What is Christian Fiction?

13 Comments

I’m a writer of Christian Fiction so it’s in my best interest to promote Christian Fiction as a genre and not just my books. But like so many, you may not completely understand what the genre includes. There are a lot of misconceptions about Christian Fiction.

Many people think Christian Fiction means sweet romances or Amish stories. But that’s only the beginning of what’s available. Do you prefer science fiction; fantasy; suspense; romantic suspense; horror; or literary fiction? As far as I know any genre other than erotica can be found under the umbrella term of Christian Fiction.

Another myth about Christian Fiction is that they are all evangelistic in nature, meaning that the writer’s goal is to convert the reader to Christianity.  There are some that are and they are wonderful books but that’s not the only style out there. Most Christian Fiction books today are written from a Christian worldview.

What’s that mean? It means the spiritual message is more subtle but still there. It’s not an in your face sermon but a sermon shown by the characters thoughts, choices, and actions. Much like real life!

When I started becoming more serious in my Christian faith, I knew my writing needed to change, but the truth was I didn’t have much of an understanding of Christian Fiction. But as a reader and writer of mysteries and suspense novels, I had tired of all the bad language and unnecessary sex scenes that can be found in mainstream books.  For me, my books have clean language, no explicit sex scenes, and characters who are at different points on their spiritual journey. Again, like real life. But my real focus when I write is to write an exciting story that my readers will enjoy.

I am almost positive some of my Jewish and/or nonreligious friends haven’t read my books because they are “Christian” fiction. But I don’t believe my books would offend them. My goal in writing is to entertain my readers, not preach to them. And that’s true for the great majority of writers in the Christian fiction genre.

If you’re looking for more Christian fiction novels, a great resource is http://www.fictionfinder.com/. It’s a free service but you do have to register. You can search a specific genre and find books that match what you like to read.

What’s your thoughts about the genre of Christian Fiction? Should they stick to the more traditional stories or is it a good thing that Christian writers are stretching their wings?

 

13 thoughts on “What is Christian Fiction?

  1. I finally got around to reading this and found it informative and timely. You’re right. For a long time people have thought of Christian fiction as nice bible stories. I have come across readers who are surprised tha tthey can get their favorite genre in Christian fiction. Good article.

  2. One of my most cherished comments on one of my books was from a lady I line dance with. She said, “I didn’t know what to expect, but there’s nothing in the book that would offend.” I want to read & write books that tell about Christians who face real life problems & those who find Christ in the valley. I so agree. I don’t want a sermon. Thanks for sharing today.

  3. Wonderful post, as usual, Lillian. I remember one comment I received on one of my books from a lady that I line dance with was, “I didn’t know what I’d find, but I don’t see anything there that would offend anyone.” I sure appreciated that. I want to read & write books that show real problems faced by Christians or by people who find Christ’s help in the valley. I don’t want to preach or be preached to. Thanks for sharing your thoughts .I agree. I shouldn’t be a sermon.

  4. Thank you, Lillian, for this excellent clarification. I’ll add your URL to the Christian Poets & Writers blog to highlight the article and add here that the book itself technically cannot be “Christian” since it can’t make a decision for Christ. :) To avoid this, I used to call my novels “inspirational romances,” but that doesn’t work as well for, say, inspirational sci-fi or inspirational murder mysteries. Oh, well. Christian Fiction by any name was very popular in the 1980’s and surely needed now as Christian poets and Christian writers present Christian values, Christian characters, and plots aimed to present Christian ways. In every genre, we have endless options to influence others for Christ, the church, forgiveness, loving attitudes, and whatever God puts on our minds to write about or portray. May God bless and guide our writing as our words bring to life all aspects of good in Jesus’ name.

  5. For me there is a quandry if you widen the genre to a broader worldview would you not be writing inspirational fiction? I think inside the genre there is a need for both ends of the spectrum.

    • Thanks BJ. Christian Fiction may not have as large a readership yet, but I believe more people would read it if they understood the dramatic changes that have occured and are still occuring with it.

    • I suppose that’s possible. I use the terms inspriational and Christian fiction interchangeably. But I do know that Christian Fiction has a wide spectrum within the genre itself.

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