Author Topic: Christian authors as fantasy authors?  (Read 2535 times)  

Online Lauriejoyeltahs

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Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« on: May 17, 2017, 02:27:29 PM »
I don't want to start a big religious argument here, but have a genuine guest Jim about whether or not is an acceptable practice for an author to write across both genres. I currently have one book self published that hasn't done all that well, but I imagine it goes a lot with what my book is about. I have what I consider a fairly successful blog and twitter following considering I only started both about six months ago. My passion when reading however is fantasy, romance and many others. I have started a fiction story that will fall into the Christian category, however my real writing desire is ina fantasy story I started and would rather work on.

I know the world has changed tremendously in views, but I'm half afraid to associate the fantasy story ( that I have more faith will do well ) with the pen name I am using. I don't want to put off my blog or twitter followers, but I am not excited to think I would need to build t again under a new pen name either- particularly since I like this one.

Offline ConnerKressley

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 02:41:53 PM »
I'm a Christian and I read fantasy all the time. Are you afraid your audience just won't translate or that they'll be offended?

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Offline Patrick Urban

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 02:54:43 PM »
One of the greatest fantasy authors of the last few decades, David Gemmell, was a Christian who laced his works with Christian messages and undercurrents. He often said in interviews he wrote, in part, for "those with eyes to see and ears to hear" -- a reference to Matthew 13:16.
Yes, it's a different scenario than associating explicit Christian fiction as a genre with your fantasy genre works; however, it does speak to the openness and/or appetite of a sizeable segment of the fantasy audience.
Whether that will be the case with your particular audience... ?
But I think (...at least hope) that it is entirely too cynical to go to measures to hide the one from the other -- beyond the considerations that normally bear on genre/audience/penname marketing -- for fear of Christophobic or theophobic backlash or alienation.
 

Offline caarsen

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 03:11:51 PM »
C.S. Lewis, J. R.R.Tolkien. You would be walking in some pretty large Fantasy/Christian footsteps if you go this route. No reason you can't or shouldn't.
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Online MelanieCellier

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 03:15:04 PM »
One of THE greatest modern Christian authors also wrote fantasy. Didn't seem to hurt either one of his brands ;)
(I'm talking about CS Lewis)

It probably would depend at least a little on the content of your fantasy, though.

ETA: I see caarsen beat me to it :D
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 03:18:20 PM by MelanieCellier »

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Offline CABarrett

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 03:15:12 PM »
From the Inklings to Brandon Sanderson, our current fantasy genre has been so shaped by Christian authors that I think the vast majority of readers won't mind. Do you know anything about the demographics of your current platform that indicates they might be gravely offended by fantasy?

I think there's a separate question here (that I people more experienced at marketing than I am can advise on): does it make sense to start another pen name so that you can build a tighter brand around the fantasy books?

I've been pondering this second question myself because I have one fiction project that deals with Christian content but none of my others do - I've decided to use one pen name because I think that the presence of the Christian work will send an appropriate signal about the (clean) content of the stories I have planned in other genres.


Offline RRodriguez

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 03:16:27 PM »
I think it largely depends on your audience. Christians run a HUGE range in tastes and preferences, so I think it's impossible to really say. If you're typically writing for very strict Christians, then fantasy might be out of bounds. If your audience is younger or more open to other ideologies, then fantasy should be no problem.

For what it's worth, I consider myself religious and I write almost exclusively fantasy. 
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Offline Jena H

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 03:53:27 PM »
Honestly, I don't see why there would be any conflict.  As long as you don't write about satanic creatures stalking people of faith, or evil demonic warlords taking over Earth.  (Although even those things could be done, theoretically.)

Authors write in different genres all the time without any negative repercussions.   Plus, as others have noted, some very well-received fantasy authors have been strongly Christian as well.
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Offline Christopher Bunn

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 04:01:36 PM »
I'm a Christian and I write fantasy. My stories aren't specifically written to evangelize; rather, they're simply written from my worldview--that there's good and evil, that morality has a large hand in an individual's choices/their character arc, that certain things are worth fighting and dying for, the value of family, courage, self-sacrifice, that one can fall into darkness and still be redeemed, etc.

I don't try to overtly push those things in my stories, but they naturally work themselves into the characters and their choices, because that's what I believe about how the world works, whether it's here in California or in my created land of Tormay.

Regardless of how you write, whether with an implicit Christian worldview or with an explicit Christian worldview, there will be readers. And, regardless of how you write, even if you write about a monosyllabic bug living at the bottom of a coal mine with no other characters in the book at all, some people will still be offended.

Online Lauriejoyeltahs

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 04:09:17 PM »
I'm a Christian and I read fantasy all the time. Are you afraid your audience just won't translate or that they'll be offended?

I guess maybe both. I read both genres myself but know more than a few people who think it's a bad influence so...

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2017, 04:19:30 PM »
From the Inklings to Brandon Sanderson, our current fantasy genre has been so shaped by Christian authors that I think the vast majority of readers won't mind. Do you know anything about the demographics of your current platform that indicates they might be gravely offended by fantasy?

I think there's a separate question here (that I people more experienced at marketing than I am can advise on): does it make sense to start another pen name so that you can build a tighter brand around the fantasy books?

I've been pondering this second question myself because I have one fiction project that deals with Christian content but none of my others do - I've decided to use one pen name because I think that the presence of the Christian work will send an appropriate signal about the (clean) content of the stories I have planned in other genres.


I think your second question almost bears as much merit as mine does.

As far as offending people, my current work possibly could but probably no more so than Hsrry potter or something written by Morgan Rice. I built my world around five (some magically inclined) races created by a superior being. They have different powers and abilities and elemental usage to prevent them from becoming as powerful as their creator.

It's possible to rework it without getting into how the world and races were created, but I would need to rework one my major plot ideas of having the races band together to ultimately remove the creators power.

And perhaps I'm reading too much into it. I did post a poll on my twitter just to see, and it seems my followers are split on the subject.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2017, 04:30:51 PM »
I guess another point of consideration is also that my currrnt following is mostly Christian, so while they may be accepting as a majority (or not), I am not sure how much curb appeal I will have with this new venture. I suppose I could I expect I will need to look for readers almost as hard as if I started a new pen name.

Offline Flay Otters

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 04:50:27 PM »

I think your second question almost bears as much merit as mine does.

As far as offending people, my current work possibly could but probably no more so than Hsrry potter or something written by Morgan Rice. I built my world around five (some magically inclined) races created by a superior being. They have different powers and abilities and elemental usage to prevent them from becoming as powerful as their creator.

It's possible to rework it without getting into how the world and races were created, but I would need to rework one my major plot ideas of having the races band together to ultimately remove the creators power.

And perhaps I'm reading too much into it. I did post a poll on my twitter just to see, and it seems my followers are split on the subject.

Your fantasy plot sounds a bit gnostic, with man striving to be God, rather than finding God through Jesus.
That might be a sticking point for the devout amongst your readers.
It doesn't bother me because my faith, such as it is, does not depend on avoiding suggestions of heresy in a work of fiction.
But I would consider using two different pen names.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 05:19:47 PM »
Your fantasy plot sounds a bit gnostic, with man striving to be God, rather than finding God through Jesus.
That might be a sticking point for the devout amongst your readers.
It doesn't bother me because my faith, such as it is, does not depend on avoiding suggestions of heresy in a work of fiction.
But I would consider using two different pen names.

That's what I thought, thank you for confirming. It wouldn't be impossible to rework and not have a deity, but it would certainly greatly change things.




"Sighs". Where to start with a new pen name. My name is actually laurie jo, I just reworked the last name.

What do you think of  Laurie Jo Bryan or Bryant maybe?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 05:25:53 PM by Lauriejoyeltahs »

Offline Jena H

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 05:33:45 PM »

I think your second question almost bears as much merit as mine does.

As far as offending people, my current work possibly could but probably no more so than Hsrry potter or something written by Morgan Rice. I built my world around five (some magically inclined) races created by a superior being. They have different powers and abilities and elemental usage to prevent them from becoming as powerful as their creator.


So your world has a single "creator," a superior being.  I wouldn't think too many people of faith can find find much to object to in that.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 05:39:51 PM »
Not under my penname, I publish fiction and fantasy that has a sublime Christian message. Nothing overt. Not had a single complaint.

Under my romance/erotica penname, had one book (Captive Couple) disparaged because the primary character gets saved by a cigar-chomping, foul-mouthed chaplain. Comes to Jesus on his knees kind of thing just before a fight.

Got one iffy review on it. Everyone else didn't seem to care.

I don't think you're going to have a problem.

Offline MonkishScribe

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2017, 05:54:58 PM »
Honestly, I don't see why there would be any conflict.  As long as you don't write about satanic creatures stalking people of faith, or evil demonic warlords taking over Earth.  (Although even those things could be done, theoretically.)

Isn't that pretty much what Christians believe is happening already? Why would such things be out of bounds in a fantasy novel?

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2017, 05:50:07 AM »
Quote
. . . there's good and evil, that morality has a large hand in an individual's choices/their character arc, that certain things are worth fighting and dying for, the value of family, courage, self-sacrifice, that one can fall into darkness and still be redeemed, etc.

Funny, but I'm an atheist and this is pretty much what I believe as well, with the caveat that I think it all comes from human nature, not divine/evil influence. Most "morality" comes from humans learning to live together in groups/clans/tribes.

