Monday, August 5, 2013

The Variety of In-the-world/not-of-the-world Writing Part 2

Last time I talked about various types of Christian books. You can read that post here.
Today I want to look at examples of these and I'd LOVE your helps to provide more.
Remember this table?


Let's look at some variety of published fiction out there: Books which show God's grace through fiction in various ways.

1.  – fewer subplots and less complex story line.
Simpler Story-Line
      Simpler does NOT mean less, it just means simpler.Harlequin, particularly LoveInspired, is known for their focused plotlines. These books usually do not have a lot of extra subplots and tend to be shorter in wordcount. Harlequin's books can be coupled with a variety of:
    a. subtle/overt christian themes
         Tina Radcliffe and Ruth Logan Herne probably keep with more subtle here and Missy Tippens might be more overt.
    b. PG/PG 13 themes and language
          LoveInspired definitely keeps to PG, many of the other Harlequin lines go beyond PG 
          Janice Thompson's books probably fall under the simpler storyline, though they are longer. It's a straight-forward and fun-filled romance, with the purity of the romance being the focal point of the story. though there are a few subplots, those are also simpler.

2.2. Complex Story-Line – more deeply and complex story line
             Many of our longer books in fiction have more complex storylines. These are books with varied and detailed subplots which carry through the main plot, enhancing it in subtle or overt ways. We can apply the same above standards with these too.
        a. subtle
              Mary Connealy writes Christian fiction with more complex plotlines but a more subtle Christian theme.
              Some of Laura Frantz's are like this too and definitely Siri Mitchell's.
              Denise Hunter would probably fit here too.
              Debbie Macomber books fall between simple and complex storylines with extremely subtle Christian themes.
             To go a little 'classic', Jane Eyre is subtle for our day, but was probably more 'overt' in Bronte's day. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings has definite Christian themes, though subtle - as does Austen.

b    b. overt
           Julie Lessman might be that in-between overt and subtle in her Christian themes, but there are some fantastic, very direct Christian themes. (Her Daughter's of Boston series would be considered PG-13, but her newest book, Love at Any Cost, would be rated at more of a PG level)
           Jody Hedlund's and Laurie Alice Eakes are also among this group. There are clear and direct 'come to Jesus' moments, a strong Christian struggle, and inner monologing which clearly sets up a Christian worldview.(These two would probably be rated more PG in their romantic tension)
           The Dance by Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh fits here as well, though it can fall between simple and complex.
            Some classics?
            C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia is certainly an overt allegory, as well as something as dark and foreboding as Dracula (which would be considered more PG-13, btw). 

 So, can you add some more to this list? Can you break them down and tell us how they fit into this table? Remember, God uses all types of stories to bring about His story.
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      Pepper Basham writes Blue Ridge romance peppered with grace and humor. She's a mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate. When she's not aggravating the wonderful AlleyCats, you can visit her at her personal blog, Words Seasoned With Salt. She's represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.


13 comments:

Mary Vee said...

This is a great analysis. I wish we had a resource that did this for all the books. Sure would make it easier when choosing a book to read. I must admit sometimes the back cover is so good I'm compelled to read the book. But not all books fulfill what is promised on the back cover.

Melissa Tagg said...

Love your breakdown, Pepper!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Great post, Pepper. Love the way you categorized some of my favourite authors and books!

Cheers,
Sue

Jeanne Takenaka said...

I enjoyed this post, Pepper! I am thinking on book titles and I'll try and stop back with some. :)

Of the top of my head, I think Lisa Jordan's books have a "simpler" story but overt Christian themes.. And PG.

Once Upon a Prince, by Rachel Hauck, was more of a complex story with Christian themes and PG

Julie Lessman said...

LOL ... "overt"!!! LOVE IT!!!

I've been called a LOT of things, Pep, but I think I may just like "overt" the very best, so THANK YOU!!

FUN and VERY imformative post, my friend. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Pepper said...

Ooo, Mary. Maybe we should do a weekend forum with loads of books and try to categorize them :-)

Steven James' adult fiction would definitely be Complex-Subtle-PG13.

Pepper said...

Thanks, Melissa.
What would your grand release be?
PG
Overt or Subtle?
I bet a complex storyline?

Pepper said...

Thanks, Susan. I'm sure there are flaws in the process, but at least it's a start toward a breakdown :-)
(They're some of my favs too ;-)

Pepper said...

Thanks for the titles, Jeanne. I actually was thinking of Rachel's books too.
I think Rachel and Denise might be a good comparison of novels in the same vein, yet one is more overt and the other less in their Christian themes.

Pepper said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jules.
I think this breakdown might bridge the gap between CBA and ABA. What do you think? :-)

Julie Lessman said...

You said, "I think this breakdown might bridge the gap between CBA and ABA. What do you think? :-)"

One can only hope, Pep, and pray, I suppose. From our lips to God's ear ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

This is such a good breakdown, Pepper, and I loved seeing the types of books you used to illustrate it. It made it a lot clearer to me!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

We are hoping, for sure Julie. So hard to fit into the mold, sometimes. Love the discussion here! And I LOVE the subject material. Well done, Pep!