Endearing Characters

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Endearing Characters

The sweet, eighty-seven-year-old woman held my children’s hands and said, “You are so beautiful and so precious. Thank you for coming to see me.”

Kneeling by her wheelchair, I thought to myself, “I’m not going to cry…I’m not going to cry…” My wife did get a tad misty-eyed. I’m getting that way as I write these words. I’ll probably always get that way when I view the photos that someone took of our experience.

Then the dear lady–a national treasure in my book–shook our hands, called us all by name and wished us many blessings. She even signed some pictures for us.

It’s a day I will never forget. My family and I traveled from our home in Kansas to a small city in North Carolina. The city is Mt. Airy, but it’s probably better known as Mayberry. And the precious lady was Betty Lynn…better known as Thelma Lou. And that day at the Andy Griffith Museum was wonderful.

My children live in Kansas but have been raised in Mayberry/Mt. Airy. We intentionally don’t have cable or satellite television, but we do have several DVDs we love to watch, and the favorite is The Andy Griffith Show. The lessons discovered on that series are timeless. As are the endearing characters–like Thelma Lou.

Writers, I’m more convinced than ever that we can change people’s lives, not just by the plots we construct, but also by the characters we create. I want my readers to care for my characters to the point that they say, “I wish that character was real. I’d love to spend time with him/her!”

Recently a lady who read one of my unpublished books sent me an email in which she said, “All the characters are true to life and worth remembering. That sentence meant so much to me.

What characters have you found worth remembering? What characters have left you wishing they were real and could sit and talk with you? Writer, do you long to create characters that will last forever?

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6 Comments

Filed under books, Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, family, Larry W. Timm, Writing

6 responses to “Endearing Characters

  1. “The Andy Griffith Show” is, bar none, the best thing ever produced for television. You are absolutely right, the characters are priceless.

  2. Mary L Gessner

    Love this blog. And you are so very right. I’m trying to figure out how to “decable” our house after years of being “hooked up”. I’m actually OK with it (and it would save a lot of money). And, finally, your characters are “very true to life”. In fact, I was very upset (and quit reading for awhile) when something unexpected happened to one character I especially liked in one of your stories. I’m telling you…New York Times Best Sellers list, one of these days. 🙂

    • Thanks you, Mary, for the kind words. In a way I’m glad that what happened to the character you’re talking about was unexpected, since that makes for better suspense. 🙂 Send me an email and tell me which book you’re reading…I’ve already forgotten which one I sent you.

  3. What a fun post…I love the Andy Griffith show. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Larry!

  4. I enjoyed your post, Larry. My favorite all time character was James Arness, who played Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke. I got to meet him twice in LA and found him to be everything I have loved and respected in the lawman character for twenty plus years.

    Andy Griffith was a great show as well, but my passion has always been westerns!

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