Character Exploration — Kathleen Rouser

Today I’m happy to introduce Kathleen to you…


Kathleen Rouser is the award-winning author of Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. Kathleen wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She lives in Michigan with her hero and husband, Jack, and the sassy tailless cat who found a home in their empty nest.

Connect on:
Her website –
Facebook –
Twitter handle – @KathleenRouser

Character Exploration

This is a little brainstorming exercise that can help you when you’re stuck. Not sure you know your character well enough? Or perhaps what they need to do next to progress the story?

Have fun with your characters. I start by praying for God’s leading. Close your eyes and picture your character. Where is he/she? Think about the sights, sounds and smells around them, putting yourself in their shoes. Now, what is your character doing? Talking to someone? Looking for something? Painting a picture? Or just a wall? Playing a musical instrument? Running down a road? Sitting under a tree?

You may find new things out about your character you never thought of before. I had a character, who had a lost love she “hadn’t told me” about before. He returned to her life. I wound up with a whole new twist to my plot. My character actually wound up marrying this lost love, who becomes a stepfather to her son. This complicates family relationships and holds her back for a time from making important decisions she needs to make about her commitment to God. Doing the brainstorming exercise brought out a whole new layer to her story.

It’s funny how a simple five or ten-minute exercise of the imagination can help breathe new life into a story, give more depth to a character and guide them down paths we hadn’t originally planned.

Do you have a “stuck” two-dimensional character that needs to have more depth of “life” breathed into them? Try this exercise and see what happens!

Secrets and Wishes

Tag line – Can unexpected love flourish amid the ashes of grief?

More than fists fly after a fight between Philip and Zeke. When their widowed parents, Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper meet they can’t seem to agree on much.

But when he is deathly ill, Maggie nurses him back to health, and takes his children in hand. Growing affection between them is quickly denied by both. An old beau appears offering Maggie a new opportunity. But then tragedy strikes the town and Thomas and Maggie find themselves working together to save the children of Stone Creek from a huckster’s potion.

As Maggie considers leaving town, Thomas wants to offer her an alternative. Is he too late to declare his love to the angel of mercy who has captured his heart?

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