Saturday, May 20, 2017

Why I Write Christian Fiction - Update

by Elva Cobb Martin

I wrote the below blog some time ago but feel it's message still needs to be shared. Christian publishers, bookstores, and authors are under more pressure than ever to do whatever it takes to stay in business or to reach more people and sales. Some think watering down or eliminating the Christian emphasis of their books will do the job. What if we just eliminate all Christian "buzz words" that might make someone of another faith uncomfortable? We can still give them an exciting read and a good moral lesson that will fit the beliefs of a lot more than just Christians. So goes the line of thought. Some of you may be struggling with this issue.

So here again, is why I write Christian fiction:

Why I Write Christian Fiction  - posted January, 2016
by Elva Cobb Martin

The beginning of a new year is a good time to remind myself that I am above all a Christian writer, endeavoring to write Christian fiction.
Two opposite worldviews drive fiction today.

Jesus in John 10:10 gives a succinct description of the two "drivers" behind fiction (and life itself).

            "The thief comes not but to steal, kill and destroy. 
          I am come that they may have life and have it more abundantly."

Our son Tim and grandson Samuel, both readers.
I am not writing fiction just to get books published, sold, and give readers an exciting read, although those are goals. A deep desire burns in my heart to see readers, and generations yet to come, find some truth that enlightens, some kernel of God's abundant life that helps them on their way.

This is not the main goal of secular fiction. Christian fiction and secular fiction are divided by two vastly different worldviews. Many believe America has lost her moral compass, so it is more vital than ever that I do everything I can to turn this tide around in my writing (as well as in my lifestyle).

Someone has said worldview can be determined by the answers to three questions:

  • How did we get here and who are we?
  • What went wrong?
  • What can fix it?                                                                                                
The Christian world view short answers would be:
  1. God created the world and made mankind in His image to have dominion.
  2. Adam and Eve sinned and brought condemnation and Satanic rule upon      mankind.   
  3. Sin must be punished but God loved mankind so much He sent Jesus Christ as our substitute to defeat Satan and take our punishment so we could be forgiven and restored to God's original plan.                         
A naturalist worldview would have quite different answers to these questions and secular novels, movies and TV reflect this. This kind of story can steal one's peace and faith in God, tempt into sin, and leave one with a cynical outlook on life and the future. And it's all part of the enemy's deception to keep people in bondage. Truly, two different spirits are inspiring writers today!

In my writing I want to expose the lies and tricks of the devil and show that good does conquer evil, that God's great drama will prevail and believers can confidently look forward to a happy ever after. I want to increase hope, faith and peace in my readers. Otherwise, I'm just not interested in all the hard work it takes to write novels. 

Prayer over my writing is a vital component. I am convinced Father God is interested in getting Christian writing, including fiction, out where it can do some good. So I study, write and rewrite and rewrite some more. ( :

I believe there will always be a great market for Christian fiction because the world is looking for hope.

I think that's a big part of Downton Abbey's success. It is now touted as the best selling series in British TV history. (Sorry, Agatha, Jane Austen and Sherlock.)

Writer Julian Fellowes was asked what he thought has made the series so popular. Here's his answer: "Most of the characters are just decent people trying to do their best with the cards they've been dealt. They are just trying to live a decent life."

Christian writers have much more hope to give for those cards life may deal our characters.

Why do you write fiction? Do you believe God loves good stories that illuminate life more abundantly? Do you think America needs us to keep at it?

Thanks for stopping by and do join the conversation. 

So, the above is still my stand. How do you feel about Christian fiction? If you are a writer, are you tempted to compromise a Christian emphasis "to reach more people" or sales? Do you agree with me there will always be a market for good Christian fiction?

Would love to hear your comments. Click to Tweet Why I write Christian Fiction Update

Elva Cobb Martin is president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (2014-2017). She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried her articles. She has two inspirational novels contracted with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a romantic suspense, available on Amazon. An historical romance,  In a Pirate’s Debt, is slated for release May 30, 2017. Elva is represented by Jim Hart of Hartline Literary. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives with her husband Dwayne and a mini-dachshund Lucy, in Anderson, South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site, her blog on Twitter, on Facebook and Pinterest.