f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Day 1 of Meaning - Who Is Wise Among You?

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Monday, March 21, 2005

Day 1 of Meaning - Who Is Wise Among You?

One of the hallmarks of Christian fiction is that the protagonist invariably learns a life lesson of some sort. Usually this involves a character either: A) Realizing he needs God in his life or B) Realizing he’d forgotten that he needs God.

Rarely do either of these realizations come out of thin air. Usually they are linked to the plot of the story, often the very theme of the novel. Very often the realizations arrive in one of a few ways.

1.) Character hears a sermon and/or randomly flips Bible open to extremely relevant passage. Words pierce the soul, as the Bible is want to do.

2.) Sub-plot character either living circumstances that mirror or are exact opposite of the main character’s situation. Main character learns from their example or lack-thereof.

3.) Wise person (often older) gives stinging advice in excellently phrased dialogue. The truth in what they say brings characters to reverential silence.

I’m guilty of 1 and 3 in my own writing, so I hope this doesn’t seem like casting of stones. I also thinks it’s a critical topic. When we’re talking about the reality or honestness of a book, this is where many fall apart. Mine do. And I also think the frustration people often have with Christian books stems from these segments. These are often the portions of the novel that seem to have neon signs around them blinking: "MEANINGFUL MOMENT!" and "PAY ATTENTION NOW!"

So let’s talk about the passage of wisdom in our novels. And in novels in general. Most are written with some kind of point/message, so how do some come across as effective while others like a 2x4 to the head.
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Go to Day 2 of Meaning.