I pray for imaginary people.
Before you stamp the word “Certifiable” on my forehead, let me explain.
As a novelist, I wreak havoc in the lives of fictional characters. That’s one of the basic rules of fiction writing: Ensure things go from bad to worse to don’t-make-me-do-this disastrous.
Manipulating my characters is all about getting them to change. I use the circumstances I’ve plotted out for them to help them see how they believe – and do – the wrong thing.
And this is where God fits in.
As a writer desiring to weave biblical truth through her novels, I want God to weigh in on what’s happening in my characters’ lives. In writer-speak, we call this the “spiritual thread” of a novel – how a character changes when he or she confronts false beliefs and replaces them with God’s truth.
So, while I have to mull over a lot of things whenever I map out a novel – characters’ names, characters’ pasts, characters’ desires – I don’t have to fabricate the truth they need to discover.
And that’s where praying for imaginary people comes in.
My prayer goes something like this: God, if Kendall (my heroine in my upcoming release, Catch a Falling Star), were a real person, what would you say to her? What does she need to know about you that’s she’s forgotten or missed altogether?
Does this praying to God about a made-up heroine sound a bit silly to you? It’s not … really. Are Kendall Haynes and Griffin Walker, my two main characters in Catch a Falling Star, figments of my writer’s imagination? Yes. Are all characters in a novel made up? Absolutely.
But God is oh-so-real.
And that’s one of the reasons I write fiction.
Imaginary characters, meet the very real God.
And, along the way, I hope my very real readers run into Him too.
Share with me: What fiction novels have touched your spiritual side and left a God-shaped impact on you?
Jennifer here— I was recently very moved by the characters in Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series, specifically book two, An Echo in the Darkness. The faith of the characters truly convicted me!
Author Bio: Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.”
Her contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted in May 2012 (Howard Books), and Catch a Falling Star releases this May. Beth is an established magazine writer and editor, and is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy, the writing community founded by best-selling author Susan May Warren.
You can connect with Beth via her website!