Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fireproofing Our Characters

This past week, I saw the movie Fireproof for the first time. I found myself both pleased and disappointed. I LOVED the movie. The message was fabulous. The acting? Not so much. I think ALL of the characters should have gone to acting school, not just the hero and heroine.

Here's what I did like. I liked the growth of the hero. It didn't happen over night. But as time passed, he began to realize what love was really all about. It went from being "all her fault" to an understanding that there are two sides to every story.

I adored his lieutenant at the fire station. The man had been there and back. His faith was a part of him. It's who he was. It affected everything he did. How he spoke, how he thought. . .

As writers of Christian fiction, that's exactly how the faith element should come out in our stories. A part of it that can't be removed. Or if it is, the story doesn't work. Granted, parts of the movie were "preachy." We don't want to do that. But what we do want to do is make our characters real. If they're a believer, let them be a believer. Not over-the-top, but real. My faith is a part of who I am. Without it, I would not process life the same way.

Think about your characters. Are they believers? Through what kind of filter, or lens, do they see the world? This is especially true when we're talking about deep POV. You put a non-believing man at a bachelor party with strippers and he's likely to have an entirely different reaction than a man who's a believer.

How do your character's view the world around them? What kind of lens is on their life? Does that come across on the page?

Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts?


  1. I did see the movie. We took a group and had a great time. In fact, we loved the story! Yes the actors could use a little acting lesson, but I applaud the fact that they put together this awesome message and story because it was a dream and a goal. I'm all about dreams and goals. I'm just so proud of what these people did outside of the normal channels that I would encourage a movie about the people behind the movie. It's inspiring, the courage and drive this group has put into producing Fire Proof and Facing the Giants. Would that we could all be so driven to achieve against the norm.

  2. LOVED IT. The story of his transformation was so amazing. It overshadowed any poor acting (and there was some).

    I work in my church bookstore a few weekends a month, and let me tell you, we're selling the DVD and LOVE DARE books like crazy.


  3. Yes, Fireproof has definitely had an impact. I'd love to see more well-made faith-based movies. I can think of LOTS of books I'd love to see on the big screen!

  4. No, I haven't seen it yet. But I've heard such great things! I can't wait.


  5. I'm way behind. I haven't seen Fireproof or Facing the Giants.

    Great post, Mindy. I was actually pondering my characters the other day, especially about where both were in their Christian life. It does make a big difference on how they see things and how they react.

  6. I loved this movie. My husband still hasn't seen it, but I thought it was a great story and had excellent character development.