Drive-by Religion

            During times of stress, we might look for reassurance from our faith. But what happens when entering a church building is not possible? What do you do?

            Recently many faiths offered parking lot services, including blessings, confessions and communions. Drivers got in line, and when they neared the minister, expressed their need, received whatever they asked for, then drove away. It was an innovative way to reach people in times of extreme need.

            Your task is to write a scene in which someone enters the drive-by line and something untoward happens. It doesn’t have to affect your protagonist, but instead a person in line in front of him. Think of stories you’ve heard about someone paying the toll for drivers following along behind. Is it possible to ask for blessings for the next three cars in line? Might the driver reach out and touch the minister, pulling her inside the car? When the minister cries out, what does your character do?

            Think of all the possibilities of things that might happen. Choose the one that makes for the most interesting story.

            Have fun with this one.

Faith Preference

Does your protagonist attend a church? Pray regularly? Bless the meal before eating?

These are questions that you need to answer before you begin writing. Faith doesn’t have to be mentioned in your story, but faith could influence how a person reacts in given situations.

For example, your character is approached by a beggar on his way into a store. What does your character do? Does he give the beggar a dollar? Wish him well? Or stare straight ahead and pretend that the beggar isn’t there?

One way to begin is to list the religions that you know something about. Once you’ve completed your list, then go online and spend time researching each. Try to find out how someone who practices that faith acts toward others and what the basic elements of that faith are.

After each description, write a few bullet points that show how someone would act is they practiced that faith.

Be sure to include agnosticism, as that is also a possible choice.

Once you’ve completed this exercise, then choose the faith preference of your character(s).

As you write, keep in mind how that faith influences the day-to-day decisions that your main characters make.

This does not have to be a long piece as this is primarily an exercise.

Have fun with this one.