Saturday, May 02, 2009

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday


My Friend Amy, who brought us Book Blogger Appreciation Week has a new carnival in the works, the Faith 'n Fiction Saturday.

Each week she will post a blogging prompt, which participating bloggers will answer on their own blogs. Then they head back to the original post and sign Mister Linky! This way we can all come to know each other more closely.

Today's Topic
Christian fiction is generally known for being clean and non-offensive, but lately there's been a lot of chatter about edgy Christian fiction and the need for Christian fiction to be more realistic. Christian fiction has certainly changed and contains a lot more edge than it used to. This makes some readers uncomfortable and I was wondering what you line is? What would push the envelope too far for a Christian fiction novel for you? Language? Sex? Violence? Main characters who never believe in Jesus?
If you came across something that offended you in a Christian fiction book, how would you handle it?


So far I have not found anything that has really offended me in a Christian fiction book. I LOVE edgy Christian fiction. The edgier, the better. And yes it does tend to irk me when people complain that certain books are too edgy and shouldn't be Christian fiction.

Language = I don't like swear words but i don't mind if they are beeped out. It makes it more real than for a character to make up something. This works very well only when it's a NON Christian talking. A non Christian would not say something like "Holy potatoes!" when they are cursing. If the author wrote Holy ****** it would make more sense and be more true to the story. Something like the potatoes comment immediately makes the scene non realistic. Lately I have been seeing in several CF books, the word ass. To be fair, it was not used in a derogatory way, just a "fancier" way for the derriere. Also when you really think about it ass, damn, and hell are all found in the Bible. I just don't want to see G**d*mn in a Christian fiction book. That would probably draw the line for cursing.

Sex = I don't want to read about the actual act of sex a la a Harlequin novel. I don't want to see it described. But neither do I want to read something like "Sleep was late in coming" or "They gave into temptation". Show the passion! Let people kiss! Let husband and wives show that they love each other!!! I love Julie Lessman and Deeanne Gist's books for showing this. I know there are some conservative readers who feel these books are borderline erotic (I have no idea what their reaction would be to an actual erotic book....women with men who are part fairy and wolf too...whole other post) and should be banned. But honestly these books tell it like how love is. Let characters show passion without the sex.

Violence = I have no problems with violence in books. I just don't want gore.

Main characters who never believe in Jesus = hmm never really thought about this one. well this doesn't really bother me as much. I mean if they are in a series and they eventually come to Christ that's really great and it's wonderful if they do become Christians by the end of the book. But I don't need a conversion scene in every book.

Bascially my guidelines for books are the same as my guidelines for movies. I don't want to read/see books that use heavy cursing (using the F-word), have sex/nudity, or gore. I do mention when I review books though if there is any cursing at all, any thing borderline sexual or how much violence there is in a book. I know that there are people who do care about those things so even if they don't bother me as much, I let others know.

So far the only thing that has ever really bothered me in a CF book is when so called "Christian" characters act like they are better than everyone else and by the end of the book still have not repented or apologized or reformed in any shape or form. Of course by the end of the book it's too late for me to stop reading, but I make it a point not reread the book becaue I know I will get very angry again.

5 comments:

  1. Great answer! - well, we always consider those with which we agree to be wise - lol. But I'm on the same page with you on this subject it seems. Got my answer up at Free Spirit.

    http://tinyurl.com/czljhx

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  2. Thanks for your thoughts Deborah. We're not on the same page when it comes to 'sex' scenes unless it's in a marriage situation. Of course I don't want characters in a Christian book to have absolutely no temptation or romance before they're married. There has to be chemistry.

    But, and this is huge for me, if it's gratuitous, then it's inappropriate for Christian Fiction. For me, that's why I read Christian Fiction. If I wanted something else I'd read secular. I want Christian Fiction to be different. I want to be able to have books in my home that I don't have to be concerned about my daughters reading. Does that make sense? I don't want to see Christian Fiction crossing that line.

    Trust me, to know me is to know I'm no prude and my own life has been far from 'clean'. That's probably why I have such strong opinions on this topic.

    ~Mimi @ Woven by Words

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  3. I totally agree with you. Sex is alive and well on planet earth, and Christian Fiction SHOULD be able to handle it.

    However, I listed a title that went over the edge.

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  4. LOL!!! Holy Potatoes!

    I think everyone misunderstood me. That's what I get for writing it so late at night. I was not saying that I think that real life shouldn't be portrayed...and yes I do have more of a problem with Christians killing people than you do. But some of those comments...gah.

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  5. I guess I'm one of those conservative Christians you mentioned, because I personally feel the books I've read by Deanne Gist have gone too far. The point she was making could have been done without the detail, the emotional detail, she gave.

    The issues she dealt with are real, and yes, passions are real, but in my opinion she crossed the line of trust and took the reader's imagination beyond what would be say - titillating them with impurity. I say this with some hesitation, because I know from a writer's perspective you really want the reader to "get" your message, to empathize with the character and grow. Yet, I felt in her books she could have done that without the details she used. That said, I do appreciate her work. And recognize that she appeals to many people.

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