I loved our discussion on ‘what’ to write and how much realism should go into books. You all brought up such GREAT points!
I think there are two key lessons here:
1.) Don’t judge.
God is the only one that can truly judge someones heart. If you don’t feel comfortable reading an author’s books, then don’t. But what I’ll never do is sit here on this blog and give you a list of books NOT to read. That one is between you and God, and I’ll not pretend to be Him by advising as such. Also, I’ll won’t give a ‘bad’ review, especially regarding content of a book. Now, I may critique the writing a bit, but you’ll very rarely find me telling you about a book that I thought had bad (aka unChristian) content. I may refer to it generically, but I’ll never reference it by name/author.
I DO think there are books out there, mostly mainstream but maybe even some CBA, that lead astray or glorify Satan in a blatant way. I won’t harp or force my views down your throat, but I DO reserve the right to give an opinion on those every once in a while. An example would be Harry Potter. I know many many Christians read and love. I don’t judge you for that, but don’t be shocked if I express my dislike for series. Just as a forewarning:-) I’ll never intentionally draw a debate on the subject either, because again, your reading pleasures are between you and the Big Guy.
2.) Everyone has preferences, and we are each entitled to our own opinion.
I said that I read almost 100% Christian fiction, with few exceptions. This is a personal preference, and one I’m entitled to. Many of you said you read very little if any Christian fiction, and for you, that’s great! That is your preference, and in no way do I wish to belittle that (although I do think you’re missing out on a lot of good books!!)
How wonderful is it that God has created us as unique individuals! If we were all the same, this world would be a boring place. I LOVE romance novels (just got done reading A Bride most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist… LOVED IT!!!) but I care very little for Sci-Fi. Many others love the Amish fiction, but I’ve never really been partial to it. Still other’s get lost in the historicals, and others in fanciful literary fiction.
Some Christian writers feel called to write allegories for the ABA market that will speak and draw people closer to God while entertaining as well. I applaud their efforts and pray for their upmost success. But for those who choose to write in the CBA, it is well known that we are writing mostly for other Christians, because, that is who our market is. This is what God has called me to do. Obviously the goal is to show the unsaved Jesus love, and should an unbeliever pick up one of my books someday, I pray they will read the message of love and hope I so carefully intertwine, but my main goal, purpose if you will, is to entertain and spur on those who are running this race with me. I want to help that Christian Mom who needs a much needed break from her kids by allowing her to get lost in a really good story. I want that working woman who likes to read during her lunches to get encouraged and give her a little laugh before she closes the book and puts her nose back to the grindstone. I want to encourage that college student that has so many pressures coming at her from all sides by giving her a story that shows someone overcoming those pressures and gives her hope.
It’s called my market, which is Christian women 20-40 years of age who like a romance that will make them smile and will also encourage their walk with God.
But as much as I write for my market, more than that, I write for my Savior who loves me, who has great plans for me and my writing, who knows all about my heart, my desires, my dreams. That’s who I REALLY write for.
So… what about you? Who do YOU write for? Who is your market?