Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Few Good Posts

Amazing how a holiday throws a person out of sync...

I came across a few interesting posts last week I wanted to share. Food for thought. I don't necessarily agree 100% with everything, but I'm always up for seeing people think about issues!

I recently found an old internet pal (old being relative on the net...) was blogging regularly about writing. I'd like to introduce you to Athena Grayson, and she has a great post on evaluating your beliefs as a writer, and trying to understand the opposite perception. We all have messages to share in our fiction, and we don't want them to be preachy. If we can see other views a little more, we can work more realistic and rounded characters into our stories. Good stuff - especially since it references The Schwartz!

Mike Duran, the ever-linkable blogger and author, has done it again. Out of his post "Did Flannery O’Connor Write Christian Fiction?" came another provocative post, "On Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain." I encourage everyone to check out the second post especially, but both are instructive and the O'Connor post led to the second one.

Finally, I saw that Novel Journey was announcing some major changes. It seems they are rebranding somewhat to be bigger and better, and are now known as Novel Rocket! It seems the journey gets a boost here - so check out the new swag!

There's always good stuff out there for the writing world (since if we're not writing books, we're writing blogs. Or tweets. Or cereal boxes...) I'll try to keep the best ones coming to your attention.

1 comment:

  1. Flannery O'Connor! <3 (and total high-fives for the shout-out!)

    One of the things I notice in modern genre efforts is the tendency to question our forebears (and when I first wrote that out, I wrote it as "forbears" and I got this great idea about fiction for bears...)--in romance, we do it with Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Georgette Heyer. Because they broke rules we made up long after they'd shuffled off this mortal coil.

    I think the idea of identifying genre as specifically as we like to do nowadays does us a disservice. Identifying a series of traits that label something "Christian fiction" or "romance" or "horror" implies that there's some person or group from "on high" who officially sanctions (or excludes) a book based on a specific set of criteria. While that goes a long way towards helping readers find books they think they'll like, it also warns them away from books that might make them uncomfortable. Part of the way fiction transforms us is by making us uncomfortable enough to become mindful of our worldview. And what's exactly in it. It also leads to a market glutted with somewhat predictable books, which makes it harder for writers to be free to tell the stories that move them and still meet the confines of the genre.

    Looking in from the outside, as it were, limiting Christian fiction does a disservice to the genre's ability to speak to the truths held in a Christian experience that go beyond labels. It can limit (and dare I even suggest pass judgment) on the wide spectrum of experience that is a Christian experience. It happens in romance, too--romance heroines have a set of criteria they must meet, along with double-standards present on several levels when compared to the hero, the stories have a set of points that must be hit or it just doesn't feel like a romance, and deviation from those points can knock a book right out of the genre. And no, there's no committee there, either.

    In both genres, I sense that a lot of people may be missing out on wonderful, transformative reads because they don't fit the confines of the genre.

    It's a fine line to walk between "identifying your tribe" and "putting up a wall around your ghetto." :)