finish it.

When Mary Magdalene (and no, she was not a prostitute as has been widely and erroneously circulated throughout the Christian community) went that Sunday morning to the tomb where she’d “had a little talk with Jesus” after He arose, God was not surprised.

God knows all about us. God knows the character of His people.

I am an author of many novels. An author should have some idea—from the beginning—of their characters’ character and their likely reaction in a given setting or situation . I said likely reaction. There is still, of course, free will.

Many authors, in some way, record pertinent information about their characters: age, height, weight, race, education, jobs held, family, friends, Christian or not, idiosyncrasies, temperament, beliefs, disappointments, victories, etc. One reason is for future reference. What color are the character’s eyes? Hair? Any identifying marks? The list goes on; all the things which can and do affect a character and how they might respond in certain plots and subplots.

Writing down this information will also help a writer keep track later on. You wouldn’t want to give your character green eyes in the beginning of a story only with them to end up in the middle of the story sporting brown ones (sans contact lenses).

There are certain things the “creator . . . the author,” knows about their created characters. Things the author may like or not like about them. But the author knows them well enough to know what they’ll most likely do in certain situations.

Well, God knows what we’ll likely do—“Have you tried my servant Job?”—and as much as an author might like to make their characters do what they want, the way they want, or as timely as they’d prefer, the author . . . the creator allows them to be themselves and work it out.

Know your character.

May I have a “Word” with you? Those characters who commune with me consistently, I happen to know more intimately. Are you talking with your Creator? Do you spend time with the Lord?

I love when my characters do what they’ve been assigned to do. Are you doing what God has assigned you to do? Because don’t we, as God’s creations, each have our own individual assignment? Then let’s get to it! A great storyline is waiting to be written—the story of your life.

Excerpt from devotional May I Have A Word With You? by Vanessa Davis Griggs

Meet Vanessa

Vanessa Davis Griggs is a motivational speaker and the author of eighteen novels and one inspirational book of devotionals. She also contributed ten devotionals in Sisters in Faith Holy Bible published by Tyndale. A wife, mother of three, and grandmother of five, Vanessa believes we all come here with a purpose and she encourages everyone she meets to take flight and soar! Connect with Vanessa at

Vanessa’s Workshop

The smART of Writing

Whether fiction or nonfiction, there is an art in writing. Learn the art as you follow your dream of not only being published but of owning the process from start to finish.


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