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I had an interestingly odd experience just over a week ago.

After spending the morning working on my newest novel manuscript, I stopped for a quick lunch and then ran to Wal-Mart for a few groceries since it’s close to home and easy on the budget. On my way toward the parking lot exit, I had to stop for a few shoppers in the cross-walk. Nothing unusual so far.

And there I saw him. Reed. The college football coach who is about to learn that winning isn’t everything. Except  he was wearing a stocking cap and pushing a little red cart that scattered salt over the icy sidewalks. Just what does he think he’s doing?

Oh. Wait. Reed is a figment of my imagination.

A day later, I overheard a group talking about the new Bible documentary on the History Channel. One mentioned how the dialogue made the characters seem like ordinary people.

Oh. Wait. They were real historical figures.

There’s a blurry line where fictional characters seem real … and historical people seem like characters in a book. I like to think it’s because the craft of writing has improved. Or maybe it’s because television and film have brought characters to life in such a way that we are transported into the story. Or maybe even that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!

As a writer, I want readers to get so involved in my stories that they forget they’re fiction. But as a Christian, I never want to forget the lessons learned by very real people on a faith journey who struggled to maintain hope in the middle of trials.

What about you? If you could, what fictional character would you most want to meet? Why? What historical figure lived the most unbelievable life? Why? Is there anything wrong with a blurry line?

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