Author Topic: What do you think of edgy Christian fiction?  (Read 4371 times)  

Offline Tshoe

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What do you think of edgy Christian fiction?
« on: February 03, 2013, 07:41:09 PM »
I was just curious - it seems like the vast majority of Christian fiction I've read has been "safe."  Very little death, very few murders, or if there are, they're not main characters. 

Also very few real life problems - premarital sex, abortion, witchcraft, rape, etc.  Of course, I don't mean describing in vivid detail, but I think touching on such problems would most definitely make the book meatier. 

I ran into that when I wrote my book, and the current book I'm working on now has more "real life" stuff in it.  My publisher and I talked about it.  I hope someday to get a traditional publisher for my books, but my publisher agreed with me that the big Christian publishing houses usually don't touch stuff like that - don't want to get in trouble.

What do you think?  Should Christian fiction stay away from stuff like that?  Or should they take a risk and touch on the harder stuff?  Would it make their ministry more effective?
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Offline SChamblee

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Re: What do you think of edgy Christian fiction?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 09:20:07 PM »
I think it depends on your goal for writing the book. 

Are you writing it as a ministry to non-Christians?  Are you writing for entertainment's sake - so basically are you writing for other Christians, or for non-Christians?

Some books should be out there to show the struggle, but I think they should include where victory can be found in Christ.  Just describing sin for the sake of getting more readers, isn't productive use of our creativity. 

I also sometimes get tired of the all-too-perfect hero/heroine that prevails so often in our Christian fiction. 

On the other hand, I think some authors go too far, and write in so much that I, as a believer trying to walk right, can no longer relate. 

Know what I mean?  I think there's a balance.

Offline charlie51923

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Re: What do you think of edgy Christian fiction?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 09:29:46 PM »
I thought this question would be pertaining to something else entirely. Most non-fundamentalist Christians like myself (along with most other Episcopalians) write things that would certainly be considered edgy doctrinally by fundamentalists. And no doubt Mormons are hardly tolerated at all even though Orson Scott Card can write circles around any modern mainstream Christian author I know of. It seems there are different kinds of edgy. Charles Williams wrote stories involving a lot of occult/magic because he was preaching to the friends he left behind in the days when he belonged to the FRC. His stories are certainly doctrinally edgy, but he wrote seven of the greatest novels I ever read.

I have a novelette available at Amazon as a Kindle download for which sales have been dismal, yet the few reviews I've gotten have been good. In fact, I had no trouble at all placing it with the first publisher I sent it to, but we couldn't come to terms and I decided to try this Kindle market myself just on a whim. At any rate, I keep asking myself if it doesn't sell because:  A) its not very good, B) because fundamentalists look down on it, C) because it was geared a little toward young adults in teens or early 20s, D) or because the right audience can't find it. Maybe there's too much of the mystical in it, and therefore is somewhat edgy for many Christians these days who don't seem to really believe in much of anything.

Offline Evelyn15102

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Re: What do you think of edgy Christian fiction?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 06:20:45 AM »
This is a good question, and it's one I'm wrestling with myself. I also am tired of the eternally perfect hero/heroine, as well as how in much Christian fiction, the climax seems to be someone coming to Christ. While from an eternal perspective, that's significant, it's not enough to make a great story, especially if the author is writing to a non-christian audience. I've heard the big Christian publishers don't want edgy, but that seems to be changing. Kathi Macias has written a series about persecution of believers around the world, and another on sexual trafficking. However, her books do follow a pretty safe formula and don't get too graphic. She's traditionally published, but she also wrote and published many "safer" Christian novels before branching out a little.
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Offline WK Parks

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Re: What do you think of edgy Christian fiction?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 10:24:16 AM »
First, let me say that I'm relatively new to Christian fiction, as I have only been a Christ follower for about 4 years now.

However, I never understood why Christian fiction was so sparkly clean. We are raised to see the Bible as the word of God and there is some grotesque, macabre, and downright horrific stuff in there. If the point of Christian fiction is to a) entertain Christians that think "worldly" literature is too grim and/or b) spread the gospel to those that may otherwise not hear it, aren't we sort of diluting things by being overly clean?

All of that to say....I think edgy Christian fiction is necessary to reach Christian and non-Christian audiences. I don't see the big deal about some violence, very mild cursing, and even elements of the macabre in Christian fiction.

Offline Carol Buchanan

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Re: What do you think of edgy Christian fiction?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 01:05:10 PM »
I'm nearly a lifelong Christian of the Lutheran persuasion, and to tell the truth, most Christian fiction turns me off because the characters -- especially the female characters -- are too perfect. I don't see how writing about perfect characters can help any Christian because none of us is perfect, and my struggles at least have included struggles with faith, doing the right thing, and many of the other problems people have. Sherman Alexie, for example, is often derided for his realistic portrayal of alcoholism, drug abuse, other forms of abuse, that his YA characters go through. But his home life growing up was like what he writes about. How can we write books that lead others to Christ unless we show them the way from where they are? (I don't know if he's a Christian or not, by the way.)
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Offline ekael

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Re: What do you think of edgy Christian fiction?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 07:00:25 PM »
How about giving my book a try? I would say it's fantasy with religious undertones. It's about Lucifer before is fall in the garden of eden where creatures of myth (dragons, fairies etc) exist. The first book has a war between the angels and the dragons while Azrael must gather the soil from the earth to create man and has a forbidden love affair with another angel named Amy. The first book is called Heaven's Wars: Guardians of Paradise. Not sure if that's what you are looking for, but I thought I would mention it.

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