Writing Nonfiction with Fictional Techniques (Part 5)

Creating Three-Dimensional Characters (Con’t)

Here’s an example of how I used my character sketch  of a pastor in Sri Lanka in my book, You Start with One, published by Thomas Nelson.

Colton greeted me, this morning wearing only a sarong.  He clapped his hands. Immediately a servant girl appeared and was given instructions.

Colton looked much more relaxed than yesterday when he had met us at the airport outside the capital city, Colombo. Standing only five feet tall, Colton had worn a white suit with a mandarin collar, the custom for Sri Lankan pastors. His stark white suit made his cocoa skin glow. His beaming smile and twinkling, almond eyes radiated friendship.

Graying at the temples, his thinning hair was combed straight back. A neatly trimmed mustache added an air of distinction to the minister.

I thought back to my first meeting with Colton, when he spoke at our church in California eight years before. On that occasion, he gripped the pulpit with his small, bony hands and waited for silence.

“My country is the second poorest in the world,” he had said.

Can you picture this Sri Lankan pastor?