As a Christian, writing about faith in my WIP’s and shorter pieces can be a challenge. There was a time in my life when I strictly wrote Christian fiction and wanted to be known as a Christian novelist. My main characters would be Christians or would end up as believers by the end of the novel. There would be a great, evangelical message and sinner’s prayers, numerous Bible verses, speeches, prophetic dreams, etc. It took me a long time to realize that I wasn’t meant to write for the Christian market. I couldn’t. No matter how “baptized” my WIP’s were, the quality of the story was poor and the characters weren’t realistic.
Life is not black and white, its full of shades of grey. I try to write respectfully about faith and God, but I also try to be realistic about it. I never want to take Christ or God the Father lightly. But it takes all types to make a world. Writing about one kind of person – or one group of people – again and again, fitting a story to certain generic formula strips a WIP of all its creative potential. God didn’t make us all the same; we are all made in His Image, yet we are all unique and special. Therefore we shouldn’t write our stories or our characters in the same repetitive way.
While some of my characters are professing Christians, others are atheists, agnostics, pagan – some are straight, others are gay, some are nice and others aren’t. I’ve written about Protestants, Catholics, Jewish people who find themselves at odds with God – some do make their peace with God, others don’t. I think there must be a way for a Christian to write for the mainstream markets, create stories of substance, touch on subjects that are usually off-limits to Christians, and still bring glory to God.
If there isn’t a way, then we’ll just have to make a way ourselves.