Congratulations to Keli Gwyn!! You are the winner of a copy of A Jane Austen Devotional! Please email me your address asap! 🙂
Religion and politics. Two of my favorite topics.
Really. I could talk about either one all day long. Add some history in there, another of my favorites, and I’ll bore you to tears. 🙂
As those topics are “taboo” in polite conversation, we all know that there are topics that are somewhat “taboo” in the Christian fiction market.
We all have a general understanding of what those are, so I don’t really want to focus on that.
Instead, I want to pose a question to you writers and to you readers.
Writers: What topic/subject/incident will you not write about?
Readers: What topic/subject/incident do you not want to read about?
Let me give you a little context so that you can better answer these questions.
I’m talking about too painful. Too unimaginable. Too uncomfortable to write or read about.
I read a novel some time ago that I really, really disliked. (Don’t worry–said novel and author shall remain nameless.)
It wasn’t that the story was written badly–it was fine. But I didn’t like the story because of the heroine. She was an idiot. She made me angry. She reacted badly in all situations and for the most part, her bad decisions drove the story, but as a reader, I was supposed to accept her bad decisions because she was a Christian seeking God’s will.
I read the entire book hoping that there would be a moment of epiphany on the heroine’s part when she realized what a moron she was, but no. Instead it ended with everything working out for her, and someone else getting hurt because of her bad choices.
I was left unsatisfied and angry. And although this book was one in a series, I didn’t bother to read the others, and probably won’t read that author again. I couldn’t see myself in this heroine. I couldn’t identify with her choices or thought process. From page one I just wanted to reach into the story and smack her.
Can you tell it left a bad taste in my mouth?
The reason I disliked it so much is that I was supposed to believe that the heroine was committed and hopelessly in love with her husband, but within pages of her husband’s sudden death (mere weeks in the storyline) she’s already thinking of another man in a romantic way. While she’s pregnant with her dead husband’s baby.
Call me insane, but I have a hard time with this topic. Perhaps it’s because I’m happily married to a wonderful man. I can’t imagine another man evoking the same emotions in me, even if something were to happen to my husband. This is a situation I’ve never faced, and one I hope to never face.
Because of that, I find it very difficult to swallow a character who can fall for another so quickly after the sudden death of a spouse.
I can understand it if time as passed (I’m not specifying how much time, just enough that I can believe it’s possible that emotionally the character is able to move on), but I cannot write a character who’s in a Godly, committed relationship (much like my own) who loses a spouse and is able to move on so quickly.
Do these people exist in real life? Sure.
But I can’t write about it. The idea is one I can’t process in my own life, so I can’t write it organically. Just imagining it is too painful. If I’m going to write from a place of authenticity, I’d have to write about a woman who mourned the loss of her husband for a significant period of time and when rediscovering romance, had to process and pray through the ability to move on. (And again, I hope I never, ever have to face this as a reality!!)
And for now, I have not been inspired to write a story that contains such an incident or plot point.
So now that you have the context…
Share with me: Writers: What topic/subject/incident will you not write about? Readers: What topic/subject/incident do you not want to read about?