April 17, 2017 at 3:18 pm #30866
I am writing a fantasy story in a Victorian era world, and I am having some trouble figuring out how to portray God. God is so essential to everything! He is in how we think about ourselves, how we think about the world, whether we are afraid of death. I can’t just leave Him out!
So now I am trying to figure out how to portray Him. Do I have a “Bible”? Should I include an analogy of Jesus’s work on the cross? Or should I focus on the Father, sovereign, loving, and powerful?
I just wanted to get everyone’s advice on this. Some things about the story; it is set in the Victorian era, but not in this world. There is “magic”, but I have set it up as just science that no one understands yet, and not supernatural. (I do use the terms “casting” and “spells” when talking about it though.) It is not an allegory story.
Any suggestions or comments would be great! Thank you!April 17, 2017 at 3:56 pm #30872
@princessfoo Neat story concept.
It’s good to have God be part of our stories. It’s not essential or even always the right thing to do, but since he created the world, rules the world, and most stories don’t have Him in them, I think it’s a noble goal.
On the other hand, I’m not a big proponent of making God essentially a character of your story. He does normally appear to be in the baground in real life even if that is a gross understemation.
Here’s the question I think you want to ask. How does God in your story or the Christianity analogue affect the plot? The answer shouldn’t be that your character’s faith affects everything they do, because this basically means you’ll be constantly dumping your characters religion on readers. Readers (in this case) don’t want to hear words, but see actions. Faith is something to be lived, rarely aluded to. You might very simply, without being flashy, connect the character’s faith to their actions at one or two points so the reader get’s the picture, but no more. In most cases, anyway, you’ll be telling a story about characters learning the right or wrong things to do, not already knowing them. All this is to say that the God or your story’s religion should be directly related to the plot. If your God or religion are only connected in a minor way, then they’ll just be less prominent. If they’re majorly connected, then they’ll be more prominent. I think a lot of people (msyelf included) don’t appreciate the faith in many christian stories because it seems tacked on for the sake of religion, not something that smacks the character in the face and screems, “This is reality! Wake up!”
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Thank you @daeus
I am planning on God not being a character as you described. The main characters are believers from the beginning of the story, but they aren’t perfect in their faith, and struggle to figure out how the events in the story match what they believe.
I agree with your comment on Christian stories today. That is one of the reasons I am having a hard time figuring this out, because I don’t want the book to be pushy or preachy.April 17, 2017 at 4:57 pm #30877
@princessfoo Certainly. It’s not easy, but it is doable and you’ll be very glad for the effort. May I ask what it is the characters struggle with?
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I am co-writing this story with my cousin, @revayah1, and we each have a main character. My character in particular struggles with shyness, and discernment, and her’s struggles with being too hard on herself, and places too much responsibility on herself.
We have discussed what we want the story’s theme to be, (true strength. Not what the world says is strength, but what the Bible says is strength,) but thought we should finish writing the first draft before trying to tie the theme in.April 17, 2017 at 5:43 pm #30884
The Impossible Girl
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@princessfoo You don’t have to directly portray God either. You could follow C.S. Lewis’ example and do something like Aslan…April 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm #31317
@princessfoo And now for the long delayed response. So sorry. I just completely kept putting this off. Not anymore!
As for your character, here are just a couple pointers. Often I’ve seen that characters who are quieter and have a lot of problems tend to be weak and not very attractive. This totally does not need to be the case, but it can be if you’re not careful. The problem is that they’re often crippled by self-criticism, but this doesn’t work to create a story. They can be self-critical, but they need to be very active and driven too. A necessity for conflict is that your character have strong goals. As long as your character has goals, you should be fine. Just one other thing: make sure you’re subtle with the character’s internal monologue. You never want your character to blatantly state their problems. They need to state them indirectly.
One other piece of advice. I would actually plan out your theme before you start writing. If you wait until after your story is finished, it will be hard to make the theme integral to the story. It will likely seem tacked on. Yes, you could do it, but I think it would be hard. Your theme should develop naturally as the plot drives characters along their character arc.
As far as how much you should make Christianity a part of your story, I’d say it all depends on what has an effect in your story. Not every doctrine of God, and creation, and salvation, and everything in between is actually going to tie into the average story and that’s ok. Whatever does tie in, tie in, and whatever doesn’t, don’t.
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Thank you @daeus and @the-impossible-girl! I am sure your suggestions will help a lot. I will talk things over with my cousin, and decide what to do, but seriously, thank you so much for the suggestions.April 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm #31357
Is that how I tag you? Sorry, I’m still new to this whole forum thing, and am not completely sure how everything works.April 23, 2017 at 6:24 pm #31359
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