The answer to the question “why I write Christin fiction” might seem obvious–I’m a Christian, so that’s what I write. But as there are limitless facets to God, there are limitless reason why He inspires Christians to write Christian fiction.
In the beginning …
When I first tackled writing a novel at eighteen, I made my main character a Christian because I was one. I wanted to honor God with my writing and thought this was the way to do it. Also, I put so much of myself into my main characters that it was difficult for me to write from the POV of someone whose perception of the world was totally different from mine.
I worked on that novel and a novel set in West Virginia for years. I thought I was writing for my Father. I thought I was writing Christian fiction. But not exactly. I didn’t realize this until …
Mt. Zion Ridge Press was looking for stories for their Christmas anthology, and I had only two weeks to write a 5,000-word short story. My previous short story for them had taken two months, and it was only 4,000 words. But I had the inkling of an idea, different from the novels I’d tried to sell over the years, and told my husband I wanted to go for it.
I’ve never experience the Holy Spirit before or since like I did that month. I believe I encountered Him then for a number of reasons, not only to get a story written, because God is the Ultimate Author and extremely efficient in His use of characters, setting, and plot points. But as far as the story is concerned, my writing was different because for the first time I was aware that this was His story. It was a collaboration, and I brought something unique to it because He wanted to work with me, but if I had refused the opportunity, His work would have been done by another writer, who would have brought his or her own unique style to the story.
So the answer to the question is …
I write Christian fiction because, first, I know that’s what my Father wants me to do, and to do that, I have to be aware of Him throughout the process. That doesn’t mean I don’t study the craft of writing and won’t have to grit my teeth as I rewrite a scene ten times. But I have to keep in my mind He’s behind it all.
For example, I just finished a short story that’s an inverse mystery. An inverse mystery is one where the reader sees the criminal commit the crime, and the mystery revolves around how he or she is going to get caught. Episodes of the TV show Columbo are examples of inverse mysteries.
When I first wrote the short story, it just seemed like a clean read, a good mystery anyone could read and a Christian could enjoy without guilt. But as I worked on it, I realized I needed to get the evil main character right, have him reflect evil as it truly is. And the Bible is the place for that kind of research, as well as writings by C.S Lewis.
So although it’s still a clean read and an enjoyable mystery, working with my Father has given the story a depth I hadn’t expected.
So besides being obedient, I write Christian Fiction to know Him better. And since there will never be enough stories to do that, I look forward to our endless collaboration.