Monday, June 15, 2009
Hey Christian Fiction Readers: it is time to tell the truth
It is very fitting that Brandilyn Collins posted this "rant" ( that is self-proclaimed) on her blog this morning because it allowed me to mount my little soap-box and challenge something that has oft bothered me about the Christian reading public and which also led to the beginning of this here l'il book blog ( read more here). Without much further ado, I have re-posted my comment to Brandilyn's post.
note: somehow my link when I commented was faulty ---just so you don't think there is some other Rachel out there too intimidated to state her name. I own up! it was me!
"I find Christian writers take negative reviews far more personally than non-Christian writers. Perhaps because they're agenda or M.O. is for a higher purpose.
That being said, Collins is correct that scathing reviews without proper execution or reason come across as ignorant and mean. On a slightly related topic, I am always surprised at the lack of negative reviews----by authors of other authors and readers--- of Christian fiction.
I feel Christian readership holds back from being truthful because it IS Christian fiction and they do not want to come across as negative.
Books are a very subjective medium and they deserve close scrutiny. In fact, the best, most thought-provoking books will ellicit a balance of negative and positive reviews. I find that testament to the writer's skill.
I think to own up to Collins' stark truth (for which I applaud her )readers should, in turn, be truthful---in an informed and reasonable way.
I would love to read more blogs which critique books written by Christian authors. We OWE it to Chrisian authors to treat them in the same way that we treat secular fiction....after all, they would expect that and respect it as writers regardless of genre.
Thoughfully critical reviews are expected in the literary world and are not personal---personal attacks are quite a different thing.
Authors should have a fairly thick-skin as a result of their agenting out their work to numerous places and perhaps undergoing several rejections.
Whilst some publishing companies are known to edit fiction far less than others, some editors I know take a ruler to each sentence---they can withstand that too!
I appreciate this "rant" because I agree with Collins' statement that readers need to write informed reviews--- she has taken the time to put her craft on the table and it deserves careful and thoughtful appreciation and or critique.
My own rant is to encourage Christian readers to speak out: in their blogs, on amazon.
Not every Christian novel deserves a four or five star average on popular book websites. We don't do it for secular fiction and Christian fiction ( if, as it tries to be , an equal craft ) deserves the same."
Thanks to Brandilyn Collins for igniting some fantastic discussion! I think you should check her out and maybe read some of her books!