Friday, July 17, 2009

Are You There God? It's Me, [Insert Name of Character]

I am not religious. It's a pity, but that's the way of it.

In general, most of my stories don't involve religion. I delete judeo-christian blasphemy (which is generally something I favor in spoken discourse). It often has no place in the world of the story. On the other hand, my two current projects both involve religion in some way. In The Epic Book, a lot of the back story and cultural basis for the characters involves a Shinto-istic
nature worship. In The Thief Book, most of the characters are Catholics.

Let me be frank (yes, you can be George). If I were religious, I wouldn't be Catholic.

But, it makes sense in the story. My favorite character is a thief and a very religious Catholic. It feeds her intense internal dichotomy. I decided to capitalize on that and make her not the only religious person. I break the cities down by parishes instead of counties or districts, and my MC wears a crucifix she got from her mother.

All in all, it's been an interesting learning experience. I didn't know much about the saints before I started, and I've been thinking more about the role of God in people's lives than I used to.

How much religion do you include, if any, in your stories? Are your characters often religious in the same way you are?

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