Friday, January 14, 2011

What do you want more (or less of) in Christian fiction? Readers weigh in!

Hello, all. Dana Mentink here. I have been following a discussion thread on Amazon over the past few months. The topic is Christian fiction and as I writer of that very thing, I found the answers interesting when the question came up about what readers wanted more (or less of) in their inspy fiction. I've culled a few comments for this blog.

More of the male point of view.

More Hispanic, Latin, Native American protagonists.

More exotic locales.

Romances featuring older (45+) couples. (This came up a lot.)

More deeply flawed characters.

Better writing. (Ouch!) Commenters suggested that Christian fiction can be dull, preachy, with stiff and predictable prose.

More spiritually mature characters. There should be some people to act as guides in this area. Not all characters need to be new to the faith.

Well what do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Want to add some more recommendations?


Ramona Richards said...

I definitely find these interesting because, in some case, this is the opposite of what's selling and what the booksellers say readers want. I wonder if this is a case where "if you write it, they will buy."

Courtney said...

The first three aren't really what I want more of. I understand the more deeply-flawed one. People aren't perfect, so I like characters who are more human-like. And...I agree with the better writing...but only for some. Many books I've read have had excellent prose. As for spritually mature--I wish that in chick lit books, the girls wouldn't always be more interested in hair and breaking a nail than in godly things. But hey, these are just my opinion. :-)
Also, I've seen a trend where the heroine is red-headed, curly-headed, short, and pale...I don't have a problem with any of these qualities. I've just seen them alot. Ha!
Alright, that's enough complaining for me:)

PamelaTracy said...

I agree that I'd like to see more cultural romances. I keep hearing that exotic locales do not sell. I can find the over 45 romances but they are almost always fall in the tradesize (meaning more than ten dollars a book).
As for better writing. Wow, in the last ten years, the writings gotten better and better.

Dana Mentink said...

I think exotic locales would be fun to read (and write) about. As I am no longer a 20 something, I too would like to read about more 'seasoned' characters and I think sometimes more deeply flawed characters leaves more room for growth.

Tracy Krauss said...

The ones that popped out at me from the list were:
more deeply flawed characters and more spiritually mature characters. I think this would be a great balance, instead of so many 'perf4ect' Christians, or conversely people who come to Christ and live 'perfectly. Also, the comment about the writing is another one I can agree with. Sometimes Christian fiction does come across preachy. It's not something I enjoy reading and I usually 'skim' these parts (or role my eyes!) A good solid message doesn't have to equal a three point sermon!

Dana Mentink said...

True enough, Tracy. It's long been a pet peeve of mine that Christian fiction characters occasionally come across as pretty perfect to start with. I enjoy more the stories where the protag had done some bad things and fallen so I can appreciate their triumph better in the end.