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Why does Christian fiction tend to be so cliché?  Yes, you know what I’m talking about. Cheesy love stories where the only thing that grows in the character is a forced love. Young adult fiction that neither challenges nor teaches, building off fads from secular authors. And they always end happily, with the main character becoming a Christian, or at least beginning the first shaky steps of living out a newborn faith. And by Christian fiction I mean novels with God as a central character or theme, written by authors claiming to be Christian, as a broad definition. There are definitely different views on this definition, but that is neither the point I’m trying to make nor the discussion I want to start here.  

Why do Christian authors tend to lean toward overused plot and cardboard cutouts for characters? I have seen it too many times to count. There is no excitement. The protagonist always has the same issues, and they’re stuck to their destinies, which the reader can always predict.

It’s the way fiction is written, right? I disagree. I think there is a way to write clean romance without making it cliché. Teens need to be challenged by characters with whom they identify; they are the leaders of tomorrow, and the last things they need as models are crayon drawings.

So are Christian authors afraid to write branch out for fear that they won’t get published? That should not be our main reason for writing; it should bring a message that needs to be spoken. What are the themes and messages that need to be brought out in Christian literature? What do authors need to implement in their writing to make it more intriguing, interesting, and different?

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