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).

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

M y W r i t e r s G r o u p: Revolution: Applied Values

Okay, so I guess I am officially not very spiritual. Because when Mick Silva asked this question on his blog, I gave the least "godly" answer--at least in my opinion. I think it has more to do with how literal I am, though, rather than a lack of spirituality. His premise was that you'd been given a contract by a major Christian publishing company and then were presented with some requests for changes. You were asked this: "They want you to soften every edge and take out whole sections of real, earthy characterization, essential to conveying the depth of the character's redemption at the end (exactly the places you were most worried about)."

So, I said that I'd have several conversations with the editor, but to me, if the pub house is asking you to soften every edge and take out whole sections of real, earthy characterization, what good are you doing yourself or them if you give into the request? Maybe other writers' novels are different, but I am writing my current wip with LOTS of earthy characterization and so many edges it just might prick someone's finger. In fact, along around chapter three, I decided that it wasn't a CBA book at all, and have behaved accordingly.

As I've said on many occasions, I have nothing against writing books that, basically, preach to the choir. I think that's legitimate and I support writers who do it. However, I don't think that's what God wants me doing and, let's face it, you can't talk to the big, old world at large in "Christianese" and expect them to listen. The upshot is a very, er ... earthy book, that seems scandalous and probably is, especially to those notorious CBA-bookstore grandmas. So, that's where I was coming from. I just want to write the book God's given me to write and I don't want it hacked up because I'm not writing their idea of a Christian book. I would rather thank them profusely, gather my manuscript, and move on. I'm hoping somewhere out in the general market world, there's a place for my story and me.

M y W r i t e r s G r o u p: Revolution: Applied Values