Confessions of a Rebellious Writer . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                   

You
don’t have to like what I write. I can’t make you like it. I can’t stop you
from liking it. You are out of my control. That’s a good thing.  Because control issues speak loudly in the
writing community.  And not in a positive
way.

Sometimes
as writers and readers we have to concede someone else knows what they’re doing
even if we don’t like it.

I
concede formulaic novels with pristine grammar and safe characters fulfill the
reading desires for a number of – or perhaps the bulk of – Christian fiction
readers.  I applaud the ability to follow
the rules and stick to the norm, to what’s expected, and to what has worked for
many years in the overall genre.

But
this rebel does not concede that I
must do the same. “Good luck with that!” you say.  Well, I don’t believe in luck, but I do agree
with the exclaimed concept. A rebellious writer in CBA doesn’t fly.

“Why
are you so rebellious?” you ask, perplexed. And I answer, “It’s because I need
to like what I write. I need to write what feels real to me. I can’t dress it
up to meet some standards I view as foolish or ridiculous. If that seems
harsh,” I say, “then I apologize. Not for what I write, but for coming down
hard on some literary choices which equal that of annoying ‘politically correct’
paragons designed to contain and restrain offenses.”

The
truth is you can’t write anything without offending someone. “Someone” will
decide you stink as a writer and assign you to the one-star reviews on Amazon.
Someone else will chastise you for using adverbs profusely, head-hopping, dialogue
tags, “and” or “but” to start sentences, or breaking any rule you can’t stand.

“So
there should be no standards?” you gasp.

Of
course there should be standards for fiction authored by Christians, but the ultimate standard is established between
the Holy Spirit and the author. And those authors who dare to circumvent some
of the restrictive measures put in place by some publishers must decide for
themselves how and where to publish. Since rebellious writing in Christian
circles most likely earns you a trip to e-publishing or a vanity press, you
must choose what works for you.

Writing
rebels don’t compromise well. Rebels can’t find an easy middle ground when they
truly believe in what they’re writing. Rebels believe in common sense standards
which uphold Christian principles, not Christian opinions.

We
walk a lonely literary path in Christian publishing, but one aspect of this
decision ignored by readers and
writers who disagree with our choices: we walk our path with Jesus who goes
before us to make it straight. He is
who we follow. Not the disgruntled . 
.  .
Nicole Petrino-Salter writes love stories with a passion. You can visit her daily at her blog: hopeofglory.typepad.