Hot Christians In Print
Christian Fiction is the latest lifeboat for the financially beset [article requires purchase] U.S. publishing industry. This can only mean one of two things. Either we will start seeing quality Christian Fiction in the marketplace, or readers will have to get used to mediocre trade paperbacks with 16pt double-spaced type.
Step into any Christian bookstore or mosey over to the Religious Fiction ghetto in a mainstream bookstore and pick up any random piece of Christian fiction. Ninety percent of the time you will get:
1. Large type
2. Double spacing
3. Low page count
4. Continued story through multiple volumes, requiring seperate purchase.
I haven't figured out if this book design structure is due to the primary demographic skewing older or because there isn't that much book to these books.
If you plan to jump on the bandwagon, here are some suggestions from a Conservative Christian Bibliophile to help you with your writing.
The Thoene Rule Christians aren't generally mentally subnormal as an overall group. We can handle more complex characterizations and plot structures.
The Livingston Hill RuleMost of us are aware of the existence of sex, drinking, card-playing and cable television. Most of us partake of at least two of the four activities at some point in our life. Don't shy away from making your characters real, but please feel free to avoid the word 'tumescent'.
The Jenkins LaHaye Rule If you have one story to tell, try to fit it in one book. I get that your publishers would rather stretch it out to a multi-volume series but readers catch on. It's a shoddy practice and makes your carefully crafted work look simplistic.
The Peretti Rule Please avoid writing a book about the Sins of the Community turning into a tangible beast/serpent/dragon unless you are absolutely certain that you can pull it off. Hint: you can't.
The Holmes Rule Bible characters had interesting lives. Not all of them necessarily require you to rewrite their story in long form.
The Holmes Rule Part II: Rivers Clause It is also not necessary to 'reimagine' Bible characters in a different time period or setting. If you find your outline summary containing the sentence 'It's the story of Abednego, but set on Alpha Centauri' you may want to try again.
I spend thousands of dollars a year on books. In the last five years I have spent a grand total of $32.95 on Christian fiction. I'd like to see more of my money go in this direction, but please meet me halfway. To paraphrase Hank Hill: Make Christianity better. Don't make fiction worse.