We've covered the emotional, mental, and physical aspects of our characters. Today we dive a little deeper and personal with the Spiritual and any other aspect I may have missed asking about.
Spiritual doesn't make your story a religious-based book. It's another depth to your character and adds to the reasons for their behaviour. Every character should have an end point, some line they won't cross...yes, even a bad guy, although they tend to fudge a lot. Your readers may not even be aware you're sharing this information with them, it's just a part of whole. You don't even have to share any of this belief/trait with your readers, it can be part of your behind the scene notes.
When a reader says a character feels real to them, it's because the author has made them real...they're just born on paper.
Let's see what our Musers have to offer:
The spiritual, faith, is apparent throughout my universes, both s-f and fantasy. It doesn't play a major part in the stories, but it's an integral part of life. People speak of the Spirit of Space, the Great Creator, etc. These are different designations for one being. Even nonTerran humans such as Varn, the Star Commandos series lead, acknowledge Him. Some general examples would be:
All the larger Navy and Patrol vessels (fifty-class or greater) carry at least one chaplain. Those of one thousand- and five thousand-class have several. They perform more-or-less the same duties as army chaplains do now. During combat, they usually work in the sick bay or with the first responders.
Worship is important to the individuals. Varn and Islaen were married before a priest of her faith. On several occasions, characters, particularly former Commandos, expressed regret over not having been able to practice actively during the course of their missions, and they made the effort to assure themselves that the privilege would be available to them when they voluntarily relocated somewhere after the War.
As some of you know, much of my work is inspirational, religious. An important part of my stories is making faith-based lifestyles seem natural, as well as present a character growth arc to show with the story that readers have nothing to fear or scoff at. While one of my reviewers said, “It’s religious, if you like that sort of thing,” for one of my mysteries, and another reviewer gave a different book about a younger man-older woman romance two stars for having a questionable incident and a mild swear word, it’s still important to be natural without being crude. One of my methods is to have a character at some level of faith, be it deep or shallow, either teach another character what true faith and sacrifice look like, even when he stumbles, or learn that stumbling happens, but how we pick ourselves back up shows what we’re really made of. So keeping the depth or lack of spirituality different between characters who are running from God, as Grace in Healing Grace does, or simply never realize that’s there more to being a faithful Christian than sending your kids to church, as Hart’s mother does in The Map Quilt, is what makes each character unique and drives the story.
In 'Daffodil and the Thin Place', the most spiritual character is Amelia, one of the Victorian children. She has the gift of second sight and is far more in tune with the supernatural than any of the others. Her gift is an important part of the story, so I hope that I placed sufficient emphasis on it. Twenty-first century Daffodil is more down to earth and although her superior knowledge is important, it is Amelia's ability to tap into the spiritual side that is the driving force of the story.
Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.
If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com