Sunday, May 24, 2009

Is it a Christian novel? . . . Then, it's boring. . . Ouch

I was at the church library to get some books for my husband to read to our 6-year-old. My husband had asked for some new books as he was getting tired of the same old same old.
As I looked around, I also thought of our 11 year old twin sons who love a good story.
I ended up with two books in a series of young teen novels for the boys.
When I picked up the twins from their church musical practice after finding the church library books, I told the boys that I had some new novels for them to read.
“Are they Christian books?” one of my twin 5th grade sons asks me.
“Yes, they are from the church library,” I answered.
“Then, I don’t want to read them. Christian novels are boring,” he answered.
“Why do you say that?” I probed.
“Because there is no plot and there is no mystery. The always give all the answers,” he replied like a literary critic.
It did get me thinking about Christian literature and sometimes the moralizing that takes place within those books. Or has in the past.
I have not, I confess, gotten into Christian adult literature for some time as I just have not found the story line in them. Not since I was into Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness and that series. . . I know I have not tried as hard, but to have my 11 year old son say it so honestly made me think about Christian literature and the importance of creating quality art for kids and adults. I know it is getting better and better and I am excited to meet Christian writers and their excitement. I just hate to hear my twins say that they think Christian lit is boring.

I think sometime about the market and how maybe I need to be the one to create quality literature with good morals without the story being moralizing -- and boring.

And keep looking for those who already are.


Warren Baldwin said...

Hadn't thought about it like this, but I can see where an 11 year old would conclude that adult Christian literature, like many sermons, are boring. Good literature keeps us in suspense, right? But there are many of us that would think if Christian lit kept us in suspense, it wasn't giving the answers we need and would therefore be suspect. But, think of the greatest Christian literature you know of - the Bible. It holds in incredible suspense!! What was the final outcome of Solomon's life? Suspense. Did the woman taken in adultery accept Jesus' forgiveness and live differently after that? Did Zaccheus' change of heart last beyond Jesus' visit? We don't know the answer to some of these questions - suspense. You may be the one to write the kind of Christian novel you son would want to read! And I'll read it, too! Good post.

Cornelia Seigneur - WriterMom Ink said...

I was actually referring to Christian teen lit and he naturally assumed it was boring...but you are so right about the Bible and of course that is the greatest book ever and I need to tell him that

Stephanie Reed said...

Sounds like you’ve got a real reader on your hands! I’ve gotten some good reviews for The Light Across the River, and I prefer to write literary novels. Here’s a review from Reader Views:

And if you check out my blog, you have a chance to win a copy of Light next month: Don’t forget to watch the video trailer with your son to see if he likes it.

As for literary Christian novels written for adults, I like W Dale Cramer’s books. Also loved Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon. Good Christian novels are out there! And once we find them, we need to spread the word.

Kristen said...

If you are looking for a exiting Christian novel for your son I have a suggestion. It's called His Edge. It is about a test pilot who survives WWII. It is clean yet thrilling adventure. Check it out and see what you think.

Melanie said...

Great post! I love what Warren said, and I'd definitely read your novel-to-be written - If God was calling you, I think you'd be great at that!

Off to check out Stephanie's links...

I have a 14 yr old who has used the same expressions to me about Christian lit for teens!

pongboy said...

Perhaps the greatest story your children will ever read will be the one YOU write for them! Oh, how precious will your story be! And they will cherish this wonderful gift to their children, and so on.... :)


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