Posted in Christian Fiction, Christianity, Writing

Defining Christian Fiction


Just what is good, Christian fiction, anyway? Should it be all sugary and simple, with clear black and white edges? Should there be major near-misses and only glimpses of tragedy? Or should it be all messy and obscure with very few answers and more questions than you can shake a stick at?
For myself, I like to break the phrase into its obvious parts. First, it is good fiction. Good fiction shows without telling, renders the reader through the experience, has vibrant language full of nouns and verbs, reflects the age in which it is set, leaves the reader with an enhanced sense of what it means to be human.
Christian fiction centralizes primarily on characters who believe in Christ and are striving to live accordingly or on characters who are coming to know Christ. Its characters should reflect their knowledge of the Bible, make choices according to its precepts, ask for forgiveness when they inevitably stumble.
Just as “a life worth knowing must be lived,” I believe good, Christian fiction must reflect what it means to really be Christian in any age. That includes making bad choices sometimes, having really bad things happen to really good people, and dealing with wanting God to say yes when you really know, deep down, that His answer is no.
Abraham Lincoln once said of Christianity, “it hasn’t been tried and found wanting. It hasn’t been tried.” The reality of that statement is what makes me want to write. I think God gave me a talent for writing so I could help myself figure out what it means to be Christian in this modern world. I also hope that I am supposed to be sharing that talent (and that I don’t just have some super ego that wishes that’s what He wanted from me).
I take very seriously the admonition that teachers of the Word are held accountable for what they teach. I also take seriously the power of fiction to make us think differently about the world in which we live. If I create good fiction and Christian fiction, hopefully I will help somebody besides just myself understand the challenges that stand between our own needs and the simple but powerful edict that sums up Christianity–to love.

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Author:

I am a 40-something Texan with a feisty cat and a supportive husband of 20 years. With a Master's degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, I have taught creative writing at Texas Tech, won awards for my writing and been blessed to be mentored by Horn Professor and poet Dr. Walt McDonald. I earn a living by helping my husband's family run a health food store, but my avocation is writing. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my triumphs and tragedies as I continue to work on figuring out what life is all about and on growing my ability to share my writing. May your own journey be a blessed one.

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