View Full Version : How not to PREACH in your novel?

04-19-2012, 01:43 AM
I don't know if this is possible. My problem is my novel jumps between several POVs. The one I know best is the Muslim character. To balance it out and not have the book lean towards one over the over, I've tried delving deeper into the Atheism and Catholicism but I'm afraid there could still be an invisible thread of me inside. I'm thinking maybe I should change my target audience, this would solve a lot of things. Muslims would read my book and understand the POV easily and not feel preached to. However, this story isn't supposed to be preachy and its a global message. What would you do?

04-19-2012, 04:11 AM
I would get more deeply into my characters' heads. Unless the character is seeking to convert others to his faith, he's just living his life according to the rules of his faith. He's not preaching to others or to himself. At most, he might be reminding himself occasionally that following the tenets of his beliefs may be hard, but will be worth it in the afterlife.

I realize this may be a serious amount of rewriting, but I also realize that if it preaches when you don't want it to be, the thing to do is to change it into what you want, not to change who you hope will like it.

Have you read "The Sparrow"? It's about a priest, and the author does a good job of having it be focused on what the main character does and thinks, not on what he believes and why.

Maryn, sorry to bring semi-bad news

04-19-2012, 08:35 PM
This isn't bad news at all. There are only a few scenes in which religious texts are quoted and it all fits in within the context of the story, or at least what's happening in the eyes of the main character. So a rewrite, although not always the easiest thing to do, is not bad news at all.

04-20-2012, 01:09 AM
Which is good news! Whew, huh?

Maryn, relieved

07-04-2012, 03:13 AM
Salt has mentioned that there are few posting on here, so ... I'll drop a quick note. I have written a novel and am planning a whole series. In my book and the series religion has a valuable role.

I am not trying to preach to others with what I have written, but at the same time the religion topic being what it is some of what I write mite come across as preaching. I present many conflicts, but I try to make it clear that it is the choice of each character how they will live their lives.

When we write, we will put some of ourselves into the book. It is our content that we will share in some fashion. Good luck and keep writing.