As to the OP's question, there's really no way to know except to try it. There are some religious people who won't touch fantasy, and some who will. You probably have readers of both types. And the worse that could happen? You get some bad reviews, possibly on your religious stuff, possibly end up getting the pen name anyway. Personally, if I had any doubts the fantasy wouldn't go over well with my current readers, I'd just start the pen name anyway.
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Offline Doglover

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2017, 05:54:18 AM »
I don't want to start a big religious argument here, but have a genuine guest Jim

What is a guest Jim?



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Offline Jena H

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2017, 06:05:28 AM »
What is a guest Jim?


Edited.  - Becca

May have been Autocorrect or slippery typing fingers, but I think the it was supposed to be a "genuine question."     8)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 08:20:28 AM by Becca Mills »
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Online Lauriejoyeltahs

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2017, 06:30:14 AM »
What is a guest Jim?


Edited. - Becca

A guess Jim is what my phone derived most likely from me typing genuine question to quickly to spell it appropriately. I should probably refrain from typing anything anyone will see from my phone!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 08:20:54 AM by Becca Mills »

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2017, 07:52:35 AM »
Why not do a test run and just post a sample of the story on your blog? The best way to determine how your readers will react is to actually give them a sample.

However, the bigger concern may not be from Christian readers, but fantasy readers. I'll be the first to admit that I avoid genre books written by authors that I know also publish Christian books, because 90% of the time they are just proselytizing. I've been burned too many times, particularly with post-apocalyptic fiction, that sounded great in the blurb and turned into "If you aren't a Christian you are going to Hell and JESUS SAVES HALLELUIAH."

Not saying YOU are doing that. Just alerting you to the potential problem. There is a lot of pushback in the horror and fantasy communities regarding "bait and switch" from Christian authors.

All that said, however, Christian fantasy is actually an entire sub-genre in and of itself. There is a market for that specific combination. Depending on how, and to whom, you intend to market the book, your existing pen name may be a boon.

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Online Lauriejoyeltahs

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2017, 08:47:32 AM »
Why not do a test run and just post a sample of the story on your blog? The best way to determine how your readers will react is to actually give them a sample.

However, the bigger concern may not be from Christian readers, but fantasy readers. I'll be the first to admit that I avoid genre books written by authors that I know also publish Christian books, because 90% of the time they are just proselytizing. I've been burned too many times, particularly with post-apocalyptic fiction, that sounded great in the blurb and turned into "If you aren't a Christian you are going to Hell and JESUS SAVES HALLELUIAH."

Not saying YOU are doing that. Just alerting you to the potential problem. There is a lot of pushback in the horror and fantasy communities regarding "bait and switch" from Christian authors.

All that said, however, Christian fantasy is actually an entire sub-genre in and of itself. There is a market for that specific combination. Depending on how, and to whom, you intend to market the book, your existing pen name may be a boon.


Well my intentions definitely wouldn't be to evangelize, and my Christian writing really isn't either. My heist Ian writing mostly focus' on life lessons, some im of which would be useful to others and most of which are useful to people who believe like I do. I use have a topic, then go into detail about how something happened or did something that brought about a greater meaning and lesson for me personally on the topic.


My fantasy story would. It have any intentional links to Christianity or any other sort of religion or worship really. My intent with the creator was simply a greater more powerful being- though I am sure this doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

I could post my first chapter ( it's not edited by any means!) if anyone was interested in seeing how they think it might affect things.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2017, 12:26:02 PM »
This is a really tough question. One I've wondered myself, lately. There are a lot of fantasy themes that don't mesh well with the Christian faith. But, it can be done, as C.S. Lewis and many other proved. I think if you study their works, you'll see some themes to help you navigate these rough waters.

One example I can think of is The Chronicles of Narnia. It's a tough write where the natural Earth and Earth rules as we know them are not violated. We're given an alternate land, also made by our Creator for a purpose, where magic is mostly given straight from the Creator in an item or originally designed by Him that way. Witches aren't the good guys and sorcerers aren't either. 

Your story brief sounded on point until the characters were able to overthrow the creator. I see this as a trouble spot for the Christian view. If you believe there is one almighty Creator, then you don't believe His creation can overthrow Him, thus putting God in the light of not all powerful.

You won't lose all of your Christian audience on that, but I can assure you, you will lose quite a few.

If you could capitalize on your current pen name's following without ostracizing a good portion of them, that would be ideal. Perhaps you could have your creator assign a powerful being to their care where they overthrow him instead. And if not, I like the Brandt name, but I'd look into your fantasy genre and see what style of names abound. Pen names can also be a major genre que.

Good luck!!

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2017, 12:35:46 PM »
This is a really tough question. One I've wondered myself, lately. There are a lot of fantasy themes that don't mesh well with the Christian faith. But, it can be done, as C.S. Lewis and many other proved. I think if you study their works, you'll see some themes to help you navigate these rough waters.

One example I can think of is The Chronicles of Narnia. It's a tough write where the natural Earth and Earth rules as we know them are not violated. We're given an alternate land, also made by our Creator for a purpose, where magic is mostly given straight from the Creator in an item or originally designed by Him that way. Witches aren't the good guys and sorcerers aren't either. 

Your story brief sounded on point until the characters were able to overthrow the creator. I see this as a trouble spot for the Christian view. If you believe there is one almighty Creator, then you don't believe His creation can overthrow Him, thus putting God in the light of not all powerful.

You won't lose all of your Christian audience on that, but I can assure you, you will lose quite a few.

If you could capitalize on your current pen name's following without ostracizing a good portion of them, that would be ideal. Perhaps you could have your creator assign a powerful being to their care where they overthrow him instead. And if not, I like the Brandt name, but I'd look into your fantasy genre and see what style of names abound. Pen names can also be a major genre que.

Good luck!!

Your idea to have some other major authority overthrown is a good one. I suppose then my question would be does naming my "creator" something other than God or creator also cause it's own conflict?

The only theme I noticed when browsing best selling author names in fantasy is about half of them use a middle initial, many of them are somewhat plain names while others seem way out there in made up land to me! (No offense I'm just not that talented wth names)

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2017, 12:54:08 PM »
I'm not sure how to say this without being wrong or offending, but I believe Brandon Sanderson is Mormon and writes popular fantasy, and is said to sometimes weave teachings without making it apparent.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2017, 02:25:06 PM »
I'm not sure how to say this without being wrong or offending, but I believe Brandon Sanderson is Mormon and writes popular fantasy, and is said to sometimes weave teachings without making it apparent.
I've never noticed that in his work, so it says something, huh? :) I'm also not sure where the myth of Christians not enjoying fantasy came from. I love fantasy like anyone else. One thing, though, is I won't read anything (in any genre) that seems too dark or glorifies violence. There's a specific popular fantasy author I won't read but that's because I don't think his work is for me, but I know other Christians who read it and love it. So, like anyone else, we Christians are a reasonable people with brains, common sense, and varying tastes. When I first decided to take my writing to the professional level, I struggled with making sure I was creating work that glorified God. But that's with anything I do in my life for the most part and I often don't get it right because I'm a human being.

Everyone has their lines drawn in the sand as to what's right/comfortable for them, whether they are Christian or not. Fantasy is not wrong. It isn't unethical or un-Biblical. My husband and I joke all the time how the Bible has some fantastical moments in it, too (like, the parting of the red sea, or Leviathan). Just write what is within your moral/ethical scope. 

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Offline Jena H

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2017, 02:32:30 PM »
I've never noticed that in his work, so it says something, huh? :) I'm also not sure where the myth of Christians not enjoying fantasy came from. I love fantasy like anyone else. One thing, though, is I won't read anything (in any genre) that seems too dark or glorifies violence. There's a specific popular fantasy author I won't read but that's because I don't think his work is for me, but I know other Christians who read it and love it. So, like anyone else, we Christians are a reasonable people with brains, common sense, and varying tastes. When I first decided to take my writing to the professional level, I struggled with making sure I was creating work that glorified God. But that's with anything I do in my life for the most part and I often don't get it right because I'm a human being.

Everyone has their lines drawn in the sand as to what's right/comfortable for them, whether they are Christian or not. Fantasy is not wrong. It isn't unethical or un-Biblical. My husband and I joke all the time how the Bible has some fantastical moments in it, too (like, the parting of the red sea, or Leviathan). Just write what is within your moral/ethical scope.

I agree with this (bolded part).  In fact, if you replace the word 'Christians' with 'most people,' it's still true.  Whether Christian, or of some other faith, or no specific faith, or no faith at all, most are "reasonable people with brains, common sense, and varying tastes."  In fact, I think someone would have to purposely, intentionally, and deliberately go out of his/her way to actually offend the majority of Christians.  The varying tastes of people (even of the same faith) means that what offends one won't offend two or three others, and what doesn't offend this one could be questionable for that one.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2017, 02:34:19 PM »
Your idea to have some other major authority overthrown is a good one. I suppose then my question would be does naming my "creator" something other than God or creator also cause it's own conflict?

The only theme I noticed when browsing best selling author names in fantasy is about half of them use a middle initial, many of them are somewhat plain names while others seem way out there in made up land to me! (No offense I'm just not that talented wth names)

I can't promise you a right answer on this, but I can give you my answer.  :)

I, personally, am comfortable with books that give God another name IF He still functions as the God I know and acts the same. My reasoning for this is I'm viewing Him from the book's character's point of view. Just as another language might have another name for something. BUT if He doesn't function the same or acts in ways that are not in accordance to the Bible, I will assume this being is clearly not my Creator and probably skip a read that I feel shows God in a poor light.

