Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A moving target

Tonight I was discussing the recent phenomenon of large, secular publishing houses buying up smaller, Christian houses in order to cash in on the lucrative Christian market. We talked about the dangers inherent in this practice. He said a couple things I thought were rather interesting.

We talked about how some publishers had as a goal not so much Christian writing as that which would appeal to the average reader in the Bible Belt, reflecting the morals of mid-west America. He likened this to trying to hit a moving target. Because our morals and social mores change with time (what is acceptable now wouldn't have been acceptable 50, 20, or even 10 years ago in some cases,) it makes reflecting those mores difficult at best.

Also up for discussion was the idea that if these publishing conglomerates move away from the Christian roots in their "inspirational" lines, will that raise up new, smaller, conservative houses to fill that need?

This dovetailed with a discussion on The Writer's View about overdoing the 'Christianese' in Christian writing. I've read with interest the posts there, and have come to the conclusion God calls his children to a variety of styles, voices, and target audiences in Christian writing. For some, their books are targeted to the lost, the unchurched, or the fallen away. Others write for those who are believers, who want their faith affirmed in what they read, who want to know there are other folks out there that think like they do. Is one better than the other? I don't think so. I think an author should know her audience, her voice, and her calling and write accordingly.

For me, I fall into the latter group of writers who write primarily to tell stories that affirm a believer's faith. I try to show spiritual growth in my characters, and I do have some unbelieving characters who come to Christ because of, or sometimes in spite of, the Christian characters around them.

On another note, I turned in the proposal packet and first three chapters of my newest novel "8 Seconds to Love" to my agent. We'll see what he says.

I've started writing note cards out for the next novel. I'm trying to incorporate some "breakout" techniques up front, hoping this will make the rewriting easier.

Only a few days until we go on our vacation/research trip for this novel. I have scenes crashing through my head. I can't wait to see the places where these scenes will unfold in the novel. I'm in the process of getting to know my characters. Like meeting new friends.



  1. The amount of time you put into researching your stories shows. Settings, voices, actions are so vivid.

    Have a safe trip and enjoy the journey. I can't wait to hear all about it when you return.

  2. I wondered, too, if there will be smaller houses keeping the more conservative books out there. There are so many "levels" of Christian readers out there, each wanting to adhere to their own convictions in regards to what they read. Interesting discussion!

    By the way, congratulations on getting your proposal sent off:)

  3. I think you are so right about different callings. The key is to actually kow what yours is. I think some people write just to write and don't really know their purpose or audience.

    I can't wait to meet your new characters! I hope you've had a fun weekend.