I read a blog recently where the writer asked why do Christians read fiction. Is it to escape the real world? To go to times in the past or future where life wasn’t so difficult? There are probably as many reasons why Christians read fiction as there are Christians.
His question led me to ask myself why do I write Christian fiction. First, and most important, I write Christian fiction because God has called me to write, I cannot not write. And, I cannot not write fiction.
Devotions, bible studies, inspirational books, memoirs, poetry, songs, articles, even blogs, are like wearing clothes that are too tight. I admire those who do write in those areas. They have gifts and talents with words I don’t have.
For me, answering God’s call means telling stories. But they have to be stories with a purpose beyond mere entertainment. And this is where my faith interacts with my writing. My faith informs and drives my writing as I try to take what God has shown me and put it on paper.
Yes, I do write to entertain, to give my reader a good story. Perhaps it helps them to escape as they enter my story world and experience the lives of my characters.
But I also write to give my readers hope through reading how Christians cope with the hardships and problems of life. I strive to give my heroes and heroines Christian world views, people who try to live by Christian standards, people who trust God. At the same time, they are people just like us. They have flaws, quirks, attitudes, and pasts that make them less than perfect.
I want to show my characters as real people my reader can identify with. So, at times, my heroes and heroines will struggle with God and their faith because of what happens to them in the story. They will be angry with him. In my current project, my heroine struggles with God through the whole story, unable to forgive him for something that happened in her childhood, unable to understand how other characters can pray to him.
Underneath my stories are themes that I hope resonate with my readers. Themes that will give them hope and insight they can take into their own lives. Themes that will minister to them. In my first novel, Journey to Riverbend, the themes are reconciliation, restoration, and forgiveness. Other themes in the story are integrity and the importance of keeping your word.
My prayer for all my stories is that they not only entertain but that they also minister to and uplift my readers by showing them characters who live as the reader does, characters who are real and show the hope that comes from believing in God.