In case anyone has noticed, I tell others that I happen to be a Christian fiction writer, but not of the ornery sort. While some readers are ‘shocked’ by the contents that I use throughout my novel, I gently remind them that there should be no reason for someone to use the materials I produce as evidences for casting doubt upon my salvation experiences.
Unlike some of the authors I have heard and read of e.g. Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, Randy Alcorn, etc., I decided to take a slightly different course in the realm of fiction. Rather than trying to use the general conventions of Christian fiction, I induce methods that raise interests to the Christian and non-Christian alike. I believe the purpose of having my books are to provoke thought and benefit for readers in the long run.
One such instance would be the kinds of characters I use in the book. Rather than using the stereotypical conventions of Christian fiction writing, my characters happen to be either Christians themselves who do the wrong thing or non-Christians who become Christian later in a series of novels. Hardly, I find a lot of these big name authors using a series of cheesy conventions to drive the reader into either affirming their beliefs or running into conversions.
In another instance, the differences I use to formulate a character in the novel are the kinds of conversations I use in my writing. Instead of creating a ‘scrub down’ version of a Christian novel that does not have foul language or sexual references, I usually welcome them within its proper usage and context. If my character happens to be a non-Christian, then one could expect foul language coming out of the mouth of that man or woman or, have actions or specific glances that show his or her personal faults.
Many times I have had people explain to me what their feelings were with the book I wrote, including the idea of producing several denunciations without actually seeking an explanation from the author himself. The most amusing part of this came from ill-informed Christians who did not ask me a single question of why I decided to put that kind of information inside the book itself. So prior to having anyone criticize me further on my form of writing, I decided to take the extra time explaining my views on Christian writing in general, which can be summarized as follows:
“The whole gist of traditional Christian fiction (in my opinion) is nothing more than an elongated gospel tract that deters both the Christian and non-Christian alike. First, to the non-Christian because that person will not read the work of fiction as something of value i.e. the novel possessing the ability to persuade him or her to the Gospel and second, to the Christian because their faith will not grow under the influence of reading a fictitious conversion narrative. The most a Christian writer should do for the reading community produces a work that not only possesses a challenge religiously, but also spiritually as well.”