The Rugged Writer

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always enjoyed well-written Christian Fiction ― stories that aren’t afraid to delve into the damaged heart. Stories that dissect our inner hero rather than just scratching at the surface.  When I’m faced with a book full of unrealistic romances and preachy dialogue, I begin to understand why so many Christians are unable to identify with the characters. And why so many non-Christians won’t touch it. We know our penitentiaries are not full of Mr. Darcy types who at worst made demeaning remarks to women or merely ran over next door’s dog. And we are all familiar with the basest depths of the human mind. We don’t want smutty. We want books that reflect truth without glorifying evil. And we want powerfully written material that non Christians will read. I can name a few authors who write realistic, edgy fiction and who understand that life and morality is complex. We don’t necessarily need more Christian writers, but more writers who happen to be Christians. John Grisham’s The Testament is a strong example of this. Here is a short description by an Amazon Reviewer – ‘Hero, Nate O’Riley–a washed-up, alcoholic litigator with two ruined marriages in his wake and the IRS on his tail–is dispatched to the Brazilian wetlands in search of a mysterious heir named in the will. After a harrowing trip upriver to a remote settlement in the Pantanal, he encounters Rachel Lane, a pure-hearted missionary living with an indigenous tribe and carrying out “God’s work.” Rachel’s grave dedication and kindness impress the jaded lawyer, so much that a nasty bout of dengue fever leads him to a vision that could change his life.’ What Grisham holds dear is made clear in his unforgettable portrait of Rachel, whose serenity and integrity stun Nate, while inspiring him to forsake forever his lust for booze, power and money and to turn toward God. Publishers Weekly. I don’t support strong language and gratuitous violence, but I do want structure, plot, gripping dialogue and good characterization that throws a sizeable punch. The hallmark of a great author is one who imparts a moral/spiritual message, while delivering a well-written and engaging story.

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