Critical Views

Hell Awaits You

Hell Awaits You

This image came across my Facebook newsfeed the other day. The friend who posted it is not a Christian, and so naturally mocking of Christians and jokes about Hell being cool ensued. After much deliberation I decided against commenting, to either explain or decry the things this sign says and how Christianity doesn’t say what […]

Christian Fiction Parables

Christian Fiction Parables

Last week, in my post When is Christian Fiction Not? I talked about  the lines between Christian fiction and secular fiction, and how more and more Christian speculative fiction seems to be cross-over, not really appropriate for the CBA market, but not secular enough for the mainstream market. Someone commented that back in the old […]

When is Christian Fiction Not?

When is Christian Fiction Not?

I’m a Christian. I write fiction. I’m pretty sure I don’t write Christian fiction. My first novel/series, Dying for Dragons, could probably fit in, especially as Speculative fiction has started to get a foothold. The main character is a Christian, and there’s a pretty consistent thread, even though there’s no gospel message or overt preaching. […]

Sympathetic Characters

Sympathetic Characters

A common trick to make readers sympathize with a character is to have them “pet the dog”. They do something tender or sacrificial that tugs on the reader’s heartstrings. This humanizes a character with distasteful faults. I remember reading a friend’s story where one of the character’s who’s on the “evil” side of things treats […]

The Bechdel Test: Not Just For Feminists and Filmmakers Anymore

The Bechdel Test: Not Just For Feminists and Filmmakers Anymore

Guest Blogger: Jennie Jarvis In 1985, Alison Bechdel featured the following passage in her comic, Dykes to Look Out For: While the above “requirements” of a movie worth watching began as a bit of a joke, it has since grown into a real Test used to evaluate the presence of women in a film. Keep […]

Is your charity toxic?

Is your charity toxic?

The debate over welfare benefits pivots around two points: the poor need financial assistance, and handouts make people dependent. The tension between these points—both of which are true—leads to a lot of ambivalence among voters, although politicians seem to have no trouble lining up on one side or the other. During last night’s meeting of […]

Three Things

Three Things

I know I mentioned that story trumps everything last week, but as I’ve recently finished reading another fantasy novel, it got me thinking about something I heard on a podcast. The premise of the cast was that a character’s popularity depends on three things. You can listen to it here if you like. What are the […]

Storytelling

Storytelling

I’m not into literary fiction. In fact, I must confess my own prose isn’t amazing. But something I’ve noticed is that a lot of popular writers don’t have lyrical prose either. I’m currently reading A Cast of Stones by Patrick Carr (about half-way through), and I wouldn’t describe his writing style as a fantastic new […]