Deep POV: Confessions of a Christian Writer

The ramblings of an emergent-realistic-edgy-working-for-God-and-the-pay-isn’t-that-great-sometimes-confused-christian-fiction writer (uh, that would be me).

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Writing as a Christian

A few days ago on one of the Christian writing groups I belong to there was a discussion about crossing over from the CBA to the ABA. One well-known agent posted a reply that's haunted me. As I understood him, he was saying that once you're a Christian, you have a different mindset and won't be understood in a non-Christian world. And he said, the longer you've been a Christian, the less non-Christian friends you'll have, so how are you going to know how to communicate with "them"? A third point was that as a Christian writer you have a truth you want to communicate.

Going backwards, don't all writers have some truth they want to communicate? Even if you write a book about nothing, kind of like Seinfeld, you're still communicating truth as you see. And even if you don't socialize much with non-Christians, isn't that secular viewpoint on display right in front of your eyes 24/7 via television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, and the Internet?

The first point, though, I wonder about. I am writing for the general market. I made that decision because I kept wanting to go further in my writing than I knew the CBA would allow. Finally, because I was spending too much time worrying about that and not enough time just working on my story, I decided to write for the ABA/secular market. The problem I see and the thing about this agent's e-mail that bothers me, is that I find myself heading into a religious discussion sometimes when I don't need to. Or, I have a Christian character talk too Christian--the kind of language a nonbeliever does not understand. I have a spiritual thread in the story, but it isn't the story--the non-Christian character's journey in understanding his life is the main story. And it isn't as if secular writers never talk about God or speculate on "religious" matters because they do. So, I wonder...