TL;DR - I don't think using a different name for God would be an issue with a large percentage of Christian readers as long as you keep Him true to character.

This might be more helpful if I let you know I find myself a bit on the stricter side of what the "average" Christian permits.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2017, 02:46:35 PM »
I can't promise you a right answer on this, but I can give you my answer.  :)

I, personally, am comfortable with books that give God another name IF He still functions as the God I know and acts the same. My reasoning for this is I'm viewing Him from the book's character's point of view. Just as another language might have another name for something. BUT if He doesn't function the same or acts in ways that are not in accordance to the Bible, I will assume this being is clearly not my Creator and probably skip a read that I feel shows God in a poor light.

TL;DR - I don't think using a different name for God would be an issue with a large percentage of Christian readers as long as you keep Him true to character.

This might be more helpful if I let you know I find myself a bit on the stricter side of what the "average" Christian permits.
Agreed! This is why my fantasy worlds (one elven, the other human) have one God who is mainly worshiped. But this is also historically accurate with the time periods those worlds are taken from (real world cultures). Using a video game example because I think it's the best one for my purposes (lol), the world of Tamriel has nine gods. Roleplaying in that game my character(s) worship only one: Akatosh. But this isn't the biggest thing for me when reading fantasy or any other genre. If there's needless violence or child abuse or rape, I'm out of there. (GOT *cough* )
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2017, 02:49:33 PM »
Honestly, I don't see why there would be any conflict.  As long as you don't write about satanic creatures stalking people of faith, or evil demonic warlords taking over Earth.  (Although even those things could be done, theoretically.)

Authors write in different genres all the time without any negative repercussions.   Plus, as others have noted, some very well-received fantasy authors have been strongly Christian as well.
This would be okay, too, though, so long as evil isn't glorified. Lords of the Rings is a prime example of this.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2017, 03:48:58 PM »
Thank you all. I think for now I will continue writing and keep all of this in mind. I do especially appreciate the "stricter" point of view, as that was most particularly the ones I was concerned about, with some of the more liberal believers I already thought I would probably be ok.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2017, 03:57:30 PM »
C.S. Lewis, J. R.R.Tolkien. You would be walking in some pretty large Fantasy/Christian footsteps if you go this route. No reason you can't or shouldn't.

CS Lewis especially! As a child, I didn't pick up on it, but the Chronicles of Narnia are full of Christian themes, and his Screwtape Letters are undisguised theological speculation.



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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2017, 04:05:49 PM »
I'm not sure how to say this without being wrong or offending, but I believe Brandon Sanderson is Mormon and writes popular fantasy, and is said to sometimes weave teachings without making it apparent.

Orson Scott Card is also Mormon, and has offended a lot of people in fantasy fandom by speaking out against rights for gays - although I never saw any of that in reading his books.


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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2017, 06:51:27 PM »
Well my daughter is ten (and painfully nosy) and reading on at a ninth grade level. As my husband typically works second shift I juggle my time to write with making sure both of my children get their homework done, bathe and eat something more than cereal for dinner. Later in the evening I make dinner for my husband.

Now my nosy Nora of a daughter decided to read over my shoulder tonight while I was working. It drives me nuts when she does this so I try to do most of my writing after my kids 8:30 bedtime. Well my kids don't have school tomorrow so I thought I'd try to squeeze some time in anyways. She wouldn't leave me alone, so after the fourth or fifth time I told her to just go read it on my phone since pages syncs automatically so that if I have a moment during the day or a note to make I can do it on the fly.

The good/bad news is that it worked. Until she was done reading what I've written so far. Then she spent 15 minutes closing and reopening pages to update my progress. Besides driving me nuts she actually loved it and wanted to know what happens next.

 Am I destined to be a young adult writer then? This certainly wasn't my plan.

It is worth noting she is a very picky reader and won't read but one out of 15 books I offer her.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2017, 08:19:08 PM »
I've never noticed that in his work, so it says something, huh? :) I'm also not sure where the myth of Christians not enjoying fantasy came from. I love fantasy like anyone else. One thing, though, is I won't read anything (in any genre) that seems too dark or glorifies violence. There's a specific popular fantasy author I won't read but that's because I don't think his work is for me, but I know other Christians who read it and love it. So, like anyone else, we Christians are a reasonable people with brains, common sense, and varying tastes. When I first decided to take my writing to the professional level, I struggled with making sure I was creating work that glorified God. But that's with anything I do in my life for the most part and I often don't get it right because I'm a human being.

Everyone has their lines drawn in the sand as to what's right/comfortable for them, whether they are Christian or not. Fantasy is not wrong. It isn't unethical or un-Biblical. My husband and I joke all the time how the Bible has some fantastical moments in it, too (like, the parting of the red sea, or Leviathan). Just write what is within your moral/ethical scope. 



I think the myth stems from the very early Christian outrage at Harry Potter when the first novel went to print in the 90s.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2017, 09:04:16 PM »
I think the myth stems from the very early Christian outrage at Harry Potter when the first novel went to print in the 90s.

I actually know a group in real life that I get along well with as we share most of the same beliefs but even today are the are fanatics about fantasy opening the door to Satan.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2017, 01:36:35 AM »
Orson Scott Card is also Mormon

And Larry Correia and Tracy Hickman.  Plenty of Mormons have been very successful writing SF/F.

Madeline L'Engle and Robert Jordan were/are major figures in fantasy, and they were both Episcopalians.

One of the early big-hitters in fantasy was George MacDonald, and he was a theologian in addition to being a fantasy writer.  From his Wikipedia page, it sounds like he had an interesting childhood:

Quote
MacDonald grew up in the Congregational Church, with an atmosphere of Calvinism. However, MacDonald's family was atypical, with his paternal grandfather a Catholic-born, fiddle-playing, Presbyterian elder; his paternal grandmother an Independent church rebel; his mother was a sister to the Gallic-speaking radical who became Moderator of the disrupting Free Church, while his step-mother, to whom he was also very close, was the daughter of a Celtic Episcopalian minister.

The point of all this is that one's religious beliefs are no bar to writing stories that readers enjoy.  So concentrate on spinning a good yarn, first and foremost, and everything else will sort itself out.  :)
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2017, 05:47:19 AM »
The point of all this is that one's religious beliefs are no bar to writing stories that readers enjoy.  So concentrate on spinning a good yarn, first and foremost, and everything else will sort itself out.  :)
[/quote]

The OP can correct me, but I believe the question was regarding a writer of Christian fiction can also write fantasy under the same pen name, not whether or not a person who happens to be Christian can write fantasy.  People seem to be answering the second question, not the first.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #39 on: May 19, 2017, 06:12:18 AM »

The OP can correct me, but I believe the question was regarding a writer of Christian fiction can also write fantasy under the same pen name, not whether or not a person who happens to be Christian can write fantasy.  People seem to be answering the second question, not the first.

That's what I understood as well, Julie. It was a bit hard to parse with the autocorrect inclusions, but my read of the OP was that her concern was using the same 'pen name' on both "Christian Fiction" and "Fantasy". Would it confuse -- or offend -- readers of one or the other genre.

FWIW, I don't read either genre so I can't speak directly to this situation. I have found mystery writers I quite liked and I do check out books by them even if they're not "Mystery" or "Suspense". Sometimes I try 'em and like 'em; sometimes not. Sometimes I don't bother to try if they're too far afield from my usual preferences.

I don't personally see why "Christian Fiction" and "Fantasy" should have mutually exclusive reader sets but, again, I'm not really in either one. I almost never enjoy Christian Fiction; there are various reasons. I have enjoyed some Fantasy, but it's not a regular thing for me.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #40 on: May 19, 2017, 07:39:41 AM »
Am I destined to be a young adult writer then? This certainly wasn't my plan.

Don't worry, lots of kids read adult novels (I know I was reading Lord of the Rings at ten) and lots of adults read Young Adult novels. It's not about who reads it, it's about the characters, particularly the protagonist, and to some extent the tone and themes. If your MC is a young adult, then you may well be writing Young Adult, if not, then you aren't.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with writing Young Adult if you do end up down that path, and fantasy seems to be the easiest YA subgenre for indies to find success in  :)

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2017, 07:51:24 AM »
Plus, many christian bible stories from the old testament make for great fantasy. My recent short story, Warmache, is loosely based on Isaiah 10:15, and 2 Kings 6.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2017, 08:00:24 AM »

I think your second question almost bears as much merit as mine does.

As far as offending people, my current work possibly could but probably no more so than Hsrry potter or something written by Morgan Rice. I built my world around five (some magically inclined) races created by a superior being. They have different powers and abilities and elemental usage to prevent them from becoming as powerful as their creator.

It's possible to rework it without getting into how the world and races were created, but I would need to rework one my major plot ideas of having the races band together to ultimately remove the creators power.

And perhaps I'm reading too much into it. I did post a poll on my twitter just to see, and it seems my followers are split on the subject.

I'm a lay reader at my church. I went to Catholic school. And I'm a professional soldier, with multiple tours; it's true that there's no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole. My wife attended a private Christian university. My faith is very important to me.

I write fantasy.

