Welcome to the Thursday edition of One Another Living Blog Circuit.
Turn Write Series.
In this series we will share writing tips and resources for writers both fiction and non-fiction, published and yet to be published.
Today we continue our July 4th week celebration with a discussion on patriots and their influence in our stories.
At first glance this topic may only seem appropriate for those who write about wars and revolutions. But I’m thinking every good novel needs at least one patriot. Before you write me off, maybe literally, let’s look at the definition of patriot and what one might look like in Christian fiction.
According to Dictionary.com a patriot is:
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
Using this definition I am indeed a patriot to the United States of America. I love America. I support America and with more than just my taxes. I defend my country; not with a gun on a Marine front line, but with my pen. I do these things with great devotion. So, if I were a character in a novel part of my point of view would be my patriotism.
I would venture to say there are more characters in our stories that have patriotic tendencies than we even realize. For instance in C. S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia” the children were all patriots to their native England. In fact, Peter was frustrated with returning to the real world because he wasn’t old enough to join in the fight against the Germans and show his patriotism as he did in Narnia. Of course, he wasn’t at first a patriot or loyal to Narnia. Lucy was the first to align herself and be devoted to Narnia and more importantly to Aslan.
This is in fact a beautiful picture of born again believers (One Anothers) in real life and in our stories. I am a patriot of the United States, but far more important is my allegiance to the King of Kings. Aren’t we told in the Bible to fight the good fight, that we are at war with the Devil and that we should put on the whole armor of God.
In Christian fiction most of our protagonists either start out as followers of Jesus or they come to faith somewhere in the story. This is true whether it is overtly described in genres such as Christian Romance and Biblical Fiction or if it is furtively styled in works like Lewis’ “Chronicles”; Christian Speculative Fiction. In either case, if our characters are Christians then they have the foundation to be patriots; not of this world or your imagined world, but of Jesus and our “home” with Him.
If my premise is correct, then these characters should be developed in their love for Christ, in their support of His cause, in defense of His Gospel and in devotion of His grace and mercy. They are, indeed, patriots of God’s Kingdom.
The second definition of patriot is equally compelling to our novel characters.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
What were the Daughters of Eve and Sons of Adam defending against in Narnia? Answer: The evil, interfering regime of the White Witch who ruled with an icy grip and denounced individual rights. Any of your characters having similar struggles in your story? I know mine are. And I better be pulling my reader into their patriotic viewpoint which will no doubt propel them into crisis’ of mind and heart.
Patriotism is a good thing! Not only in the United States of America, but also in our worlds of fiction and fantasy.