Hey folks. I know I posted just yesterday, but something recently came to my attention that I really need to talk about. For those of you who are accustomed to reading my lighthearted, sillier posts, I'm sorry.
I am a Christian writer, and part of being a Christian writer is that I try to communicate the Gospel of Christ in my writing and teach strong Christian morals through my characters. Of course, those of you have read my writing know that I don't usually incorporate direct Christian theology, but I use symbolism to communicate strong moral themes.
Being a writer, I also read. I love reading, and can finish a 300-page book in approximately a day. I've read some incredible stories in my decade of reading.
Unfortunately, some of those stories come along with something that I cannot condone.
Have you ever read an incredible story with strong characters and a gripping plot that you just really loved and didn't want to put down? You're so happy with the story up to the tenth chapter, then you turn the page and-
TWO CHARACTERS ARE MAKING OUT IN A PARKED CAR?!
Well, I certainly didn't see that coming.
In fact it hit me rather like this:
Twenty-eight pages later: They're making out. AGAIN. Oh my goodness, what is she doing? What is HE doing? Why am I reading this?
Very good question, my young reader friend.
Not only is the story riddled with trashy scenes, the author consistently uses the worst language on planet Earth (I think. I'm a little sheltered so I thankfully haven't heard everything.) Is it really that hard to write two sentences without inserting a swear of some kind?
We've all had this experience. Some great stories out there are filled with what I will from now on refer to as 'Muck.' Why?
Because every story has an author. And the authors are wrong. I'm sorry, but I must be blunt.
Ever read Tamara Pierce? She's a well-known YA fantasy author, and her stories are well-written and mostly clean. However, in her Lady Knight Quartet, she just had to incorporate a relationship. Lovely. This quartet is mostly clean except for a scene in book three, where... THE MAIN CHARACTER AND HER SORT-OF BOYFRIEND LITERALLY HAVE THEIR SHIRTS HALFWAY OFF?!!!!!!! This story was so incredibly good without that scene and the dozen kissing scenes in it! Pierce could literally have cut out just those trashy 'romantic' scenes and still have a complete story! WHY??!!?!?!
Is there anyone who genuinely likes to read Muck?
Here's part of the problem. I recently met an Indie author at an event. I asked her what age range she wrote for. She said that she wrote for older teenagers, and I asked why just older teenagers. Here's what she said. "Oh, some of the content is totally not stuff I could condone."
As a good friend of mine said, we, the teenage authors, are the new generation of writers. These YA authors we have now won't be around forever, and who will take their places when they're gone?
We will. Don't feel pressured to put bad stuff in your stories. Society has changed, has desensitized us to what is wrong. Some writers of young adult fiction say that they're 'writing for the age group.' WHADDAYA TALKIN ABOUT, WRITING FOR THE AGE GROUP? IF YOUR STORIES WERE MADE INTO MOVIES, THEY WOULD BE RATED ABOVE R! AND R-RATED MOVIES ARE RESTRICTED FOR PEOPLE UNDER EIGHTEEN! HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?
We can choose to write stories with strong morals, or we can choose to write stories with Muck. You want to write fantasy? Well, write fantasy without sex scenes. You want to write Sci-Fi? Then write Sci-Fi without foul language. Even romance stories can be honoring to God. Authors such as Melanie Dickerson and Robin Jones Gunn do it all the time.
People say that teenagers are rebellious. And though I don't agree with many of the false stereotypes that adults place on teens, I agree with this one! I want to stand up for what I believe. I want the world to know that Elleanna Vines or Elena Iren, whichever name I use, is a Christian author who will refuse to put sexual scenes or foul language in my stories. I want to rebel. So stand up! Who will rebel with me?
Please, dear friends, leave a comment if you care about this. If you have a blog, or social media, will you please post about it? If you do, please let me know, and I can plug it here.
Gray at Writing Is Life wrote an incredibly inspiring post about this. Please read it!
Also, here are some clean novels and series that you can read. They aren't all Christian, but they don't have anything graphic. Christian series/books marked with *
-The Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan
-The Merlin Spiral by Robert Treskillard *
-Adventurers Wanted by M. L. Forman
-Artemis Fowl (I think there's literally one kiss in the entire series)
-The Hidden Doors trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson *
-Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan (His two newer series aren't as good. One has a gay character and the other has a transgender character. However, he doesn't praise the lifestyle.)
-Left Behind *(there's two series, one for adults and one for young adults, I've read both and they're incredible.)
-Warrior of the Son by Samuel Schiller*
-The MindWar trilogy by Andrew Klavan*
-The Homelanders series by Andrew Klavan
And here's some older ones:
-The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien *
-The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis *
-Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell
-The Giver by Lois Lowry
-Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne (this book is great, kind of a spinoff on Greek Mythology.)
-Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
- Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
-The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
-To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
-Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
-The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
See y'all. Elena out.
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