Hi everyone. I'm curious to get your guys' opinions on a rather prickly topic: religion. In fact, I'm curious about how you incorporated it into your works. I have a couple of questions for you guys: 1. Did you incorporate any of your religious beliefs into any of your work? If so, which ones were the most prominent? 2. Does religion play a big role in the world that your story is set in? 3. Did you invent a religion for your world? Was the invented religion heavily influenced by a real religion? If so, which real religions influenced you the most? 4. Have your religious/moral beliefs ever affected your path as a writer? Like, has it informed your choices in what you'll write versus what you will not write? For more experienced writers, I have an additional question: 5. What are your tips for incorporating religious practice into works of fiction? I'll start off by answering questions 1-4 for myself: 1. My main project I'm brainstorming now is set in a land that resembles Pre-Christian Ancient Greece, so the religious beliefs are more than a bit different from my personal ones. One thing that sticks out is that I have characters who rescue exposed infants. Also, a character also cries out to 'the unknown God' several times. I decided to incorporate that as a reference to Paul's visit to Athens in the Book of Acts, even though the story takes place in a mostly Pre-Christian setting. 2. Religion plays a fairly big role in the story. I think I'll eventually end up featuring several religious events like festivals, weddings, funerals, and naming ceremonies for babies. The characters also mention the gods quite frequently and there are several scenes that take place surrounding the family altar or other places with statues/images of the gods. The gods are invoked and prayed to in several scenes. 3. The religion I'm using for my current is based on ancient Greek religious practices, with some tweaks. Celtic beliefs might be incorporated for several characters that are foreigners. The characters run on a spectrum, from religious devotees to atheists. 4. It has informed my writing choices in some ways. I still feel perfectly comfortable writing fantasy but eschew anything terribly graphic. I want to have good, morally sound protagonists who are neither perfect nor preachy. My protagonists are driven by strict morals but they swear, act out in violence, and make questionable decisions from time to time. I'm probably not going to be penning bodice-rippers or slasher horror novels anytime soon though. I love it when I read works that openly and respectfully deal with questions of religion, but I hate reading things that are too preachy. I don't like most modern 'christian fiction' because it's so preachy and tends to be very poorly written.