1. Tim Frankovich says:

    Thanks for this. After years of supporting Christian fiction, I suddenly find myself having written a “general market” fantasy novel…

  2. Lisa says:

    Agree whole-heartedly with this. We need both. In particular, we need both, assuming they both hold to high literary standards. I’m afraid this is where “Christian fiction” has fallen down often in the past, and it’s one of the reasons why I’m not a big fan of Christian fiction. Not because I object to the genre or the intent (why can’t Christians have stories that explore topics and themes specifically relevant to them?) but because too many of them are not not well written. And yes, that can be true of secular market fiction as well, but it bugs me more with Christian fiction, it seems. I guess because Christian art in general used to be the best. Now too often it settles for being derivative and kitschy.

  3. Alexander Preston says:

    I would second this. The impression I get from many writers in contemporary Christian fiction is that they start from the premise of “God gave me this story” and use it as an excuse to circumvent many essential steps in the writing process. The result is usually a cliched plot, predictable characters, excessive fast-paced events and a tone of almost weepy sentimentality. There are exceptions, of course, particularly with “stars” such as Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker (though the sentimentality is still strong with the latter), but it seems that quality is becoming more and more of an issue with the rise of self-publishing (not that I have anything against self-published authors – I speak as one myself).

    For these reasons, I’m also more drawn to the general market (both in my choice of reading material and in my own writing). In my view, we need a lot more Christian authors today writing in the vein of Tolkien and Dostoevsky, both of home imbued their works with their own most deeply held values and beliefs even though they did not consciously write for a “Christian Fiction” market (in their time it did not yet exist). The Christian fiction market itself could be improved by more writers emulating classical precursors like John Milton – not by producing exact duplicates of “Paradise Lost” but by undertaking works of similar scope and complexity.

What do you think?