June 22, 2011

The Main Thing

I recently saw a t-shirt that said "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing" and it got me thinking. As a Christian writer of speculative fiction, there are some 'main things', some key issues that I consider extremely important:

- Putting God first; He is the One who called me to write, and the calling must not become more important to me than the Caller Himself is. (Exodus 20:3)

- Glorifying God with my writing; crafting stories that reveal His character to readers in creative, memorable ways. (I Corinthians 10:31 & Ephesians 4:29)

- Keeping Christian fiction distinctly Christian; guarding carefully against the compromises creeping into so many areas of Christian literature today. (Philippians 4:8 & James 1:27)

- Achieving literary excellence; learning to not just tell great stories, but to do it skillfully. (Colossians 3:23)

- Promoting the speculative genres among Christian readers; showing them that fantasy and sci-fi can be used to tell a great story that honors God, just as easily as other, non-spec. genres can. (Man is created in the image of God [Genesis 1:26-27]. God possesses the greatest imagination and creativity in all the universes [Genesis 1].)

- Encouraging and helping other Christian writers who share these values. (Hebrews 3:13 & 10:25)

In my fiction writing, as well as here at the Writer's Lair, these are the goals and standards I try to attain. They are the goals and standards I hope to encourage other writers to strive for. They are the goals and standards that I pray other writers will hold me to, should I ever begin to lose sight of them. "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."
I just wanted to have them 'in print', so to speak, here at The Lair, as a reminder both to me and to others, and so that no one has to question or wonder where I stand. (Romans 1:16)

What is your 'main thing' as a writer?


  1. I don't know what my main thing is yet, but I like what you have to say

  2. Well put, Mary :)
    My main thing is getting the point across in a non-preachy way. I have read some Christian Fantasy where the preachiness makes even me uncomfortable. It's not that what is written is not true, but it's just like it's been slapped on, and is trying too hard. I think that this is what tests our abilities as writers the most: staying true to a Christian worldview, and getting our point across, without it seeming out of place and 'slapped on', so to speak.

  3. Galadriel: Thanks!
    Laura Elizabeth: I agree, preachiness in Christian fiction is definitely a problem. I think the cause is probably that many Christian writers are expecting their books to be read by non-Christians, and they want to be sure to 'get their message across'. Like you said, the message can be presented, but it needs to be done gently and skillfully. And, at the end of the day, the fact is that most non-Christians don't read much overtly Christian fiction anyway.
    Of course, there can be messages and 'lessons' (I hate that word in this context) woven into the story for the Christian readers, but they still need to be presented without preachiness.


What are your thoughts on this post? I'd love to hear your comments, questions, or ideas, even if you don't agree with me. Please be aware that I reserve the right to delete comments that are uncivil or vulgar, however.