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Is Christian fiction boring?

A place for general chat (non-writing related). Please keep political discussions to the relevant neighborhood forum.

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pheeweed
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Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby pheeweed » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:59 pm

I used to think Christian fiction was poorly written and boring and mostly romances. My first experience of it was Grace Livingston Hill back in the 60s.

But I've changed my opinion about that (Christian fiction - not GL Hill). A couple of years ago I wrote book reviews for Pix-n-Pens and we were on several blog tours. Some of the books I read were boring and only mediocre. But many of them were fascinating and very well written. I was surprised.

I was also wrong about them mostly being romances (which is a genre I don't like - but that's a topic for another thread). I read historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery and contemporary books that I enjoyed. I read several that I recommended to my daughter for her high school English class. Some were by established writers, but many were by new writers. Some had a fairly overt Christian message and some just had an underlying Christian world view. Some were funny and some were disturbing.

After that experience, I looked back at the early Christian fiction and I've found that there were some good books back then too.

So what do you all think about this?
Phee
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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby violin4jesus » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:47 am

I've read a few good ones, and I have some in my library. I do find a whole lot of them to be terribly formulaic, and preachy, but most of the free stuff I've read is romance, and it follows practically the same pattern every time. Some of the newer non-romance books are really creative and well-written. It just depends.

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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby eaglelion » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:52 am

Hi -

I found your post quite interesting. Thank you for sharing it. I'm not inclined to romance reading but have read a few good Christian fiction books. My reading preferences are mostly non-fiction.

Some people have expressed that, as a whole, Christian movies are boring. I believe that they are getting better. The last engaging Christian movie that I saw was "Courageous." I much enjoyed it.
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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby pheeweed » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:49 pm

Thanks for joining in with your thoughts. I don't watch a lot of movies, but I imagine they have gone through the same growing up that Christian fiction has. I sure hope so, because the last Christian movie I remember seeing is a series about the end times that were made in the 70s. Really awful. :roll:
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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby RedBaron » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:53 pm

My biggest issue is that the bulk of what I've seen on the shelf are Christian romances/Amish novels. It's been ages since I've been in a Christian bookstore, as the one close to us closed, so it may have changed.

Personally, romance novels are boring and predictable and I avoid reading them, except for some that I reviewed. I need something with imagination and creative. I'm a huge SciFi and fantasy fan. There are some good things out there, like Stephen Lawhead, and of course C.S. Lewis. There just isn't enough. One of these days, I need to finish one of my books and get it out there :)
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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby TNrogue » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:11 am

I think it depends on your preferences. I'm a scifi/fantasy fan but that is a hard genre to find in Christian fiction. I've read Ted Dekker's Circle series and I highly recommend that one. Another is the Chiveis Trilogy by Brian Liftin, which is another great series.

I also liked Mark Mynheir's work in dramatic Christian fiction set in a crime novel. As I've looked for other similar books, I've found that there is a very limited selection of books in this genre. It inspired me to write my own novel within this vein.
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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby dub » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:05 pm

May I recommend Alton Gansky's novels ... you won't find any preaching, just some hard hitting mystery novels.
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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby pheeweed » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:32 pm

Shari, I agree with you about romance and Amish novels. And they do seem to be most prevalent in the Christian book stores. But I've found some good ones in the library and on the blog tour.

It's fun to see the books you are all recommending. I can't wait to read them. I'll post my recommendations when I can remember the author's name. (I hate aging.)
Phee
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"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 NLT

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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby yarra » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:01 am

I was interested to see this topic under discussion here on FaithWriters, (where I thought everyone would like Christian novels!) as I have to admit I haven't read many good Christian novels....yet. But, I'm interested to see what people recommend. I have been a bit put off by some poor ones that I've read, or started reading and not finished. I'm sure there are good ones around though, and probably most are available here in Australia too, where the Christian book market is much more limited.

I belong to a secular book group and read various genres which we discuss - some good books, some not. I'd love to see other suggestions of Christian ones that are really worth reading. Ellen

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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby pheeweed » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:26 am

Hi Ellen,
Here are a few of the books that I would recommend to anyone.

The Familiar Stranger by Christina Barry
Defiance Texas Trilogy by Mary E DeMuth
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin
The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey
Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson

I hope you enjoy them.
Phee
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"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 NLT

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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby yarra » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:50 pm

Thank you so much, Phee, for those suggestions. Sorry I've taken a while to reply. I hadn't been looking at the forums for a while. I'll definitely look out for those books and read some of them or maybe all of them, eventually. I really like to have books recommended to me as I know they're likely to be a good read. (Likewise for movies.)
Here in Australia we don't have nearly as many Christian book stores as there are in the US, but we do have many of the same books available.
Thanks again, and Blessings, Ellen

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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby Policeartist » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:57 am

I don't read romances, but I've written a Christian suspense novel that's far from boring. I sold it in a three book deal at auction to HarperCollins Christian. It comes out next August, but I hope you'll take a look at it. Here's the back cover info:
A Cry from the Dust

A secret from a grim page of American history threatens to destroy thousands of lives.

Gwen Marcey was tops in her forensic field. Then cancer struck, her husband left, and her teenage daughter engaged in active rebellion. Gwen's best chance to start a new life was a temporary job in Utah reconstructing faces from an 1857 massacre site.

The Mountain Meadows Interpretative Center asked Gwen to reconstruct the faces of three intact bodies that were discovered from the wagon train massacre of more than 120 people by Mormon fanatics calling themselves Avenging Angels. But just as she is nearing completion on her reconstructions, things around the center turn deadly.

Gwen discovers the ritualized murder of a young college student with a stolen identity and is called on by the local police to use her forensic art skills to aid the investigation. Soon she discovers an uncanny resemblance between one of her reconstructions and the death mask of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church. And realizes that she's the next target of the recreated Avenging Angels who believe she has an icon from the grave.

Gwen must weave through a labyrinth of Mormon history, discovering secret societies and festering grudges in a race against time.

Will she be able to stop another massacre?

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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby david_ian » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:19 am

I started out in my childhood with C.S. Lewis for Fantasy and Sci-Fi, so, amusingly, that was what I thought most of Christian Fiction was all about those genres. I liked the Frank Peretti series when I got older, too.

I wouldn't use the word "boring", but sometimes might not "take a chance" for fear of ruffling feathers in a conservative market.

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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby deejay » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:43 pm

Marcher Lord Press recently launched a new imprint, called Hinterlands, which is a bit more graphic; it's still Christian scifi/fantasy/speculative fiction, though. If the descriptions of the books' contents are anything to go by, I don't think I'd call them boring. I've read a few clips, and it's interesting reading.

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Re: Is Christian fiction boring?

Postby david_ian » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:48 pm

deejay wrote:Marcher Lord Press recently launched a new imprint, called Hinterlands, which is a bit more graphic; it's still Christian scifi/fantasy/speculative fiction, though. If the descriptions of the books' contents are anything to go by, I don't think I'd call them boring. I've read a few clips, and it's interesting reading.


Ooooo! Sounds fun! Might have to go give it a looksee! Thanks for the tip!

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