View Full Version : Why do you write Christian fiction?

Lyra Jean
10-27-2005, 09:38 AM
For those of you who write Christian fiction why did you choose this genre?

I've been a christian since I was 13 years old. I've thought about writing in this genre but everything I've read is how did someone else put tied up neatly in a bow and has a perfect life now that they are saved. To me that's a turn off.

I'm not saying any of y'all write like this but that's what turned me off of it. So why did y'all choose this genre above other genres?

Tim Dixon
10-27-2005, 11:51 PM
For me the decision to write Christian fiction came about because of my choice of music. I write to music and for the most part listen to Christian music. So, the characters and stories that arise from my musical inspiration tend to be Christian in nature. I was at an Andrew Peterson concert, for instance, when my first novel was downloaded into my brain. While he was singing his song, “The Silence of God” a whole story appeared before me. All I had to do from that point was translate it from my head to my fingers. The entire time I spend doing that translation I kept playing his music. The novel ended up having elements of most of the songs on the CD. No one else would recognize them, though, they’re just thoughts and phrases that came to me while I was listening. I ended up re-telling the entire story of Job. The setting was Indiana in the 1930’s, so it isn’t the real Job, just a story based on the original. It’s not neatly tied up and everyone doesn’t get saved. It’s about life, love, pain, sorrow and struggle, but the protagonist happens to be a Christian and his reactions to those emotions are – hopefully – based on a Christian outlook.

Rich Mullens gave me my second novel and – of all things – Barlow Girls gave me my last one. Both of these are similar – old stories retold in a new setting with new characters. Lots of real emotion and very little happy ending.

I’ve written one other novel that was not Christian, it was Science Fiction and had no music.

For me, it’s all about the music.

10-28-2005, 05:43 AM
In many ways, I feel like Christian fiction is a very 'put on thing'; simulcrum of the real creative process. I know I'm struggling BIG TIME right now with my current writing project. When I shut everything else out and just listen to the "story-teller" inside - things flow, the way they should - I am the story; the story is me. Because of that, everything I write will always be of a spiritual nature.

But when I try to write in certain doctrinal elements so it will be attractive to Christian publishers, it feels VERY forced. I personally think the division between Christian and secular fiction is garbage. People hail C.S. Lewis for his vision and Christian imagery; despite his saying over and over again, "I just wanted to make up a story (Narnia) and that's all."

Stories are good; stories are fun. I'm a nobody and will probably continue to be a nobody...but now I know why Steve Lawhead doesn't publish under an exclusive Christian label anymore.

www.kevinlucia.net (http://www.kevinlucia.net)

10-28-2005, 05:56 AM
I chose Christian fiction because I wanted to show how having God in your life changes things. I'm not published yet...not even finished with the book yet. So while I have an expectation of publishing under a Christian label, I'm not sure the book will qualify as 'Christian' because of the amount of violence. I also have one character who is saved, but is having a crisis of faith while trying to do the right thing. For him, by helping one person, he's hurting another.

Going back to what Rose said, Christianity in fiction seems to equal perfection, and we know we'll never be perfect, just forgiven. My Christian characters aren't perfect, they're human, and they make mistakes. They screw up constantly, and they have to apologize and asked forgiveness because of something they've done or said. As far as I can tell, they'd all probably be disqualified under the CBA guidelines! :crazy:

And truthfully, my story is probably too Christian to be published under a secular label.

But, hey, it's not my job to publish it...I just write the stuff!

Lyra Jean
10-28-2005, 09:24 AM
I was just wondering. I'm working on a sci-fi novel right now and christians will be in it. But I have yet to decide how big of element they will be.

10-28-2005, 03:49 PM
kelker 11 wrote: And truthfully, my story is probably too Christian to be published under a secular label.

Ahh yes.....the wonderful little chasm that I fall into as well...

10-29-2005, 05:16 AM
Hey Kevin,

I visited your website...looks like you got published. Whirlwind Press. So you ended up getting published under a Christian label, right?

And one more thing, is the Christian Writers forum link from your website open to everyone? Just curious :)


10-29-2005, 07:21 AM
Actually, no...although I'm flattered that my website looks that good...

WhirlWind Press is my fall-back position...essentially, it's me. When I'm done with my first manuscript, I'm going to send it to both secular and Christian publishers...essentially, I'll let God choose for me.

If neither bite, then I am going to self-publish under my own title of WhirlWind Press. My friend and art guy has a great idea of generating some spin-off graphic novels, doing some extensive art work and doing some sculptings from the novel, (which he's amazing at), and then hitting some Writer's Conferences and Comic Cons, (especially because my story lends itself very well to graphic novel format), and just touring around, having some fun and hoping to bump into the "right" people. The website is running full-tilt because when the manuscript gets finished this year/summer, I wanted the ground work already done, so I could hit the ground running.

So...sigh...no, I still belong to the those of the unpublished crowd...

Yeah...that link is open to EVERYONE. The ECW (Emerging Christian Writer's) Forum is just a group of us nobodies who are trying to become somebodies! Come visit, and bring your friends!

www.kevinlucia.net (http://www.kevinlucia.net/)

Puddle Jumper
11-02-2005, 09:00 AM
I keep trying to write a story in a different genre and I keep feeling pulled to write a story which would fall under Christian fiction. The problem is that the topic I feel compelled to write is very personal and that makes me feel uneasy. But then I get this thought in my head that says, "But how many people might benefit from reading this and seeing that they're not alone?" It probably wouldn't get published anyway, it doesn't paint too pretty a picture of the church yet it is very strongly Christian. Of course if it didn't get published, then I wouldn't have to worry about these uncertainties of seeing it published. So ultimately it's boils down to a trusting God thing that if it's His will, it'll be done. Whatever. Of course I'm just in the planning stages and here I'm talking about publishing. Ha, I can be funny that way. :)

11-02-2005, 05:19 PM
But when I try to write in certain doctrinal elements so it will be attractive to Christian publishers, it feels VERY forced.

I couldn't agree with you more. I had a prospective agent tell me not too long ago that my manuscript wasn't "Christian enough", but he didn't give me any direction as to what he wanted specifically. I thought about revising some things, but it didn't feel right and I ended up sticking to my guns and leaving it the way it is.

And I must say that I've found very few "Christian" writers that hold my attention. I've tried, I really have. But when I go to the Christian/Inspirational Fiction section of a bookstore, it's the same stories and themes over and over and over again. It's not hard to see why most Christian bookstores are struggling to keep their doors open.

I don't know that my manuscript falls into the "Christian only" category. I've been told by many that it would also work as a secular title.

I would say I'm probably a Christian who writes instead of a Christian writer. I think there's a difference.


Lyra Jean
11-02-2005, 09:04 PM
I've given up Christian fiction after the Left Behind series. They were awful. Christian romance is all the same anyway. Maybe I'll go take another look.

11-02-2005, 09:25 PM
You may wish to check out my Joe Box series with RiverOak. A caveat: it's not to everyone's taste. But by golly, a CBA house publishes it, so that's a miracle in itself!