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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Read Christian Fantasy Online - Light on Trite

Reader beware: I've been a little obsessed with a larger book project lately, so the post you are about to read is shameless navel gazing and self-promotion. Enjoy the lint!

"Light on trite." That's a summary of L. L. Barkat's comment on chapters one through four of Into the Mountain, my Entire Book in a Blog.

And isn't our tendency toward trite cliché the big challenge in Christian fiction? How do we write moral tales, avoid immoral descriptions and immoral characters, and still present a truth that is real enough to be honest?

Too much Christian fiction ends up being trite.

We want to avoid pain in our books. It's only natural. The world has enough pain. So why would we create more pain for people to read about?

The reason is simple. If our characters don't work through real pain and suffering, then their redemption will be cheap. And cheap grace only leads to self-righteousness and apathy.

Thanks also to Patrick Borders at Emdashery for inviting his readers to check out EntireBookInaBlog.

Be sure to subscribe to guarantee your chance to read the entire book. (If NavPress asks for the full manuscript, I will stop posting new chapters. UPDATE: NavPress asked to see the second half of the first half of the novel on Tuesday!--um, that would be the second quarter of the novel, I guess.)

If you haven't read much, I'd invite you to start at chapter 1, The Dreams Begin.

Here's a teaser for chapter 6...

“I went to the Iska this morning,” I said. “She took one of my mountain blankets and told me the creation story again.”

“The Iska took a mountain blanket?” Jena looked confused. Looking at my display, she must have realized the reason for my strange folds. My blankets were folded to hide their designs. “How long, Beka?” she asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Are you dreaming?”

“Everyone dreams. Sometimes I dream the traders will steal me away. Sometimes I dream my parents will work again. Sometimes I dream Adam will decide to marry us both. Then at least I would have a friend in my own family.”

Jena rolled her eyes. “You know what I mean, Beka. Are you dreaming about mountains.”

“I would be his second wife, of course. That would make you third.” I laughed, “Pour me some gepa, Third Wife!” but Jena ignored me.

“Do you think you will leave the village?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I whispered.

Oh, Mark... did it sound like I was saying that? I suppose it's a truism, but surely you are already quite light on trite... and I'm enjoying the depth and evocative nature of your book.
Oops! I forget to congratulate you on the second half of your quarter first, third minus one plus-some section of the book off to NavPress! You go, Texas guy!!!
Actually, I don't even know what "Light on Trite" means. I just thought it sounded good.

I was trying to say that you thought my book was not trite--hopefully that is accurate. (It was "light on trite.") Oh well.

About the second half of the whatever section. I got so confused about that, when I sent it to Nav, I told them I was sending them the second half of the book.

I had to send them another email yesterday morning, claiming fatigue from a marathon proofing session. "I sent the second quarter," I said. I hope they don't discover that I'm really an idiot and a hack!
It's okay, Mark, as long as you can write good fiction. Which you can. Yes, which is what I meant all along. You are WAY light on trite. :)
l.l. you are sweet.

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