More to the point, I write boob-swinging, nuts-adjusting, testosterone-fueled fantasy thrillers with a drunken, vengeful protagonist and the sporadic Faerie threesome. I don't see a dichotomy in being a good Christian and also writing fantasy -- or fiction in general -- that doesn't hold to Christian values. In fact, I think you'd throw the entire suspension of disbelief right out the window if you built a fantasy society that believes exactly what Christians believe. (In point of fact, I don't understand why fantasy worlds have gods at all. In a world where magic is commonplace, why would people turn to an invisible sky-being to explain the impossible? What is faith without miracles, and what are gods without faith? Take your time; I'll wait.)

Now, would I want the vestry or the youth group to choose my work as the Book of the Month? No. Would they? Dear Lord, I hope not. But having your followers/friends not be your target demographic and having them get offended by your work are two different things.

I actually know a group in real life that I get along well with as we share most of the same beliefs but even today are the are fanatics about fantasy opening the door to Satan.

I believe that if you're not offending someone, you're not making art. (If you're offending everyone, though, then maybe it's time for an azimuth check.) Also, it has been my experience that the types of Christians who get offended by books are the ones who are the most worth offending. Write what you're going to write. This is art.

Edit: If I do go to hell for writing fantasy, then it means all the good bands will be there.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2017, 08:20:50 AM »
Plus, many christian bible stories from the old testament make for great fantasy. My recent short story, Warmache, is loosely based on Isaiah 10:15, and 2 Kings 6.
I know! Husband and I joke all the time about the Bible being a fantasy book:

- rise dead bones in a field
-Ezekiel being whirled off to heaven in a chariot
- the heavens parting and God's Entourage of spheres (spaceship looking things) with angels floating from the sky

I could go on! And yes, I think one can write Christian fiction and fantasy under the same name. You can offend anyone, of faith or not, with anything.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2017, 08:23:09 AM »
In a world where magic is commonplace, why would people turn to an invisible sky-being to explain the impossible? What is faith without miracles, and what are gods without faith? Take your time; I'll wait.)

I guess my reasoning in writing that way, is that I personally always want to know more. How did this magical realm/world come into existence. Was it meteors clashing together, did something create it, was it random atoms? How did the people obtain magic? Where does the power derive from? How is it learned, sustained etc. It wasn't really a worshiping question for me as more of this is how it happened and why.

Edit: If I do go to hell for writing fantasy, then it means all the good bands will be there.

Lol'd. Sounds like my justification for tattoos to someone, generally speaking I agree with most of their moral beliefs, however when I got a tattoo on the back of my neck last summer with the heartbeat thing and the phrase "Gods not dead" they told me I was going to hell for desecrating Gods body. I try to stay away from arguments like this because generally speaking the other persons mind is not going to be changed. I just know the reference to tattoos in the bible is generally misunderstood as they were talking about tattooing or marking the dead. I personally can't find any reference to tattooing a live person. Ultimately I don't think God is going to say "sorry I can't let you in because you believed in me and got a tattoo that glorified my name." I have been known to be wrong in the past, but I do not think this is one of those factors that is going to ultimately make that determination.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2017, 08:27:01 AM »
I guess my reasoning in writing that way, is that I personally always want to know more. How did this magical realm/world come into existence. Was it meteors clashing together, did something create it, was it random atoms? How did the people obtain magic? Where does the power derive from? How is it learned, sustained etc. It wasn't really a worshiping question for me as more of this is how it happened and why.

The only place that gods play a role in my world is in the creation myths, but they're so ancient that they're considered folklore. I was referring to the misguided trope that you can't have a functional society without a centralized religion that people hold to. They don't have gods that they pray to. They go to Mike, the local wizard, when they need someone to make things go their way.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2017, 08:29:49 AM »
I have tattoos. My husband is covered in them. Many devoted Christians we know have tattoos. Jesus did away with the old law. Have them read Romans. BUT...to not get carried away on theology, can you do a new pen name more for practical purposes? Will the fantasy be YA or adult? If you're reaching a different audience then it might be worth it to consider a new pen.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2017, 08:38:45 AM »
I have tattoos. My husband is covered in them. Many devoted Christians we know have tattoos. Jesus did away with the old law. Have them read Romans. BUT...to not get carried away on theology, can you do a new pen name more for practical purposes? Will the fantasy be YA or adult? If you're reaching a different audience then it might be worth it to consider a new pen.

I already posted this, but I have pasted it below and edited it some as I'm not really sure! I thought I was writing something along the lines of what I enjoy reading. I've been guilty of indulging entirely too many hours into an mmorpg I played when my kids were younger. It started as something I could do while being up with my colicky son all night every night for 2 years, then began an obsession which I have since purged myself from as for me to sit down and think I will play for 20 minutes will turn into 6 hours. Same thing with books. I read a swords and sorcery fantasy series of books last week, that I spent every spare minute I had reading, until I couldn't keep my eyes open. I honestly am looking forward to the release of the next book in the series, though the author says it will likely not come until next year.

Well my daughter is ten (and painfully nosy) and reading on at a ninth grade level. As my husband typically works second shift I juggle my time to write with making sure both of my children get their homework done, bathe and eat something more than cereal for dinner. Later in the evening I make dinner for my husband.

Now my nosy Nora of a daughter decided to read over my shoulder tonight while I was working. It drives me nuts when she does this so I try to do most of my writing after my kids 8:30 bedtime. Well my kids don't have school tomorrow so I thought I'd try to squeeze some time in anyways. She wouldn't leave me alone, so after the fourth or fifth time I told her to just go read it on my phone since pages syncs automatically so that if I have a moment during the day or a note to make I can do it on the fly.

The good/bad news is that it worked. Until she was done reading what I've written so far. Then she spent 15 minutes closing and reopening pages to update my progress. Besides driving me nuts she actually loved it and wanted to know what happens next.

 Am I destined to be a young adult writer then? This certainly wasn't my plan. I did some google searches on the differences between ya and adult fantasy, and it seems to come down to being a simpler language, lower word count, and younger aged characters, generally told in third person. 

I am not any where near having a total word count, though I have enough adventures planned I expect for it end up being several books. I am writing in third person, but I didn't think my language was overly simplistic or overly sophisticated to be honest.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2017, 09:24:54 AM »
And Larry Correia and Tracy Hickman.  Plenty of Mormons have been very successful writing SF/F.

Madeline L'Engle and Robert Jordan were/are major figures in fantasy, and they were both Episcopalians.

One of the early big-hitters in fantasy was George MacDonald, and he was a theologian in addition to being a fantasy writer.  From his Wikipedia page, it sounds like he had an interesting childhood:

The point of all this is that one's religious beliefs are no bar to writing stories that readers enjoy.  So concentrate on spinning a good yarn, first and foremost, and everything else will sort itself out.  :)

And of course the progenitor of contemporary 'high fantasy', Tolkien, was a devout Catholic. His catholicism was one of the influences in C.S. Lewis converting to Christianity. That Lewis never embraced Catholicism specifically was a persistent, albeit minor, rift in their friendship.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2017, 12:41:34 PM »
Don't worry, lots of kids read adult novels (I know I was reading Lord of the Rings at ten) and lots of adults read Young Adult novels. It's not about who reads it, it's about the characters, particularly the protagonist, and to some extent the tone and themes. If your MC is a young adult, then you may well be writing Young Adult, if not, then you aren't.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with writing Young Adult if you do end up down that path, and fantasy seems to be the easiest YA subgenre for indies to find success in  :)

I missed this post earlier! That is a very good point, while I probably shouldn't have,  I read my moms Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts books starting at age 12. They certainly were not written for that age !

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2017, 12:54:50 PM »
Also, it has been my experience that the types of Christians who get offended by books are the ones who are the most worth offending.

Agree, but best done in a way they don't quite grasp.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #51 on: May 19, 2017, 01:21:53 PM »
OP: so long as you're comfortable and right with God over your decision, that's all that matters. So, take your time and consider where to go from here. It's the best advice I can give you. Hugs!
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2017, 02:28:20 PM »
You might be interested in reading "So You Want to Be A Wizard?" It's a series. It's about youths/children. And it's absolutely full of Christian themes. But it has magic. And in a couple of books, they go planet hopping (which was fascinating, actually). Oh, and it's not trying to convert anyone, either. Good books, good stories.

As to your original question, if you're writing Christian fiction and fantasy under the same pen name, I think there is some expectation that it will be relatively clean, and that it will adhere to some basics. Like, for example, it's okay to have a powerful being that others are trying to overthrow. But I wouldn't imply that being is the one true god. I'd indicate that being was a subordinate, a different race, or some being that the one true god (who might not even be in your book) had given free will to. Or something like that. That's pretty much how I read Tolkien's creation myths in the Simarillion.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2017, 03:08:31 PM »
I personally think you should just make a new pen name and separate the genres since they have widely different audiences in general.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2017, 03:46:04 PM »
I did some google searches on the differences between ya and adult fantasy, and it seems to come down to being a simpler language, lower word count, and younger aged characters, generally told in third person. 

I am not any where near having a total word count, though I have enough adventures planned I expect for it end up being several books. I am writing in third person, but I didn't think my language was overly simplistic or overly sophisticated to be honest.

I hope it's ok that I keep picking out the comments on YA - I write YA and often see misunderstandings about it, so it's a topic of interest to me :) If I'm not being helpful, then feel free to tell me you're wanting to keep the conversation focused on the fantasy aspect.

