Monday, October 20, 2014
Inspirational Fiction--to preach or not to preach
When I started writing inspirational fiction, I struggled most with how to incorporate God into my stories without sounding as though I was preaching. As time passed, I've learned that I don't need to hit my reader over the head with scripture and strong passages of preaching to get my point across. Instead, I've found less is more.
Think about the times when you wanted to share with others what God has done in your life. When my husband and I first started attending church together in the 80s, we were excited and so gun-ho about our choice that we rammed our opinions down others' throats. It didn't go so well. We had to learn to share with grace and share when the opportunity arose because we wanted our friends and family to experience the same joy we were.
I've had the pleasure of critiquing friends' books over the years. When I suggest taking out long passages that preach, I often run into resistance. I try to explain that you can show how God works without adding a pastor in the book who preaches every other page. I often use a pastor as a character in my books but their dialogue is kept real, as though I truly was talking to them.
My goal in writing inspirational fiction is to point others toward God and open doors that might have been kept closed for years. In my debut novel, The Mulligan, I share how trusting God to lead us is better than pounding off on our own. I hope I've showed that truth through my story.We never know who will pick up our books and the last obstacle we want to throw in their path is a book filled with words they can't understand.
Keep your story real.
Has anyone else run into this challenge when writing inspirational fiction? I'd love to hear what you've done.