Genres….. Faith!?

While cruising the library I noticed the little tags taped to the edges of most books: African American, mystery,fantasy,faith, etc… It’s that last one that got me.  I tend to like my religious books in the nonfiction section.  Mainly because Christian fiction tends to be saccharine romance and I don’t do romance.   Although, A Killer Among us by Lynette Eason, kept me on the edge of my seat.  The exception to that is Christmas novellas, but that’s another post. Photo by Nadeeshx Jayawardana


Sorry, I lost track of my point.  Here it is:  What makes a book fall into the the Faith/Inspirational fiction genre?

According to Wikipedia, it is a book that…”celebrates God’s presence in out lives… and where God plays a significant roll in the outcome.”  Ok, that makes since.

Reason: My WIP is a cozy mystery that has a protagonist that is a Christian and therefore has a positive view of church and does bring up the Bible and or God in a positive light, but only on occasion.  My goal wasn’t to write a “Faith” book, it was to write a mystery set in a small town, one that reflected life in a small Southern town.  I have had the WIP read in a critique (not CC), a complaint was the reader felt the Christian references weren’t needed.

I know you can’t please everyone, nor do I want to.  I understand not reading something because you have an aversion to a particular topic, keeping with this topic, I don’t read books with an anti-Christian agenda.  It tends to make me cranky, but if the story is good I have no problem reading a book where the protagonist is not a Christian.  I’d say most books are written with no religious identity at all.  That’s fine.  The flip side is, I don’t like “preachy” Christian fiction.  Have I confused you yet.

My problem is: Do I change it or keep it?  I’m looking at the WIP with an eye toward publication, after I edit the crap out of it with a machete.  Publishing is hard.  Like all writer’s I want to be published.  Yet, being the independent type, part of me says to heck with those who shy away from Christian books.  Be true to the book and the character.  I don’t want to remove imagery from the book that is relevant to showing life in small Southern towns.  It’s just the way it is.  Nor do I want to add a message that’s not there to make it a true, “faith” book.

It’s really early this morning, and I am probably over thinking the issue.  I need more caffeine.

What’s your thought on the issue.


2 thoughts on “Genres….. Faith!?

  1. I must admit that I’m with you. While I like a good ‘sweet’ romance, if any story – no matter the genre – has all the problems solved by a quick prayer to God, I want to throw the book across the room. And that makes it worse because that’s defacing a book. Which is bad.
    If however the character acts and reacts in a manner which is consistent to living a Christian faith, but the story has a basis in reality where not all problems are solved with a ‘yes’ answer to prayer, than I’m more likely to be less violent towards the book in question. The character can even pepper their dialogue with biblical references and quotes, so long as the story doesn’t get bogged down in preachy evangelism.
    If it’s a story…I want a story.
    If I’m looking for a sermon or biblical history I’ll go to church, or the pastor…or like you, the non-fiction area of my local book seller or lender.
    Ultimately, the ‘to-do or not-to-do’ answer is up to you, but I think you’re on the right track with your thoughts…at least how I read them presented in this post.


  2. Hey there! Arriving more than a year too late, but wanted to weigh in because it’s a topic near and dear to me as well. To begin, I am a conservative Christian myself, but I won’t touch a “Faith” movie with a ten-foot pole and only seldom read Christian Fiction unless I’m told it is exceptional (or horror story… which is actually a thing, haha!). Like the above poster, I can’t stand stories to be too preachy OR sacharine. I want them to be realistic. And often a realistic answer to prayer is not the one that is going to get you the drop-dead gorgeous dude or save you from a sinking ship.
    That being said, I am all for people writing Christian characters with a positive and edifying viewpoint of their faith. In fact, it seems almost edgy and controversial to do so nowadays (strange, innit?). So, for that reason, for realism-sake, and for continuity in your setting, I say… darn the topedos–full speed ahead! 😀


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