Monday, October 19, 2015
Bold Messages (Why I Like Them)
I love reading. I love stories. I love characters. I think the simple (yet amazingly complex) idea of writing a novel is really incredible. I mean, how awesome is it that we can use the grey matter in our skulls to come up with a whole world!? Yes. Amazing indeed. ;)
So, the amazing-ness of stories leads to me another point. Messages. Christian fiction should be filled with messages that uplift, encourage, and inspire those walking the Way to keep up the good fight. And sometimes books in this genre are filled with those things...and sometimes they aren't. Sometimes the characters are just Christians, so the book is under the Christian genre. And that's okay, but...
I love finding a book with a bold message. I've been realizing that lately.
Some people think bold messages can be preachy. And they can, especially if they're not well done. But when an author is interweaving a little peace of their raw faith into a story, it can be so amazing.
Take Secret of the Lost Settlement by John Horn, for instance. That book, while making me laugh and cry (both times I've read it), had a bold message. Incredibly bold. Mr. Horn didn't shy away from what he was trying to say...and that's kinda my favorite part about the book. I love that he did that. The duty of warriors and Christians? That's what Horn wrote about. He packed a definite punch! Sure, there's all that action and adventure and suspense that's the norm in a JJH book, but I think John was really trying to focus on the message. And he succeeded. It's a story that's stayed with me long after I've read it.
"There isn't always a good choice and a bad choice, but it's a Christian's duty to make the best choice, even if it hurts. That's the duty of Christians, and the duty of warriors." - Secret of the Lost Settlement
(That quote is basically the book in two sentences!)
And that's what I want to do with the fiction that I'll write. Because I know how lovely it is to be reading and to stumble across a little bit of wisdom from a character, and to see the message of Jesus' undeserved grace playing out in different ways in different fictional people's lives. I want to be touched, to feel the hope within the story.
Another book I want to mention is To Get to You by Joanne Bischof. I recently read this with my family, and we all enjoyed it (review to come!). I really like the message Joanne was weaving. To Get to You is a book about redemption, and grace, and second chances. It's a story of people changing and of God healing broken things.
"...there are some things you can't go back from. You just lay the broken pieces down and then there's grace and it's glue, and in a strange way, you're more whole than before, because this time... This time it's not by your own doing." - Joanne Bischof, To Get to You
That's probably the best quote of the whole book right there! :)
Becoming Nikki had a message I liked, too! It was a story of a broken older brother-little sister relationship mending, and there was this one part where a character is talking about how he wishes he had a sibling. Then he goes on to say how precious those relationships with our brothers and sisters are. And it made me think. It made me want to put more effort into my sibling-relationships.
When I take time to read books, I want to be getting something good out of them, because what you read stays with you for a long time (if not forever!). I want to find encouragement in my faith-walk within the pages of a novel! And that's what I want to do for others with my writing.
What about you? Do you prefer messages boldly intertwined into stories, or more subtle messages that need a little digging to find?