Thursday, November 13, 2008

What is Christian Fiction?

Here's a question that my friend Karen Ball posted on her blog: What makes a Christian book Christian? I look forward to reading what the editors discussed when she posts it later, but here are my thoughts. If you can't tell, I'm kind of passionate about this:

Some of my bias probably came through at ACFW. I don't want a book that preaches at me. If there's a salvation, it needs to be realistic and flow organically from the story. I want spiritual threads that are realistic -- a book that keeps me thinking after I've hit "the end". Tamara Leigh's books are good about that. I laugh even while getting pinged. The thread can be very subtle. I think about some of Brandilyn's books.

But what I must have is a thread of hope. The story world can mirror the gritty world we live in, nut justice should prevail. I should get a sense that ev en though life isn't lived in pretty little packages there is light and beauty in the world.

So what are your thoughts? What do you want in a Christian book?

Wow, didn't know this would get long. But as a writer, this what I try to do. Nothing is worse as a reader than flying through pages to end a book on a down note.


Ellen said...

I agree with you on Christian books. If a book preaches at me I won't read it. If I want to be preached at I go to church. The book has to have a good story to tell outside of the Christian aspect to it. If the story is no good I don't want to read it. And this is similar to the first thing I said.....I don't want to be hit over the head with religion.

PamelaTracy said...

I don't like being preached at. I also don't like reading a book set in 2008 that reads like a fictional '50's' town. I want a book where there's a plot - doesn't have to be salvation - and where the church is there, but in the background. Maybe the h/h attend church. I like prayers being addressed although I don't like the actual prayer being dialogued. I want to read about people who could be 'me'. They make mistakes, they falter, but they have adventures, and all the while, God is there.

Debby Giusti said...

I like realistic stories, and as you mentioned, Cara, I want the faith element to be gently woven through the story. Not preachy or heavy handed.

Margaret Daley said...

I have to agree with all of the above comments. I want the faith to be apart of the character's life--there to shore h/h up in times of trouble. Take it out and the person isn't the same.


Mary said...

I love Christian fiction that leaves me inspired, hopeful or encouraged as I finish it. I like books with a subtle faith message woven through them but I also like books that aren't afraid to use appropriate Scripture and/or a real, unashamed faith message.