I've been thinking (dangerous I know) about my characters' spiritual struggle for this next book I'm plotting. I often use things I've gone through with God, or things folks close to me have gone through in their relationship with Him as ideas for my character's spiritual struggle.
Since I write Inspirational Romance, there needs to be a challenge to the characters' faith which they work out with God by the end of the story. So not only is there the development of the romance, and often a suspense thread to tie loose ends up with, the spiritual (faith) struggle needs to be present.
In my current story, the hero is a backslidden Christian. He grew up a missionary in India, lived there as an American citizen most summers. His father is of Indian descent, his mother American. The heroine believes there's a God, but the idea of having a personal relationship with the living God is a foreign concept to her at the beginning. When the rug of her existance is pulled out from under her before the hero's eyes, he knows it's going to take the love and power of God intervening to make things right, and to set her back on her proverbial feet. He also knows he has to get his issues worked out with God before he can be of help to her, so her tragedy becomes his catalyst. The last thing he wants to be to her is a hypocrite since hypocracy is a tool the enemy used to pull him away from the church. He always loved God, but knows how difficult it is to fight the good fight of faith without the support of Christian brothers and sisters. . .and a church family. . .upholding him. A couple soldiers in his circle have recently converted to Christianity, and this also helps him want to come back to his strong faith. He fights the good fight of an american soldier against terror and evil in the world in a tangible sense. Now he knows God is pulling him into warring another realm, where the battle is not with flesh and blood, but against powers and prinicipalities and dark rulers who are demonic, and trying to kill, steal and destroy the heroine's life and purpose on earth.
So this brings me to an idea.
I'd love to know what spiritual struggles you've had which you've truimphed over in your life with God. Only email me if you're giving me permission to use that struggle in a future book between a hero and heroine. If I choose your struggle, I may also need to consult.interview you during the book in order to make things realistic for my characters. I will never use real names or situations in my books. This is just to get ideas for spiritual struggles, because though my stories are fiction, I want the struggle to be real and something readers can identify with. I also want God's response to be real, meaning, how He responds to my characters should reflect His heart and how He'd respond if these people were made of flesh and blood instead of imagined.
In other words, I write modern day parables which I hope encourage and entertain people.
If you don't want to post your struggle here, feel free to email me. All emails are confidential.
Come on....share your struggles!!! You never know whose life you'll touch if you get transparent with what you've been through. Maybe someone else will be in the throes of something you're standing on the other side of, having come through the fire of it as gold.
Ready, set, SHARE! :-)
My email is Cheryl at CherylWyatt.com (replace "at" with "@") if you'd like to respond privately. If I choose to use your struggle in an upcoming book, I will contact you asap so leave your contact info.
My good friend and author mentor, Margaret Daley, spoke on weaving in characters' spiritual threads at RWA's FHL banquet this year, so if you're a writer, be sure to drop by her blog and check out her posts on this. www.margaretdaley.com. Click on her blog link then scroll to the message where she talks about interweaving spiritial and faith elements in. Margaret has published nearly 50 books, and her characters' struggles always seem realistic and touching, especially how she wraps up the relolution. Check it out and sign her guestbook.
Have a great day!
Off to plot,