I want to begin this post by asking you what your favourite works of literature are. Are they classics, or modern fiction? I guarantee that over 90% of readers will say that it’s something by C.S.Lewis or Mark Twain or Charles Dickens. Why doesn’t anyone say that their favourite books are those by modern authors? Because there is no talent anymore.
Christian fiction has become quite dry over the years, and even Peretti’s Monster wasn’t that good, at least by his standards. The Christian fiction market has become dry, and there isn’t a whole lot of talent anymore. The only great piece of modern literature I have read in the last few years is the Shack.
So where has the talent gone? I’ll give another question to clarify: Where has the imagination gone? I was at the Christian book store Koorong yesterday and I decided to browse through the fiction aisle. I saw a lot of Amish novels cluttering most of the wall, leaving only a small, not even metre wide gap for the suspense/thrillers. Why are so many Christian authors writing Amish stories? Yes, there are Amish people, but it’s a small percentage in the modern world. Shouldn’t we be writing fiction that the modern world can relate to? Not everyone relates to the Amish way of life.
So back to the subject on hand. What has happened to all the good Christian fiction? I long for something that reflects true biblical morals, not just something that’s happy-sappy, though there’s nothing wrong with that :) Why are authors writing the same novel over and over again? Maybe they are in it for the money? Maybe they write what appeals to their audiences, but not to them. I’ll write another post on the topic, but if a writer writes something that he/she knows sells well, but something that he/she isn’t connected to, it won’t work. If what you’re writing isn’t a part of you, it won’t work, and your readers will feel the same way because it will feel forced.
That’s one of the reasons the talent in the writing world is falling. Another reason could be that they just aren’t gifted or called in that area. Not everyone is called to write. Some writers want to do it without consent from God, so it ends up being uninspired and formulaic
And then there are some who just don’t have a clue :) But in all seriousness, you need to know how to form a story, and some just don’t know how. A reason could be that it’s just not something they want to do anyway.
As Christians we need to do our best for God’s glory, not sorely for our own and others. “What you eat, what you say, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God!”
As a side not, Christian music doesn’t escape the dryness either. I’ll be writing on Christian music soon and I’ll expand on it a bit more.
So work at the gifts God has given you, and don’t fall pray to doing things half-heartedly and for your own glory. Neither is a sign of true talent.