Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ask O: How do I create a strong spiritual element in my story?

Funny you should ask. Years ago, I was super blessed to attend a conference where Francine Rivers spoke. I love her books, don’t you? Her characters and plot soar, but I’m most astounded—and deeply affected—by the way they touch me spiritually.

Hadassah in Voice in the Wind encouraged me with her loving dependence on Christ, her humility, and courage. I wanted to be the kind of Christian she was.

Another character in the same series had a stroke and was sentenced to a life in bed, unable to do or say anything at all. Ms. Rivers showed that even someone with little or no value in the world’s self-centered eyes had great value to the Lord. She could still pray, and prayer is a mighty powerful way to give of ourselves. We can always serve the Lord, even if it’s in ways no one else sees. This challenged my whole perception of ministry and helped me during my own down times.

Back then, I’d been so moved by the spiritual peaks of her novels, I snagged the chance to ask her how she did it. In a room filled with other writers, also in awe of this master, I asked, “How do you create such powerful spiritual elements in your writing?”

I expected some sort of three-pronged approach. First, you take your character out of her comfort zone … then you throw her into conflict, then … yada yada yada.

Nope. That’s not what she said. Can you guess her answer?

It’s so good.


She said to immerse yourself in the Word every day and spend time in prayer. When you do this, the spiritual element comes naturally.

So not what I expected, but of course, it’s the only answer that makes sense. Awesome! I’ve never found a more relevant answer, so I leave you with that.

Happy writing (and reading the Word and praying)!


PS Don’t forget to leave your Ask O questions in the comments or on my website,

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