I have different sets of friends. It’s not that I’ve compartmentalised my life intentionally. It’s just that some of my friends just read books. Others write books. Still others write Christian books.
When I’m talking with my “reader” friends and my “writer” friends about the books we read, we talk about plot structure, character, motivation, conflict, narrative presence, themes.
When I’m viewing my Christian writer friends talk–because I’m more and more often avoiding the conversation since I already participated in it like fifty times already–they are talking about how much “swearing” and sexing they should show in their books.
It’s stupid. Flat out stupid and I’m tired of it. It reminds me of going from the suite in my college dorm (where we talked about ideas and our reactions to the growing complexity of our lives) to a middle school girls’ bathroom where everyone is only worried about their hair, how they look and whether or not the fact that “he said ‘hi'” means he likes them.
IT’S IRRITATING AND IT MAKES ME ANGRY. GROWN-UPS ARE ACTING AS THOUGH THEY ARE ARRESTED AT 12 YEARS OLD.
Looking up “dirty words” in the dictionary and giggling and then sanctimoniously discussing how they are too good to use them or too real not to.
For what it’s worth, I’ve noticed the same attitude among Christians who don’t write. This same “let’s stay in safe Middle School mode instead of moving forward into the complexity of life” attitude. Is it because of the culture of church? Why? I don’t understand it and I’m perilously close to being tired of trying.
We all read a book. We had the opportunity to talk seriously about that book, how it impacted the genre and how it defined the publishing industry that is aimed at believers in Christ. Instead we are beating the dust of a horse that died and decomposed a decade ago.
I’m disgusted and ashamed and really ready to shake the dust from my feet.
Becky Miller wants us to keep trying Christian fiction. I keep the faith with her and do try. But if I have constructive criticism it’s a “trendy beatdown” of the genre. And we leave all constructive criticism from customers aside while we go back to backcombing our bangs in a cloud of AquaNet.