Writing this type of fiction had caused a lot of controversy among the Christian writing world. Before I explain why, let me tell you what ‘speculative Christian fiction’ actually is.
Think of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, and Obsessed by Ted Dekker. These authors write speculative fiction, which is basically fantasy, thriller and science fiction books. Why did books like these cause controversy among the Christian writing world? Because these books involve some type of magic, witchcraft and murder, and could contain some horror, which some writers say is totally against godly principles. There are other writers, however, who disagree, stating they can still write this type of genre without comprising the Bible. How? you may wonder. By using the Old Testament.
If you read the Old Testament, you will read of murders, use of witchcraft and magic. Not to mention angels and other beings. Many speculative Christian fiction writing styles are taken from the Old Testament mixed with the New – mainly the book of Revelation.
It is not all doom and gloom with this type of writing; many publishers are now beginning to accept these manuscripts, and readers are enjoying this type of book. If you are writers who love fantasy, science fiction and thrillers, you can write it in a faith-based way. Believe it or not, many readers can learn a lot from these books. For example, with Frank Peretti, This Present Darkness teaches you a lot about spiritual warfare amongst angels and demons.
Be warned, it is not a genre that is easy to write. Before you tackle this genre of writing, you need to do a lot of research as these books are very graphic. It will benefit your writing to thoroughly study books in the Bible that have a lot of allegories, like Daniel and Revelation, and visit places (if you can) that contain a lot of historical elements, like cathedrals.
Here is a tip for writing speculative fiction by New York Times bestselling author, Tosca Lee, who is a renowned Christian speculative fiction writer: “Here is the thing about this genre. It’s so easy to get lost in world-building and research (and don’t let anyone tell you there isn’t any research in speculative fiction), but at some point, it has to stop. Give yourself a time limit and stick to it. Go absolutely crazy crafting your world’s culture, technology, history and language, but stop at the end of allotted time. Setting the stage is very important, but it’s what happens on that stage that counts.” (Source: www.novelrocket.com.)
There you have it. It is possible to write speculative fiction and to make it faith-based. Like with all writing, do your research; get beta readers – preferably not friends or family – to read over your work, and pray. Don’t be put off by others’ opinions of you writing this genre; it is becoming more accepted within the publishing industry and amongst readers.
With love, Vanessa.