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Welcome to The Inkwell, the blog site of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) of Colorado.

Each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find a wide variety of topics and insight
from inspiration to instruction to humor and more!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Let Your Characters be Naked

In the genre of Christian Romance, we are told to keep our characters clothed and appropriate at all times. However, as I was listening to a sermon on Genesis, chapter two, last weekend, I started thinking about how important it is for our characters to be naked, based on verse twenty-five – “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (NKJV)

Ok, before everyone faints from the shock or starts writing me emails, let me explain. True love only occurs when we are totally honest and totally vulnerable with each other. This is true whether we are speaking of love between a man and a woman or between a person and God. We have to be naked before each other. Unfortunately, our characters have a strong desire to find and sew fig leaves.

He is still in contact with his old girlfriend – Fig Leaf

She secretly loves his brother – Fig Leaf

He doesn’t want her to know how he really feels about watching girls through a hold in the locker room wall – Fig Leaf

She is afraid he won’t like her if he finds out her father is in jail – Fig Leaf

It is important to note that the sap from the green parts (including leaves) of fig plants is an irritant which will cause a rash on the skin.

So, we need to take a look at our characters’ fig leaves – the things that come between them. And how to we uncover our characters? Does a person or circumstance yank them away layer after layer? Or do our characters scrub them away to get rid of the itch? Figuring out the answers to these questions and exposing each one is the heart of our story.

Only at the end, when our characters are naked and unashamed with each other, can there be true romance.


Kathy Kovach... said...

Great post, Chris! I never thought of a fig leaf in those terms. And to learn about the irritant--fascinating.

Selah said...

Very revealing...

BeckyJoie said...

What a good point you have made!

Elaine Clampitt said...

Thanks for the insight, Chris. Gives me a lot to ponder in my writing.

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Excellent, Chris! Never thought about the fig leaves in that manner. And I can think of movies to match the examples you provided too. :) Not sure if it was your intention, but it works!

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