How do we as Christ followers write fantasy without compromising our faith? If we introduce a fantasy realm with a different belief system than our own are we setting the reader up to follow a different path of faith? Can we create a new religion without selling out our own?
7 Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy As A Christian
- Before you write anything and before you begin each day – pray. Pray for God’s guidance for each new chapter, each new topic and the whole book. You are writing the book, your name will be on the cover and you will receive accolades for a fantastic fantasy novel, but ultimately God is the one who called you to write it and He is your divine co-author who presented all those amazing ideas for you to write.
A good place to start your day is at Kimberley Payne’s blog.
- What’s your message? Ask yourself if your story really says what you want it to say to the reader. Stay focused on the main goal. “What are you willing to compromise? What will you commit to and honour in your life? Where will you take a stand?” – Kim Gowdy in Freedom Fighters and Truth Tellers, (published by Author Academy, 2015)
- Are you portraying Christ’s character or glamorizing evil? You will need villains but try not to make them ‘cool’ in case readers desire to emulate them.
- Make your villains true villains. They need to believe their actions are justified but their history isn’t an excuse for their actions. Choosing to do evil is still a choice.
- If you’re writing a redemptive story – keep the villain’s past life clearly separate from their life as a new believer. You want your story to show the dramatic change Christ brings.
- Don’t write any faith into your story – either your own faith or anyone else’s when you write fantasy. Maybe add traditions or rites instead, things not similar to our world. Remember Christ came for human kind because we are created in His image – Elves are not. If you want Elves to be redeemed you’re looking at allegorical fantasy (paralleling Christian truths). It can be quite tricky to write so I suggest you read a lot of allegorical works by famous authors before you attempt this. I’ve listed some below.
- If you’re writing allegorically it would be really beneficial to ask a Christian allegorical writer you trust to critique your work. If you belong to a Christian writers’ group or your best friend is a pastor, maybe you can read a passage once in a while that you feel you need a critique on. Writing allegorically requires a deeper sense of your message so you may also want to consider writing a few fantasy books to get the feel of that genre before tackling the allegory part.
Authors Who Do Christian Fantasy Well
Not sure fantasy is the right genre for you? Take my 22-page mini-course to find Your Write Voice for His Kingdom. The course has worksheets and coaching tips for writers of all genres.
Until next time –