When I was counselling, I realised more and more that everyone of us has a story to tell. Oh our stories might not be as colourful and dramatic as some of the stories we hear on the news or read in magazines, nevertheless, they’re our stories and they’re important – because they’ve made us what we are today.
I also realised we all of us have our skeletons in the cupboard. Oh yes! Don’t think you’re alone on that score. But they too have made us what we are today. The pain of them, the shame of them; we all have them. Even as a Christian when we give them to God, the memory still pops up on occasion but perhaps with a little less pain and a little less shame.
That is why, when I wrote ‘The Senator’s Assignment’ I was determined to have a ‘real’ person. Someone who’d experienced the knocks in life; someone who, like so many of us, tried to bury his pain, but for some unexplainable reason discovered those deeply buried memories come flooding back because an event nudges it into the conscious mind again. And there, in the middle of this important assignment to investigate Pontius Pilate, his memories begin to affect the way he thinks, behaves and acts. Most inconvenient – and dangerous -for Senator Vivius Marcianus, my protagonist.
So if you’re a writer, please remember your characters have a back story. It doesn’t make them evil or bad or even strange – just real.