Along with my new theme for the month, I have a new author to introduce to you, Rocklyn Grace. Rocklyn has recently published her first Christian novel and writes about creating Christian characters. Welcome, Rocklyn!
I am a new author, and I am a Christian. I decided to enter the world of writing Christian Fiction because when I read that literature, I saw beautifully created characters. I also saw characters who did not strike me as “real” in the scheme of life and living in the world.
On the pendulum, some had the proverbial “thorn in the flesh”; some had other issues concerning prayer, understanding the Bible, or church attendance. On the opposing swing of characters, I saw characters so caught up in spiritual matters that the plot of the novel would be consumed by that which is “unseen”–angels, demons, and such interactions.
Don’t get me wrong here: I loved reading those books.
I noted, however, an opportunity for myself to create a Christian character that might reach a slightly wider audience — an audience that dips into both arenas of believers and unbelievers.
Thus, I crafted my goal: Create reality in my Christian characters. That is, they have the following characteristics:
- They are believers who are highly flawed in some way — or many ways.
- They do not live easy lives.
- They struggle to read the bible sometimes.
- They question God even though they are convinced of His existence.
- They might struggle to pray or even utter a curse word in between a quick beseech of God for some much-needed grace and mercy.
In fact, one of my characters may outright sin and suffer consequences thereof, but the same character will also experience strength in weakness and the redemption, the table set before him/her found because of walking through death’s shadow.
How much greater the reconciliation when the reality of life is actively engaged by a character, and thereby, a reader.
Here is my crafting process, or the questions I answer for him/her:
- What “flaw” will my character struggle with?
- How does that affect their actions? Their words?
- Their laughter and joy?
- How does that affect their interactions with an antagonist? Another protagonist? A parent? A sibling? A husband/wife or fiancé?
- How does it affect their reactions to types of trauma to themselves? Toward others?
- Ultimately: How does the flaw manifest in everyday situations?
And finally, how does the redemptive power of Jesus rescue, heal, and help the character? How does that affect others around the character?
Once I have my character created — with those questions answered, it’s then a fantastic journey to write their story, let them face challenges, and always find Jesus.
Soaring Eagle dreams of reuniting his family and his western rural tribe despite the dystopian government restrictions that have forced them apart. In his efforts to pursue his goals, his plans are thwarted by his capture and a young woman who saves him from certain execution in the only way the laws of her sector allow: marriage. His entire life is upended, his secrets exposed, and now Soaring Eagle must seek a new pathway to his dream. How can he unite his family without losing the woman he also desires?