I'm not sure where the third person thing came from, as I would say YA has a higher instance of first person than most other genres (in fact, someone just commented on this in the first v third thread, and I'm in complete agreement). Having said that, there's no problem with writing third. As for lower word count - from what I understand, this used to be enforced by trad but is less and less the case. (Twilight was 120k and isn't epic fantasy or generally regarded by readers to be a doorstopper or anything.)

When it comes to simpler language, I think that's totally up to you and not a necessity, especially since, as an indie, the majority of readers will actually be adults and reading on devices that make looking up words, etc really easy.

Which just leaves the younger-aged characters. That's why I mentioned your protagonist's age in my last post - it seems to be the single consistent/agreed upon aspect that makes something YA. Usually there are also some sort of coming of age themes.

I would suggest that you also consider your content. While there is variance in the genre as to how 'clean' it is, this is an area where I think you're likely to run foul of reviewers and potentially miss your audience if it has graphic...well, pretty much anything :)

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2017, 04:00:43 PM »
I hope it's ok that I keep picking out the comments on YA - I write YA and often see misunderstandings about it, so it's a topic of interest to me :) If I'm not being helpful, then feel free to tell me you're wanting to keep the conversation focused on the fantasy aspect.

I'm not sure where the third person thing came from, as I would say YA has a higher instance of first person than most other genres (in fact, someone just commented on this in the first v third thread, and I'm in complete agreement). Having said that, there's no problem with writing third. As for lower word count - from what I understand, this used to be enforced by trad but is less and less the case. (Twilight was 120k and isn't epic fantasy or generally regarded by readers to be a doorstopper or anything.)

When it comes to simpler language, I think that's totally up to you and not a necessity, especially since, as an indie, the majority of readers will actually be adults and reading on devices that make looking up words, etc really easy.

Which just leaves the younger-aged characters. That's why I mentioned your protagonist's age in my last post - it seems to be the single consistent/agreed upon aspect that makes something YA. Usually there are also some sort of coming of age themes.

I would suggest that you also consider your content. While there is variance in the genre as to how 'clean' it is, this is an area where I think you're likely to run foul of reviewers and potentially miss your audience if it has graphic...well, pretty much anything :)

Your quite alight, I've always considered myself an avid reader, but its only been the last few months that I have really noticed exactly how many genres exist today.  I googled ya just for the purpose of I wasn't really sure what made a book a ya book versus an adult book. My main characters are youngish, 20-30s, but I do have other supporting characters that are much older. I don't have intentions of getting into anything incredibly graphic but I suppose that could change and also be a matter of opinion. I almost wonder if when I am finished, or even before I am if I should try to find some readers to tell me what age group they think it would best be read by.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2017, 05:35:36 PM »
Your quite alight, I've always considered myself an avid reader, but its only been the last few months that I have really noticed exactly how many genres exist today.  I googled ya just for the purpose of I wasn't really sure what made a book a ya book versus an adult book. My main characters are youngish, 20-30s, but I do have other supporting characters that are much older. I don't have intentions of getting into anything incredibly graphic but I suppose that could change and also be a matter of opinion. I almost wonder if when I am finished, or even before I am if I should try to find some readers to tell me what age group they think it would best be read by.

20-30s aren't YA, I'm afraid. You'd need more like 15-18 year olds for that. (Although it's ok to have older supporting characters!) I think a lot of people get confused by this since it's a different age range than is considered 'young adult' in real life (in real life it means 18-30 year olds, in YA as a genre it's more like high school age.)

It's not so much the age group of who reads it that's relevant (as indies, since we mainly sell ebooks to people with credit cards, we're almost certainly going to have mainly adult readers). But if it's a YA read (and they feel it's sufficiently clean) the adult readers will pass it on to their daughters/granddaughters (this is often mentioned in reviews). I think a lot of people like being able to share the reading experience in that way. And lots of adults like the themes and tone and feel of YA books.

Characters in their 20s might fit into New Adult, but New Adult is a much newer and much narrower genre than YA. (YA is a parent category that pretty much has all the other categories under it - i.e. you can have YA fantasy, YA horror, YA contemp romance, etc, but this doesn't seem to be the case with NA. From what I can see, and if I'm wrong hopefully a NA writer can correct me, it's basically YA romance without the content restrictions and often with a college setting.)

In the interests of simpler marketing once you've finished, it's probably a good idea to try to lock down your target market during the process rather than after you've finished :)

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2017, 06:00:45 PM »
In the interests of simpler marketing once you've finished, it's probably a good idea to try to lock down your target market during the process rather than after you've finished :)

That is most certainly true! Gosh I feel like such a newb with all of this genre stuff!

Technically speaking, as I am not very far into the actual writing ( just a few chapters) most of this is still just planning/plotting, and some as I go, I haven't really given the ages yet of the characters so much as I have said "young", "elder of their kind" and the such.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 06:02:43 PM by Lauriejoyeltahs »

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2017, 06:06:10 PM »
I think CJ Brightley has an interesting write-up on the subject of noblebright, clean and Christian Fantasy over on her blog. The discussion of noblebright Fantasy is really interesting - I'm sure there are writers on this board who can tell you a lot more about it than me, but CJ writes about it here.

I'd like to echo the poster who mentioned David Gemmell - his Christianity never appears directly in his writing, but his beliefs informed what he wrote, in a non-dogmatic way.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2017, 10:29:00 PM »
I'm going to chime in with my opinion. This is long, but I feel like writing, and have writer's block on my WIP. So I'll just put down everything:)

I started out totally ignorant of genre when I self published a Christian novel and have kinda' sorta' tried to figure it all out after the fact. So here's my take.

First off, about pen names. It's hard to take readers with you to a new genre. Most of them won't be interested simply because they aren't interested in fantasy. To be honest, I don't think it makes much difference whether you use a pen name or not. Those of your current followers who like fantasy will follow you. One or two might try the new book because they like you. Most won't. You will have to find a new audience for the book, regardless of what the author name is. That can be a good thing! But also feels discouraging I'm sure. If you do go with a pen name, you can still mention the new book to your old readers.

regarding Christianity and fantasy:
 I'm a Christian of a pretty conservative stripe. I lost interest in Harry Potter after seeing a reference in one of the movies to reading tea leaves - too close to witchcraft to me, which is pretty clearly forbidden in the Bible. I haven't watched any of the movies after that. I know Christians who rave about Harry Potter though. I assume most Christians simply don't know enough about witchcraft, (and I know very little), to recognize what's there. But I only read two of the books, so my opinion on HP isn't worth much.

I do enjoy some fantasy, Tolkein and Lewis in particular, but haven't read much contemporary Christian fantasy.
You may find that readers who have read Christian fantasy books - and didn't like them - may be put off when they see you have also written Christian books. Some readers are very particular about the least hint of Christianity in their books and will not read a book for that reason. If I were you, I would not bother with a pen name and not bother with those readers either. There are some Christian readers who will be thrilled to find a new Christian fantasy title. I'd try to pick up those people instead. But that's just me. I haven't done any market research; just going with my own thoughts about things. If you do hope to market it alongside your Christian books, I would become acquainted with what's typical of Christian fantasy in recent years.

Some Christians will have nothing to do with fantasy, just as some Christians refuse to listen to secular music, but this varies so much in evangelicalism, depending on where you are coming from. I'll go out on a limb and say it is a vocal minority in my experience.

IMHO, in a fantasy novel, the magic is often intrinsic to the characters and the world. (Think of Gandalf and the elves in LOTR. Their magic is just who they are.) It is not manipulation of the powers in our world, or an attempt to possess powers they were not born with. This is more of an appeal to the magic of fairy tales, rather than active witchcraft. I agree that steering clear of obvious witchcraft themes and terms would help you if you want to appeal to a Christian audience.

As I understand it, a lot of Christian fiction does have some kind of divine figure in place in their fantasy world. A while back I saw this book mentioned, [url=http://Cast of Stones]Cast of Stones[/url], and one of the reviewers suggested it handled the theological frame work well, so there's an example to check out. (Sorry, I never did read it myself.)

As far as beings overthrowing their Creator - Sounds more Greek than Christian. The thought that came to my mind was casting a Satan figure as the perceived Creator. He might even be a kind of false god, an evil spirit who has deceived those he claimed to create. (The apostle Paul called it demon worship to sacrifice to idols. And he spent a lot of time talking to Greeks, who were worshiping Zeus, who supposedly overthrew his father...) I think if you subtly planted some seeds of doubt close to the beginning, you know, about who this creator really is, and installed a true Creator in the resolution of the story, it could work really well. But of course not knowing your story idea, this could be totally incompatible with the tale you have in mind. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

I disagree that there are fantasy elements in the Bible, by the way. I consider things like the parting of the Red Sea, not to mention the resurrection of Christ, to be miracles, an act that only God can do, using the powers we know that he has, (giving life, controlling weather, etc.) I consider magic, even in a 'white' or fairy tale sense, to be completely different. Although....C.S. Lewis uses magic as an attribute of Aslan, a sort of stand in for spiritual power, both good and bad. So I guess you could think of it that way. But Lewis's books have a strong allegory component to them, even if it wasn't intended that way. This allegorical model has shaped Christian fantasy quite a bit and may, in fact, be unavoidable. You'd have to study the genre to know.
 
