Whining and bellyaching about how you’ve been rejected, yet again, by the legacy gatekeepers is unbecoming enough.
When you compound that behavior by then preaching about what you find to be offensive from the very community you profess to belong to, it goes from unbecoming to downright ugly.
I’m sure you’re a nice lady. I’m sure you’re wizards-and-sorcerers-with-dwarves-and-dragons fantasy is unlike any other Tolkien/Lewis/McCaffrey/Martin knock off ou there. I’m certain all the years you’ve spent “polishing” your manuscript has made it unique and shiny and very good.
I’m certain I’m going to regret saying this, because though you’re not reading my blog right now (who does?), and you’ll likely never find out what I’ve written, there is every chance the Lord we both profess will press me down with guilt when I learn, by some weird circuitous turn of events, more of your story and find out I’ve been oh-so-wrong about you, and should have kept my mouth shut and my fingers off the keyboard.
Meanwhile, you post in the very public forum of the Internet, and on a website where you’re pretty sure to only get supportive comments, that you don’t like when Christians who read (not necessarily write) Christian fiction seem to shun the kind of stories you’re producing.
In another context, I could fold my arms across my chest and say, “Sour grapes?”
But I don’t know if that’s accurate. I think what’s going on is, you don’t want to hear how someone may find what you’re doing to be outside the lines of Christian theological permissive behavior. I think, when they say those things, they’re pointing back to the words of the apostle Paul, when he admonished Christians to only think about things which are godly in their nature.
8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.
That’s Philippians 4:8, for your reference, dear Christian wannabe author.
But I get it, I get where you’re coming from. Just because I smoked and someone else didn’t, doesn’t mean smoking is a sin. Just because I swear like a sailor doesn’t mean swearing’s a sin. If I can do it, and you don’t want to, what’s it to you? I’ll do my best to control my mouth around you and you don’t have to spend any time around me. Hey, God still loves us both, right? He died for you and for me, didn’t He?
So yeah, I get it. Really. And I don’t think you’re a bad person because you reject the push to change who and what you are into something that fits the Christian cookie cutter mold of who you’re “supposed” to be.
Let me reiterate, I understand. You want to write dragon-dwarf-pointy-hat-pointy-ear fantasy fiction, and you want everyone to love you and your books. I get that because I’m exactly that same way. I don’t write that material, but I want to write what I write and have everyone love me and my writing and throw buckets of money at me for it. Yes ma’am, I do.
Also for the record, I don’t fully disagree with your position that, just because you have an issue with something as sin means I need to avoid that thing. Some sins are universal and all sin offends God. I don’t know if I’d use the word “sin” to describe something that only leads one person to sin. For me, girly magazines aren’t a temptation leading me to sin. I don’t buy ’em, and never did. Not one. But for others? Well.
The sin may or may not be buying the magazine, but it’s not the magazine itself.
Anyway, I think I get that part.
Here’s the problem, Ms. Wannabe Christian Author: I read your post some months ago, wherein you confess to crying and being all manner of upset because you’d received (yet another) legacy publishing rejection letter. Yeah, that’s gotta smart, huh?
And, I read the post where you shared with everyone who’d read it – and the Internet at large, which will never forget it – how you’d been chopped down a few notches by A Really Big Deal from that same legacy publishing industry during that speculative fiction writing conference this past summer. Yeah, I saw that. And what it means is, your writing didn’t make the grade. They didn’t like it. It wasn’t good enough for them.
So I’m curious, how is it you have the audacity to speak ill of someone whose work, published by the CBA and on the bookstore shelves, isn’t much more than “safe” and homogenized to fit into that comfy, cozy “Christian Fiction” label?
You didn’t find the book especially interesting? That’s okay. Not every book is to everyone’s liking. But you publicly took to pixels and said they shouldn’t be writing what they want to write. They shouldn’t be writing things like all the other things out there. But…isn’t that what you’re doing?
Face it lady, you’ve been shot down through email and in person. And this Christian author, who knows how to write to the formula to get past those same gatekeepers that shot you out of the saddle, is writing stuff you don’t find “interesting” enough?
More, though, you also state that this is the problem with Christian fiction in general. Everything’s “safe” and you find it “uninteresting.” Oh. I see. And does that explain why your work isn’t good enough to get the notice of that Really Big Deal at the conference, and why the legacy gatekeeping industry keeps kicking you to the curb? Because you are writing interesting stuff?
I’m sure you’re talented. I’m sure your writing is pristine and interesting. I’m sure it’s the best thing in ZZ Top-bearded wizards since J. R. R. passed away. (He was a Christian, by the way. Don’t know if you knew that.) But the fact is, you’re not good enough and this other, “safe” author, is good enough. They know how to sell their work. Or they’ve paid their dues until they got past the gatekeepers. Whichever.
But if you want to put them down because they’re writing to their market, you have a lot to learn about being a writer. A working, paid writer at least.
And that’s why you’re a wannabe. You haven’t learned yet that it’s as much chance as skill. It’s like winning the lottery. And no more “polishing” of your already homogeneous manuscript will make it more appealing to those gatekeepers. In fact, you may have “polished” all the unique things out of it that make it something to grab them.
But what do I know? I’m not even a wannabe. I don’t wannabe, actually. I publish my own work, and do my own fiction because it appeals to me.
And I won’t tell those on the shelves, who aren’t wannabes anymore, how they should be doing it. I’m only here to let wannabes like you know, you might have better luck on your own.