Is God Necessary In Christian Fiction?

August 6th, 2011

book photoWelcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

In Mike Duran’s post How Do We “Glorify God” in Our Writing? I discovered I wasn’t the only person asking if you can write Christian fiction without specifically mentioning God.

As Mike points out, it seems most Christian writers (and I would say most Christians) think you absolutely must include God specifically in a story in order for it to be Christian:

…And, sadly, that’s what many folks mean by glorifying God in their writing. For most Christian writers, glorifying God is all about their message. It means not backing away from the Gospel and not avoiding references to Christ in their novel. It means developing content that is virtuous, redemptive, and spiritually uplifting.

Which leads me to ask: Can only writers of explicit “Christian content” glorify God in their writing?…

IF NOT — if only Christian writers can glorify God in Christian stories — then how can a Christian ever hope to “do all to the glory of God”?

IF SO — if Christians can glorify God in whatever kind of story they write (or task, service, job they perform) — then how is glorifying God in a Christian story any different than glorifying God in a “secular” story?…

This is a question I’ve struggled with for years. I enjoy reading secular fantasy. I’ve tried reading Christian fantasy, but found it lacking (although I really enjoy Christian thrillers like This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti). My natural inclination is to write secular fantasy, but I feel compelled to follow the path writing greats like C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien have blazed. They wrote what they wanted to read because what they wanted wasn’t already abundantly available.

I want to write Christian fiction, specifically fantasy, that I would want to read, which may or may not explicitly mention God. But would it be considered Christian if I don’t get explicit about the Gospel?

So, what do you think? Should writers mention God in order for their work to be considered Christian, or can a Christian writer “glorify God” without getting specific?

 

 

 

Photo by chany14

Are Happy Endings Hopeful Or Just Unrealistic?

August 3rd, 2011

Welcome to Spirit Wednesday where we take a look at all things spiritual from meditation to prayer to cleaning the house. Yes, even house work can be a spiritual experience… if you choose to see it that way.

I like happy endings. At least, I like stories that end with some kind of happy ending. I don’t need all the ends tied up nicely and I don’t need all the characters I fell in love with alive and smiling by the final scene. I do, however, desire some kind of closure and a sense that life is somehow better for the journey.

That being said, I’ve recently read several books that ended abruptly and with a bleak world-view. I’ll admit they were books early on in a series, but I don’t think series are exempt from needing “happy” endings.

Sarah Sawyer asks the same question in her post, Do Happy Endings Present A False Reality? and gives a great answer:

Though tragedies have their place as a literary form, I don’t like books that end without hope, those that are entirely grim and bleak. I don’t expect a story to end with everything packaged neatly and perfect resolution for the protagonists, but I want a hint of hope, of redemption, of change coming–a conclusion that provides unique satisfaction by foreshadowing the ultimate happy ending to come.

What do you think? Are happy endings a thing of the past or do they give us hope?

If Cats Could Talk…

August 1st, 2011

Welcome to Laugh Out Loud Monday (aka LOL Monday): because, like my favorite fat cat, I hate Mondays, I thought, “What better way to start the week than with a laugh?”

I’ve started re-working the first part of my work in progress, Apprentice Cat. It’s been tough, but rewarding. In the spirit of my main character’s nemesis, I’ve chosen a video about what cats really talk about.

What do you think your pets are really saying?

An Office Supplies Addict’s Nightmare

July 30th, 2011

So next weekend is Sales Tax Holiday. That means all school supplies and a number of other things students might need can be purchased without having sales tax added. Woo hoo!

As an office supplies addicted writer it’s like setting a kid free in a toy store and saying, “Get whatever you want.”

I was all set, planning what I would get: spiral notebooks, my favorite pens, paper clips, you name it.

Then my reasonable side kicked in and said, “Maybe you should check to see what you need first.”

Okay, I thought, that’s not a bad idea. I need to decide exactly how many new spirals I need anyway. So I opened my supply closet and…

Aack!

There they were, a pile of empty spiral notebooks. Okay, so no need to get any more of those. What about legal pads? Nope. Got a whole stack of those, too.

Okay, breath. Don’t panic. I’m sure I’m just about out of pens. I write a lot by hand and they often grow little legs and walk away to hide. (Yeah, Tiny Tot loves pens, too.) So I opened my desk drawer and…

Noooo!!!

Not only do I have plenty of pens in every color, I have highlighters galore (both regular ones and those with sticky notes attached) and unopened packages of white out and paper clips. I still have a package of mini sticky notes I purchased a while back and notepads leftover from a Christmas shopping spree.

I don’t need printer paper of any kind because I have stacks of card stock, regular paper and the special heavier weight paper.  I even have a nearly full package of CD-Rs, so no help there.

*Sigh*

I guess this year I won’t be participating in Sales Tax Holiday. No office supplies for me. 🙁

Although DH suggested shopping for clothes. That would be a good idea, I guess, since all my shirts are at least 10 years old and my “fat pants” are now my “skinny jeans.” (Motherhood can do that to ya. 😉 )

It’s not the same as grabbing up a brand new pack of Pentel RSVP fine point black ink pens or a Mead college rule single subject spiral, but it’s better than nothing I suppose.

…Maybe I’ll buy another package of printer paper anyway. You can never have too much, right?

What do you do when you find your office fully stocked?