The Freed Word


Tomorrow it is Reformation Day, at least that is what we remember on the 31st. Yesterday, Saturday afternoon, we had a visiting speaker for our special Service. During his wonderful sermon/talk, I envisioned a lot of less godly ideas for my characters.

One of his main points was that the Reformation released or unleashed the written Word of God. It was no longer in Latin only, or preserved for a few special people only. With the Renaissance came other opportunities for study as well, making written words more important.

I started on book 3 of the Elabi Chronicles in April, then ended up with puppy brain. With November and therefore NaNoWriMo nearly here, I can feel my excitement building, as I’m determined to see the book finished by the end of November. For a few weeks now, I have imagined trouble and mayhem for my poor, unsuspecting characters. They have arrived in a little village and are just getting familiar, trying to settle in. No idea that there are so many obstacles facing them. It makes me almost feel sorry for them.

As they are Christians, I don’t feel too bad. Those things work for their good; it will bring them closer to God and will strengthen their faith. I hope. One of them may become bitter and angry, who knows? Not only is trouble heading their way, they will also encounter the ‘almost right’ kind of trouble. Which is what I was thinking about yesterday afternoon. Discernment after all, is knowing the difference between right and almost right.

The Reformation, and with it free access to God’s written Word, brings responsibility as well. Do we obey the Word or add or subtract things? And where do we draw the line? How will my characters deal with lucky charms, certain prayers or certain activities? How much is a peaceful life worth? I can see some of my characters going for truth, some for grace, but will any go for grace and truth? Will the mission go wrong because they disobey God in the little things?

I have no idea, as I’m a pantser, so I will eventually find out how my characters deal with difficult questions. I simply love the idea of trying out difficult scenarios from my relatively quiet room. Maybe I should let them have a puppy, to test their patience as well as give them something sweet to handle...

The words in the service struck me as being relevant to Christian writers. Not many characters are pure evil or proper saints. It’s the slight adding, the little things taken away from God’s Word where the problems come in. Add a few petty characters, and being petty in itself makes them step outside of what a Christian should look like, and there you are, murder and mayhem is on its way to your pages!

I would love to know if you plot your characters’ wayward ways or whether they simply stray off the strai(gh)t and narrow by themselves? What has been your most surprising character?

Maressa Mortimer is Dutch but lives in the beautiful Cotswolds, England with her husband and four (adopted) children. Maressa is a homeschool mum as well as a pastor’s wife, so her writing has to be done in the evening when peace and quiet descend on the house once more. She loves writing Christian fiction, as it’s a great way to explore faith in daily life. Because of her interest in writing, Maressa is part of Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion For Writing, an anthology encouraging people to write.

Her debut novel, Sapphire Beach, was published in December 2019, and her first self published novel, Walled City, came out in December 2020, followed by Viking Ferry, a novella. Beyond the Hills is the second book in the Elabi Chronicles, and was released in 2021, followed by stand-alone novel Burrowed, released in 2022. All of Maressa’s books are available from her website,, Amazon or local bookshops.

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