Anyway, good luck with your project. In my writing and my life, I strive to give glory to God. I fall short at times for sure, but that's the goal. I think if you do that to the best of your ability, you can't go too far wrong.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2017, 11:50:09 PM »
God loves, man kills.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2017, 03:19:35 AM »
I would keep it separate. Your fantasy fans probably won't care, but the readers of Christian based fiction might - some of them anyway. Those who do can be quite vocal about it. Better to save yourself the aggravation.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2017, 08:52:37 AM »
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #63 on: May 20, 2017, 09:43:03 AM »
I would keep it separate. Your fantasy fans probably won't care, but the readers of Christian based fiction might - some of them anyway. Those who do can be quite vocal about it. Better to save yourself the aggravation.
See, this is what I'm saying. I know there are other authors who successfully publish under one name but I didn't find that to be the case for me. I write romance...but for two VERY distinct audiences. It just made sense to make up a new name (and honestly, it's kind of fun being incognito).

Also, OP, I came across this article yesterday and thought it might be of some use to you: http://jrsinclair.com/articles/2016/why-christians-should-write-fantasy/

Fantasy fiction (and fiction in general) is a way of communicating with others intellectually via emotions. Placing good messages in your work, ones that honor the Lord, can totally be done writing fantasy. In the past, I struggled with understanding how to balance fantasy and my love for the Lord (which is why I took a mini break and have been writing western bride romance) but it comes down to this: glorify Him not darkness. My fantasy stories are romance. Sex within the context of marriage (but I write clean for the most part), magic that causes more trouble than helps, dark forces that get defeated, etc. So, OP, I extend my private message box if you ever have any questions. I've been writing fantasy much longer than westerns and it's my favorite genre, so I can direct you to some wholesome and clean fantasy books that might be up your alley for study. <3

P.S.
My statement about the Bible having fantastical elements was meant to be lighthearted, same as when my husband jokingly calls his sandals "air Jehovahs". Christian jokes and whatnot. God delights in our joy, does He not? :)
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #64 on: May 20, 2017, 11:57:24 AM »
See, this is what I'm saying. I know there are other authors who successfully publish under one name but I didn't find that to be the case for me. I write romance...but for two VERY distinct audiences. It just made sense to make up a new name (and honestly, it's kind of fun being incognito).

Also, OP, I came across this article yesterday and thought it might be of some use to you: http://jrsinclair.com/articles/2016/why-christians-should-write-fantasy/

Fantasy fiction (and fiction in general) is a way of communicating with others intellectually via emotions. Placing good messages in your work, ones that honor the Lord, can totally be done writing fantasy. In the past, I struggled with understanding how to balance fantasy and my love for the Lord (which is why I took a mini break and have been writing western bride romance) but it comes down to this: glorify Him not darkness. My fantasy stories are romance. Sex within the context of marriage (but I write clean for the most part), magic that causes more trouble than helps, dark forces that get defeated, etc. So, OP, I extend my private message box if you ever have any questions. I've been writing fantasy much longer than westerns and it's my favorite genre, so I can direct you to some wholesome and clean fantasy books that might be up your alley for study. <3

P.S.
My statement about the Bible having fantastical elements was meant to be lighthearted, same as when my husband jokingly calls his sandals "air Jehovahs". Christian jokes and whatnot. God delights in our joy, does He not? :)


Thank I certainly appreciate it and I am sure that I will certainly be in contact !

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #65 on: May 20, 2017, 01:41:16 PM »
Just wanted to add that I didn't mean anything personal to anyone about the fantasy/miracle distinction. Just one of those semantic things that matter to me, if to no one else:)

I'd also like to recommend Mike Duran's blog. www.mikeduran.com He's now focusing on self-publishing for the secular market, but he's written a lot on sci-fi and fantasy in the Christian market and has had a lot of interesting things to say on the subject. At least I think it's interesting. But he may be a little bit of an outsider. As I said, this isn't my genre, so you can take my thoughts with a big grain of salt.

For me personally, I don't have a lot of time and write slow, so a new pen name would be a big deal for me to start and maintain. But you probably have more time to invest in what your doing, and maybe a new pen name suits your needs best.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #66 on: May 20, 2017, 02:09:36 PM »
Very interesting. Christian readers aren't turned off by fantasy in itself. It's more in the content and message the book is conveying.

It's not uncommon for authors expanding out to different genres to use another pen name. Yes, you may be losing the fan base you've built, but if you doubt the fantasy book will have the same appeal to your current readers, then you could potentially be opening the door to negative feedback from those very same people. It all depends on the content of your book. Which author better reflects your own tone? C.S. Lewis or George R. R. Martin? That's the question. If your books are like the "A Song of Fire and Ice" series, with strong language, sexual content, and gratuitous violence, then I'd definitely look into getting a new pen name.

Your novel may be a different genre, but is the ultimate message or underlying tone THAT dissimilar from your previous work? As others have mentioned, Christian writers find great success writing fantasy, because Christian readers LOVE books like "Chronicles of Narnia," "Lord of the Rings," and modern-day young adult fantasy books like Mary Weber's "Storm Siren." If your book falls into this category, then I'd say it's still a safe bet to keep your current name. It's all a question of content.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #67 on: May 20, 2017, 02:12:16 PM »
I know! Husband and I joke all the time about the Bible being a fantasy book:

- rise dead bones in a field
-Ezekiel being whirled off to heaven in a chariot
- the heavens parting and God's Entourage of spheres (spaceship looking things) with angels floating from the sky

I could go on! And yes, I think one can write Christian fiction and fantasy under the same name. You can offend anyone, of faith or not, with anything.


um...that would be Elijah. (2 Kings 2:11)  :D
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #68 on: May 20, 2017, 02:21:58 PM »
One of the best books on the subject of Christian Fiction, IMHO, is Jeff Gerke's The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction: The Complete Guide to Finding Your Story, Honing Your Skills, & Glorifying God in Your Novel. (Note: If you use the Look Inside feature on Amazon, make sure you're viewing the Print edition or all you'll see is the enlarged cover.)


Jeff has been an author and editor of Christian [Speculative] Fiction for years, writing under the name Jefferson Scott. His book is loaded not only with tips on the art and craft of writing in general but ideas like:
  • Writing for an audience of One
  • Understanding your calling as a novelist
  • How to find your story
  • and lots more
Most of the work in his book has been comprised of a huge series of tips on writing Jeff wrote for his own website, so you can check it out before purchasing the book. I'd start there if I were you. Invaluable information.
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Offline Mari Oliver

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #69 on: May 20, 2017, 02:35:20 PM »

um...that would be Elijah. (2 Kings 2:11)  :D
Yes, you're right. I recalled that after I posted it but forgot to change it, lol.
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #70 on: May 20, 2017, 02:56:00 PM »
A lot of information for me take in! I have read Tolkien's books, but honestly I am not very familiar with most of the other mentions. I am going to have to try to squeeze some more reading into my schedule for sure .

Offline Mari Oliver

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #71 on: May 21, 2017, 02:19:21 PM »
Just wanted to add that I didn't mean anything personal to anyone about the fantasy/miracle distinction. Just one of those semantic things that matter to me, if to no one else:)
It matters to me as well. I recognize the clear distinction between the Lord's miracles and fantasy. Saying "if to no one else" basically assumes that I don't take it seriously. That stings. A joke is a joke. And even though I feel slightly insulted, I'm going to let it go.

Anyway, I'm posting this final article for the OP, since I've been reading a lot about this very subject myself lately: http://kingdompen.org/magic-fantasy-and-the-christian-writer/
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #72 on: May 21, 2017, 02:26:07 PM »
It matters to me as well. I recognize the clear distinction between the Lord's miracles and fantasy. Saying "if to no one else" basically assumes that I don't take it seriously. That stings. A joke is a joke. And even though I feel slightly insulted, I'm going to let it go.

Anyway, I'm posting this final article for the OP, since I've been reading a lot about this very subject myself lately: http://kingdompen.org/magic-fantasy-and-the-christian-writer/

Thank you! You have been so extremely helpful- I don't want to try to justify my writing, but rather find a way to do it that will stay true to what I believe, without it coming across as being an attempt to evangelize or push my beliefs onto anyone else.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #73 on: May 21, 2017, 02:36:28 PM »
You're welcome! I totally understand your position because the last thing I want to be is preachy. But writing fiction is so powerful and our words have impact. Just a good thing to be aware of and remember. <3
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #74 on: May 21, 2017, 02:45:00 PM »
Interesting question:

Let me give you a look from the other perspective.
As an atheist, I don't read fantasy or write it. Anything that includes magic gets an auto-decline from me.

But I don't see the problem with having both under the same pen-name. Perhaps the one audience feeds into the other.

There is a common thread through both: belief in the supernatural. Don't get offended at that, it was not intended that way. So choose whatever other words you want to characterize it, but from my perspective it seems there is a possible crossover link.

Then I expect you will want to look at the number of fantasy writers that are/were believers. The author of the Narnia stories for example. There are a significant number of them that have been very successful in fantasy.

Some of them even sneak in their religion into the stories, although I have this only on second hand knowledge.

I wish you all the luck in making the best decision for you as a writer and as a person.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #75 on: May 22, 2017, 05:37:03 AM »
This has been a great thread with some thoughtful answers.  To me, this is entirely about marketing. Start by asking who your readers are.  Might they be likely to cross over to fantasy?  One way to check is to go to Goodreads, find readers who have left 5-star glowing reviews, and see what else they are reading.  Is it varied? Or, is it niche? Can you write the fantasy series in a way that would appeal to them? Is there anything in their social profiles to indicate they might be offended?

