More than Writers: Golden Threads


Life is like a tapestry
I enjoy writing about characterisation probably because, today, it dawned on me that I quite like people. They’re so interesting! Even the boring ones! Let me share my story.
In the early hours of this morning I wrote my ‘to do’ list (this is becoming a regular occurrence for me) the first item – to this blog post. I had it all planned: get children off to school and then into my local Community Hub to write for an hour or so before getting on with the rest of my day. Well, The Hub was closed for the Buddy’s Dementia Café who apparently meet every first Thursday of the month. So, intentionally avoiding the breakfast dishes, I decided to drive to Costa. The radio played in the background and I listened to how the late Rev Ruth Scott (Radio 2’s Pause for Thought) lived in the present and how this is such a beautiful practise. “Yes, if you get the time,” I mused.
Well, (and I am getting to the point – please bear with me) I chose a quiet corner of the café with my croissant breakfast and opened my laptop – a sign to all around that I am busy working – please do not disturb.
Ordinary people living ordinary lives
A sign to all except, Brian. 
I didn’t know Brian up until an hour ago when he snuck into the seat next to me and started talking. At first, I nodded and smiled and then realising Brian was here to stay I abandoned my laptop. “OK, God,” I thought. “I’ll live in the present. Bring it on.” Then I listened.
Brian unloaded his life before my ears and before I knew it we were having a conversation; me a little guarded (he could be an axe murderer for all I know) but him, baring his soul. And what a soul it is! He spoke so fondly of his army days – how he was in the Queen’s Royal Regiment and worked under Princess Diana. How he can’t hold down a job now, how he misses the brotherhood of the forces. This man materialised before my eyes: lonely, trusting, full of stories, vulnerable, perhaps a little lost but most of all: whole, real, of value.
Our world is such a remarkable place, filled with amazing people – ordinary people living ordinary lives who are an important part of life’s tapestry. Today God showed me again how every single one of his children has value and purpose even if we think we don’t have either of these things.
When I create my own worlds with my pen (or laptop), my characters are just as important. Even the least of my characters has a background; their own story even if I don’t tell it.

I know I’m stating the obvious here, but just as people are key in this world – (what are we if we don’t have love for others?) our characters are key in our own written worlds. Our words might be eloquent, our settings; elaborate, our plot; gripping but what is a story without real, well thought-out characters? They are the golden threads of our works of art.


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