Inspired by last night’s religion/sprituality #yalitchat on Twitter, I got to thinking about instances of both in my own writing. In my first completed manuscript/thesis, the protagonist is a believer, but constantly comments on what she sees as hypocrisies of the church ‘goers in their fictional town. Her mother is one of them, and because their relationship starts on a stiff note, I’d argue that’s one of the reasons the protag. isn’t too keen on religion.

Now spirituality is at the center of my current WIP – with the subject matter alone, the protagonist will ultimately have to form some sort of beliefs concerning God – but not necessarily religion. (At least that’s not my current plan, but that may very well change.)

So after I watched the #yalitchat and got to see all the different opinions of authors, writers, and agents on the spirituality and religion in young adult fiction, I realized that I’ve yet to write something that doesn’t directly touch on the subjects…which kind of surprised me, because I don’t at all consider myself an expert of either. Someone pointed out that, in YA, the main character always ends up at least skirting around the subjects – maybe not directly, but if you read between the lines, it’s always there. So I guess I’m curious if there are any books out there that don’t have even a hint of religion/spirituality somewhere, regardless if the author consciously or subconsciously included it. (Banned Books crew – remember that whole subconscious convo that never ended? Good times.)

I also wonder if I could ever confidently write a book with a protagonist that either is extremely religious and certain of her beliefs – or, on the flip side, is an athiest – because I am definitely neither of those things. My main characters seem to follow my line of thinking thus far – which apart from my certainty that God exists – is shaped more like a question mark.

So my question is for other writers: do your main characters’ religious beliefs ever differ from your own?

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