I'm facing the same dilemma right now. The audience for my better-selling series is primarily older women who read Appalachian/Southern stories (very small niche). The series itself has horror and fantasy elements set against a folksy background. [It took a LONG time to figure out who my target audience was and how to market to them. I can't count the number of covers and aborted marketing attempts I went through.]

My next novel is a near-future, post-apocalyptic hard-science story about artificial intelligence. Even though the themes still fit with the rest of my work, it definitely won't appeal to my primary readers (zero crossover). Intellectually, I agree with the conventional wisdom that it would be best to market this under a new pen name.

However... Like you, I am annoyed by the need to establish a third pen-name when I can't adequately market or write for the two I already have (that pesky full time job!). I don't think I can support marketing a third pen-name effectively in my available time. I don't have a huge following anyway and my readers will not be offended (they'll just wait for the next piece of Southern fiction). Realistically, do you have the time to market another pen name? Can you juggle the needs of each? How likely will it be that you'll continue writing under the new pen-name after these two novels are done? If the fantasy novel is successful, would you continue writing fantasy? I am struggling with the answers to these questions myself honestly. I've seen many posts from full time writers who are consolidating their works under one name -- which confirms my suspicions about the problems that crop up when trying to juggle too many things. [The best answer, of course, is stick to one genre -- but I just can't help myself!]

Best of luck and thank you for asking this question. It triggered some introspection and insight into my own dilemma. The thoughtful answers in this thread are a perfect example of why I love Kboards.


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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #76 on: May 22, 2017, 06:35:13 AM »
This has been a great thread with some thoughtful answers.  To me, this is entirely about marketing. Start by asking who your readers are.  Might they be likely to cross over to fantasy?  One way to check is to go to Goodreads, find readers who have left 5-star glowing reviews, and see what else they are reading.  Is it varied? Or, is it niche? Can you write the fantasy series in a way that would appeal to them? Is there anything in their social profiles to indicate they might be offended?

I'm facing the same dilemma right now. The audience for my better-selling series is primarily older women who read Appalachian/Southern stories (very small niche). The series itself has horror and fantasy elements set against a folksy background. [It took a LONG time to figure out who my target audience was and how to market to them. I can't count the number of covers and aborted marketing attempts I went through.]

My next novel is a near-future, post-apocalyptic hard-science story about artificial intelligence. Even though the themes still fit with the rest of my work, it definitely won't appeal to my primary readers (zero crossover). Intellectually, I agree with the conventional wisdom that it would be best to market this under a new pen name.

However... Like you, I am annoyed by the need to establish a third pen-name when I can't adequately market or write for the two I already have (that pesky full time job!). I don't think I can support marketing a third pen-name effectively in my available time. I don't have a huge following anyway and my readers will not be offended (they'll just wait for the next piece of Southern fiction). Realistically, do you have the time to market another pen name? Can you juggle the needs of each? How likely will it be that you'll continue writing under the new pen-name after these two novels are done? If the fantasy novel is successful, would you continue writing fantasy? I am struggling with the answers to these questions myself honestly. I've seen many posts from full time writers who are consolidating their works under one name -- which confirms my suspicions about the problems that crop up when trying to juggle too many things. [The best answer, of course, is stick to one genre -- but I just can't help myself!]

Best of luck and thank you for asking this question. It triggered some introspection and insight into my own dilemma. The thoughtful answers in this thread are a perfect example of why I love Kboards.

I love it too, wasting way to much time... nosing around in other writers business mostly. I wish I had found these forums sooner instead of just a few weeks ago. Most of the random weird questions I have I type in the search bar here instead of google now, lol and don't need to search nearly as hard for a relative answer.

Honestly, I think other than the blog in my current pen name, most of my writing under it will fall off. I wasn't exactly a huge success, but I'm one of those that are absolutely tickled to see $5.00 a month come in, because I did pour my heart and soul into what I was writing-I just didn't think about whether or not it was a book readers "needed" to start with. It was a book I needed!

So as far as managing I will probably have less trouble than most. I am not on facebook because of an agreement my husband and I have. I only have twitter/instagram in my pen name, and my blog post are.. sporadic. Usually one every 2 weeks, but sometimes more often, but definitely as I feel led. I do spend a fair amount of time, "vetting" who I follow on twitter, to make sure they aren't spewing porn (or drugs or idk other questionable behavior) out their eye holes, because I don't want to have the appearance of being overly accepting even though I most certainly do not want to appear judgment either-its not my job to tell you what you should or shouldn't its my job to love you anyways and if I disapprove pray for you.

So I think for me its doable. I don't know how much cross over I would or wouldn't have. I did poll my 6700 twitter followers- I didn't have many responses but only 40% thought it was an acceptable practice.

I think if I try to use my current pen name I may inadvertently end up skewing my story and try to make my writing match my current market instead of writing the story I want to tell for the market that will ultimately be the most productive.

-not 100% sure that makes senses. I guess I am trying to say that while I still will be trying to hold true to my beliefs and morals I am afraid that with the current name I will be trying to uphold to unrealistic (whether they truly exist or exist in my mind ) expectations of the readers/fan base.


Offline Drakon

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #77 on: May 22, 2017, 06:56:12 AM »
How to write Christian-influenced fantasy without being preachy and turning people off? Great question.

The first 3 STAR WARS movies did a fantastic job of this. And look how enthusiastically the public responded!

I think the initial Star Wars success (the remakes were crap) indicates that the public is starved for spirituality. Spirituality which highlights the powerful Divinity of Man as given by the Creator (`The FORCE').

On the other hand with over 2,000 novels on my two kindles I am constantly shocked by the constant use of `Jesus Christ' as an epithet! And I don't even go to church.

Ironic that we are tiptoeing around `Christianity' in Fantasy when `Jesus' name is so rampantly used as an epithet in modern fiction. Like its required. Even scifi ALIENS use His name in vain! Heh. What do outer space aliens have to do with Christianity?

Bottom line - No one wants to be preached to. Myself included. It's demeaning. Yet many (Christian) writers are fantastical spiritual people with huge imaginations. Many of us feel a `calling' to write about spirituality. Otherwise what's the point? The writing just becomes empty because there's no heart in it. For me anyway. 

So the trick and the difficulty is to present Christianity vs - `The Dark Side' in challenging, imaginative ways that do not insult the reader's intelligence or background.

I am grappling with this problem too. Changing my author name doesn't strike me as a solution. The real challenge is in igniting the reader's sense of inspiration and imagination like George Lucas did with Star Wars. I am very interested in people's posts on this subject.

 
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 08:29:03 AM by Drakon »


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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #78 on: May 22, 2017, 07:29:30 AM »
How to write Christian-influenced fantasy without being preachy and turning people off? Great question.

The first 3 STAR WARS movies did a fantastic job of this. And look how enthusiastically the public responded!

Star Wars was influenced by the work of Joseph Campbell and Eastern spiritualism, not Christianity.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #79 on: May 22, 2017, 07:50:00 AM »
Star Wars was influenced by the work of Joseph Campbell and Eastern spiritualism, not Christianity.
Absolutely. Still, they share a common theme. But then most traditional fantasy shares the same good-v-evil, good triumphs through heroism and sacrifice, etc. One could argue Christian influence. One would be wrong. But hey....  ;D
Overt Christianity in fantasy will usually some across as preachy. Or at least that is what I found to be the case. Most of the vocal complaints came fro the religious nuts claiming that I was perverting their religion. Nevermind that the gods were entirely fictional and I made no reference to God, Jesus, or any other deity aside from those I invented. 

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #80 on: May 22, 2017, 08:25:11 AM »
Star Wars was influenced by the work of Joseph Campbell and Eastern spiritualism, not Christianity.

I'm not denying the truth of your words, but I am curious what makes you so positive that Christianity had no influence on George Lucas writing of the Star Wars movies?

I read an interview in which George Lucas said that he was an avid race car driver on the underground circuit during his teen years. His car was struck by another car and flipped over. At that moment Lucas experienced what he described as `The Force' intervened and saved his life. However he was seriously injured and spent time in the hospital. Lucas gave up racing after that accident.

Whether Lucas prayed to God or Jesus when his car was flipping over, he didn't say. But the point is that Lucas' car accident was a highly formative experience that you don't get from reading Joseph Campbell.   

Lucas' experience with The Force rang a bell with me bec I had a somewhat similar experience at age 15. My horse ran away with me. Charged into a busy street, slipped and fell down in the middle of traffic. It all happened in a flash but that flash will stay with me forever.

As my horse was galloping toward that busy street and I was desperately trying to turn or stop him, I prayed to God to save my life. Up to that point I had never prayed before in my life. I vowed that if God would save me I would never forget Him.

This strange sensation that I can only describe as an invisible force field descended over me.

That moment when my horse hit the paved road and began to slide, it was literally as if we were sliding through water. Cars moved aside or stopped like waves in slow motion. My horse fell down. I hit the pavement, but I never felt a thing. No impact. 

I remember hands lifting me up, brushing me off, checking for injuries. My legs were scratched where the horse had pinned me on the pavement. The horse's legs were also scratched but he was okay. It should have been way worse. We walked home.

That accident aroused a vast sense of curiosity and wonder in me. What was THAT?

