Cake without frosting is like smores without a chocolate bar in the middle, all wrong. Or how about Twinkies without the filling, or strawberry shortcake without the strawberries.
What if it was only frosting and a 1/4 inch of cake? Some of you are like, bring it on, but most of us like more cake than that. We want the contrast of the moist cake and a straight shot of sugary fat.
Our Character Journeys are the same way. Sometimes we have lots of frosting, but it doesn’t go deep enough to hit the moist and decadent layer below. In other words, it lacks depth.
There are some stories where we are intentionally reaching to the unbeliever and our faith journey in the novel is meant to reach those who are still on the frosting.
But not all novels can stay on the frosting. We need to dig deeper. Ask the hard questions so that those who’ve been through a lot in their faith walk are challenged and encouraged.
How can you determine if your sticking to the frosting in all of your novels, or digging deeper?
*Write down the spiritual theme of your hero/heroine. Whatever character change or deeper truth you plan for them to learn in your novel.
*Ask yourself, Is this something a nonchristian, a new believer or a mature christian is most likely to need to hear? Go through this process for both the hero/heroine.
*Look at what you’ve written down and see if that is where you want to land. Sometimes our faith elements are meant to be more on the surface, sometimes they are meant to ask deep faith questions.
One thing that you can do to layer your spiritual thread into your novel so that both the new believer and the mature Christian are challenged to grow, is to layer the theme on deeper levels throughout your characters. Tomorrow on my blog we will look closer at this and how to accomplish it.
How about you? Who do you target in the spiritual thread of your novel most often? Why?