As a Christian writer, there is some sort of spirituality in everything I write. Sometimes it’s very blatant (Monster) sometimes it’s vaguely allegorical (Paper Crowns), sometimes it’s just /there/ as a part of life (Natural Disasters) and sometimes it’s personal and respective to the characters (This Mortal Coil). I think that out of all my current works-in-progress, This Mortal Coil is the most spiritual.
Each character is in a different place with their spiritual lives, and where they are has a large influence and bearing on the story. Something I’ve noticed in a lot of stories is that characters are either Christian or non-Christian; like there are only two options, and you have to pick one.
This, however, is far from true – and the spiritual life of your character can have such an effect on the story, and it’s a shame to forego it! I’ll give you examples from This Mortal Coil and the male cast, and hope it inspires or helps you in some way. If not, it will at least tell you more about the story!
He was once a church-going man, although it was mostly because of his wife, Em. When tragedy struck and he lost his wife in a way no man should have to, he lost whatever small faith he had.
His purpose in life is now revenge, but through the influence of the local pastor, a handful of vampires and a soft-spoken half-breed, he can’t deny the hand of God working in the small town.
As the story progresses, he struggles with his faith, questions God’s movements in his life and the faith of those around him, and has a rather Jacobian time of it.
Angel has always been something of a nihilist. He lives life and enjoys whatever he can because he has nothing but himself to live for.
He gives good-humored ridicule to those around him who believe in something greater than themselves, but in reality he wishes he had faith in something.
He didn’t expect to find something to live for in the form of Easton Everett, a friend/little sister of Skata’s. She’s a good Christian, and he finds himself wanting to live up to someone’s expectations for the first time in a century.
Cassis is a complete puzzle to Skata. A half-breed dhamphir who has been shunned by humans and vampires alike, he holds his faith close and treats everyone with the same brand of gentle kindness.
He lives his faith quietly and genuinely cares for others, especially outcasts and pariahs like himself. While he confuses Skata, Skata also can’t help but see that Cassis lives a more fulfilled and beloved life than he would have expected.
Rukiel, shape-shifter and proprieter of The Diamond Straight Bar & Lounge for unnaturals, believes there is God who sees but does not intervene.
He tries to be a moral person whenever he can, but he finds that ‘good’ is something comparative and loosely defined. His belief, such as it is, does not interfere with his business.
Gideon is a complete gentleman in every sense of the word, and rarely behaves with selfish motives. He does not attend church but prays and meditates regularly, and his belief in God is obvious when he speaks. He is honest, clever, and if he gives you his word, you know without a doubt that he will keep it.
While not a church-goer, his faith is lived out more clearly than anyone else in the community, except for perhaps Dean Castle and Cassis.
A ‘live life in the fast lane’ kind of guy, impulsive, witty and full of himself, Jackson sees no need for ‘God’ to tell him what to do.
He pokes fun at Gideon’s ‘self-righteousness’ even though he loves his brother, but he claims he doesn’t want anyone directing his life but him.
He gets along well with Dean Castle, and even goes so far as to request shelter for the inhabitants of Grace during an attack.
Malcolm is an agnostic, a pie-in-the-sky believer whose belief in God doesn’t affect him in the slightest. He believes that if there is an afterlife, he’s probably going to end up on the wrong side of it, and so what if he does? At least he got his kicks in this lifetime.
(Surprisingly, Jackson and Malcom don’t get along with each other.)
While the pastor of a non-denominational church, Skata takes to calling him ‘Father’ in a jokingly derrogatory way. Dean is very religious and takes his job as pastor seriously. He has a very down-to-earth, pranking sense of humor.
He’s a fighter who has to battle his impatience and wait on God to act, because he would rather things were done in the here and now.
He and Skata form a brother-like bond over the course of the novel, and Skata sees that faith in God is not some fluffy, unhelpful thing – it can involve fists, if necessary.