Since then I studied and practiced Hinduism, Buddhism and Sufism, although I still consider myself a Christian. But it was the accident, the experience that was the vital turning point in my outlook on God/spirituality. 

This happened years before Star Wars was made.





   

« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 08:46:41 AM by Drakon »


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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #81 on: May 22, 2017, 11:48:02 AM »
I'm not denying the truth of your words, but I am curious what makes you so positive that Christianity had no influence on George Lucas writing of the Star Wars movies?

Because Lucas has given a million and five interviews over the decades regarding the inspiration of Star Wars. Regardless of how you may want to force-feed your own Christian-based perspective into the equation, I take the creator at his word. There are scholarly papers and books on the subject as well where both Lucas and Campbell have discussed the spiritualism of Star Wars. Campbell discussed the entire thing himself in Bill Moyer's The Power of Myth. The mythic archetypes in Star Wars PRE-DATE Christianity by a few thousand years. To even IMPLY that Star Wars is built on Christian belief in the face of overwhelming documentation is insulting. The implication, whether you intend it or not, is that Christianity is the "true" belief and everything copies it, when the reality is that Christianity is built on the mythopoetic cultures that came before it. Even the concept of the crucifixion is not original to Christianity (God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism)

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #82 on: May 22, 2017, 12:00:19 PM »
I actually know a group in real life that I get along well with as we share most of the same beliefs but even today are the are fanatics about fantasy opening the door to Satan.

I think autocorrect may be giving him a better foothold than fantasy novels.  ;)

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #83 on: May 22, 2017, 12:02:56 PM »
Because Lucas has given a million and five interviews over the decades regarding the inspiration of Star Wars. Regardless of how you may want to force-feed your own Christian-based perspective into the equation, I take the creator at his word. There are scholarly papers and books on the subject as well where both Lucas and Campbell have discussed the spiritualism of Star Wars. Campbell discussed the entire thing himself in Bill Moyer's The Power of Myth. The mythic archetypes in Star Wars PRE-DATE Christianity by a few thousand years. To even IMPLY that Star Wars is built on Christian belief in the face of overwhelming documentation is insulting. The implication, whether you intend it or not, is that Christianity is the "true" belief and everything copies it, when the reality is that Christianity is built on the mythopoetic cultures that came before it. Even the concept of the crucifixion is not original to Christianity (God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism)

While I will decline to interject myself into this disagreement as I have no knowledge of it other than I have seen all but the most recent star wars movie, I will point out this is exactly the kind of argument I do not want to find myself in over my writing. If you take away something from my writing that speaks to you in a "God" way great, but other wise  I do not personally want to "force feed" anyone anything in either direction.

~~ Once again not sure I make sense but there's my two cents!

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #84 on: May 22, 2017, 12:56:21 PM »
Because Lucas has given a million and five interviews over the decades regarding the inspiration of Star Wars. Regardless of how you may want to force-feed your own Christian-based perspective into the equation, I take the creator at his word.

There are scholarly papers and books on the subject as well where both Lucas and Campbell have discussed the spiritualism of Star Wars. Campbell discussed the entire thing himself in Bill Moyer's The Power of Myth. The mythic archetypes in Star Wars PRE-DATE Christianity by a few thousand years. To even IMPLY that Star Wars is built on Christian belief in the face of overwhelming documentation is insulting. The implication, whether you intend it or not, is that Christianity is the "true" belief and everything copies it, when the reality is that Christianity is built on the mythopoetic cultures that came before it. Even the concept of the crucifixion is not original to Christianity (God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism)

But what about Lucas `miraculous' survival of his teenage racing accident that changed his life?

With regard to Star Wars - The Force - I was referring to God - is God not part of Christianity? How better to describe God? Most people agree he's not a guy with a long white beard sitting up in heaven somewhere.

As far as getting involved in the foundations of Christianity, I have made it part of my life's work to study ancient history. Have toured numerous ancient sites around the world including the pyramids in Egypt. Always I am looking for answers in the stone.

My Horse Lords Series is set in 513BC. In it I delve into detail about ancient religions in Southern Europe, Russia and the Middle East. With the exception of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism, most ancient religions practiced blood sacrifice.

When a king dies the Scythians sacrifice 50 young men and 50 of the most beautiful horses - Herodotus

WHY? How did these sorcerers exert such a powerful hold on ancient people that they felt compelled to sacrifice humans and animals to `the gods'? 

If you look at the European tribes they virtually all practiced human and animal sacrifice. That ended with Christianity.

But be that as it may, I'm not here to argue about the foundations of Christianity. Like any other movement or religion Christianity EVOLVED from other belief systems. The Bible makes that clear.

Crucifixion was a common practice. The Romans crucified Spartacus along with thousands of his followers. So what's with that?

I am interested in writing Spiritual/Christian beliefs in a way that people will feel inspired, not `force fed'.

The first 3 Star Wars movies did a great job of making spirituality palatable by introducing the concept that humans have the power to connect with The FORCE/`GOD'. This concept has been a recurring theme in my life and in my books. 

If you want to discuss it more feel free to message me.


   
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 01:08:04 PM by Drakon »


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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #85 on: May 22, 2017, 01:58:53 PM »
But what about Lucas `miraculous' survival of his teenage racing accident that changed his life?

As he has never, ever, in any interview I ever saw or anything I ever read, made any mention of how a racing accident influenced Star Wars, his miraculous survival is not remotely relevant to anything. That is YOU projecting your beliefs, not evidence on Christian influence on Star Wars. Just stop. This thread wasn't even about that. The OP wanted to know if she should use the same pen name for both Christian fiction and fantasy fiction. Then it derailed into people talking about fantasy writers who happened to be Christian (which is not remotely what she was asking). And then you mentioned Star Wars was "Christian fantasy" which is so fundamentally wrong as to be out there in "Alternative facts" territory and I corrected you based on Lucas' own words and the volumes and volumes of literature that has been written on the subject.

I take my Star Wars pretty seriously (points at avatar). If anyone on these boards knows SW, it is me.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #86 on: May 22, 2017, 02:08:13 PM »
Ok...there are Christians who won't read fantasy but still celebrate Christmas, which has pagan roots. Just saying. Please don't hate me, it's history. Even Paul mentions in the Bible that in the end times, Christians will say "don't eat this" or "you should do that" (I believe circumcision was the issue at hand that he was talking about). God knows our hearts, and that's what matters. So long as we, Christians, don't glorify things that aren't of the Lord in our writing, that's what counts. I mean, Narnia and Middle Earth are beloved and they were written by Christians. So...I don't understand why fantasy is such a big deal. Like anything, use discernment. I better shut up and go write now.  :P
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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #87 on: Yesterday at 06:14:24 AM »
There are always those who have stricter beliefs than others. Some Christians think fantasy is the devil. Some enjoy fantasy.

An inspirational book isn't inspirational if it doesn't break the norm. A reader who reads a "safe" book using a "safe" trope doesn't learn anything. "Change the names, I've read this lesson before."

To be truly inspirational, your challenge needs to be different. I tend towards edgy, skirting real issues people face, rather than using a cookie-cutter for my books. I've written across the spectrum, though I have yet to write a strictly "Christian" category book. But I do insert moral challenges into my books - and I'm a naughty romance writer.

The best bet to break your inspiration into a genre is to read the top books of that genre. Bend their tropes a bit, but not too far, or you risk alienating your customers.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #88 on: Yesterday at 06:21:23 PM »
While I will decline to interject myself into this disagreement as I have no knowledge of it other than I have seen all but the most recent star wars movie, I will point out this is exactly the kind of argument I do not want to find myself in over my writing. If you take away something from my writing that speaks to you in a "God" way great, but other wise  I do not personally want to "force feed" anyone anything in either direction.

~~ Once again not sure I make sense but there's my two cents!

I write spiritual, which is not religious based. My novel series has a spiritual main character, so there is a spiritual basis to my Space Opera. And the final ending shows how a spiritual based solution is better than a military one. Quite a few people have commented that having a spiritual underside to military action makes it much more believable for them, and straight military sci-fi lacks any moral or ethic underpinning, for them.

I get the odd review mentioning "religious crap" and "preaching", but on the whole, the mixture is liked by a lot of people, and has also been the way some people find their spiritual side, since the whole thing is put in SO language, where they dont understand the spiritual language.

So if you feel you can write any form of religious fantasy, I'd say go right ahead. But just understand it wont please the religiously close minded, and it wont please the fantasy people who are not into religion. But you may find a niche, and gain fans who like the mixture of both, the same as I have.

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Re: Christian authors as fantasy authors?
« Reply #89 on: Yesterday at 06:26:22 PM »
I write spiritual, which is not religious based. My novel series has a spiritual main character, so there is a spiritual basis to my Space Opera. And the final ending shows how a spiritual based solution is better than a military one. Quite a few people have commented that having a spiritual underside to military action makes it much more believable for them, and straight military sci-fi lacks any moral or ethic underpinning, for them.

I get the odd review mentioning "religious crap" and "preaching", but on the whole, the mixture is liked by a lot of people, and has also been the way some people find their spiritual side, since the whole thing is put in SO language, where they dont understand the spiritual language.

So if you feel you can write any form of religious fantasy, I'd say go right ahead. But just understand it wont please the religiously close minded, and it wont please the fantasy people who are not into religion. But you may find a niche, and gain fans who like the mixture of both, the same as I have.

That is very true. I am glad  you have found a way to balance your work to please you and your readers!

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