Friday, January 15, 2010

Faith in Writing

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the incorporation of faith in writing. I've read several stories from various faith perspectives--some of them were more historical, others more personal. I think it's interesting how our world view can influence our writing. I wouldn't doubt that some (if not most) authors frame characters around their perspectives of right and wrong, even if no particular mention of faith comes up.

As a follower of Christ, I sometimes wonder what place my faith has in my writing. I write largely science fiction and fantasy (mostly fantasy), and it just doesn't often times seem right to shove religion in. I have a deep fear of twisting my faith and turning it into something it isn't. I don't want to vet what I believe to make it fit into the story. I know allegory can be done well, I've seen it done well. I just don't really feel that it's my place right now. I've read The Chronicles of Narnia, and C.S. Lewis I am not. And I really don't want to feel like I'm sucker punching someone with a Bible. If I think that it feels fake, the people reading my stuff certainly will too.

I am a story teller that delights in fiction--the make believe, the unbelieveable, the untrue. I make up false worlds/events in interesting ways. Incorporating what I feel is truth into the made up just often seems strange. I approach fiction in general with the idea that what I am reading is under no circumstances real. I can file it all away in my brain as make believe. So when I start throwing my faith in there, I get uncomfortable. I also don't like feeling preached at when I'm reading fiction, and I have to imagine others feel the same way. If I'm groaning and going "don't give me another goody two shoes message about how doing the right thing is always best" then others are as well. And if I'm just writing a story for fun, it feels irreverent to throw my faith in with it. Like I'm making fun of God. Not really sure he'd be cool with that.

If and when incorporating large parts of my personal beliefs into my writing feels right, I'll do it. But until then, I'll just keep writing stories I find entertaining.

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