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Sowing Seeds of Faith: How to Write Engaging Christian Literature for Children

Sowing Seeds of Faith: How to Write Engaging Christian Literature for Children

Now more than ever, in our violent and uncertain world, children need wholesome literature, stories that give them hope and help them believe in their future. Stories centred on acceptable morals that teach them valuable lessons about life. Exciting, engaging stories that will intrigue them as they follow their protagonists through the plot twists of the narratives.

Masterfully Crafted Plots

In order to write engaging Christian literature, I believe that the themes and key ideas must be embedded in the stories themselves. It mustn’t be obvious to young readers that you, as the author, are teaching them a lesson or two. Key messages you want to convey must rather be revealed through the natural progression of the story and the way the characters think and behave.

So, even if your starting point as a Christian author is a biblical verse or story significant to you, you need to construct your plot carefully and masterfully create your characters to rivet your readers. A reader hooked on the story or empathising with its characters is more likely to assimilate the implied messages in the story or the wise words that come from the protagonist’s mouth.

Conventions of Fiction Literature

Like any other piece of well-written fiction, your story needs to comply with various fiction-writing conventions :

  1. It needs to be well-constructed. Make sure that your plot has no flaws—unlikely events, timelines, or character quirks that will irritate your readers, making them critical or uninterested.
  2.  Include convincing characters, whether they are models of good behaviour or the polar opposite. It is essential to include both good and bad characters in your fiction. The protagonist must battle it out with the antagonist if the story is to be engaging.
  3. Whether you are writing a fantasy or a more realistic story, your settings need to be believable. Fantasy must be grounded in reality, so even fantastical settings must be recognisable somehow.
  4. Writing realistic dialogue in Christian writing is a challenge. You won’t want any foul language escaping from your characters’ lips, but at the same time, your characters must be authentic. This will often involve trial and error as you seek to convince your readers that your characters are ‘real’.
  5. While you don’t want to use particularly flowery or artificial language, it is advisable to choose your lexis carefully. The right words can replicate the mood or feeling you wish to convey. Therefore, your language must be worked on to create the best possible style that aligns with the purpose of the piece.
  6. Unusual stories are acceptable, but I would be reluctant to write in various genres where the Christian message would be lost. For example, horror stories, ghost or vampire stories (of which there seems to be a proliferation), and even dystopian stories are out of bounds for me as a Christian writer. Not wanting to appear prudish, I personally steer clear of those genres because, in my opinion, it would be difficult to ‘spread good seeds in the world’, which is part of my mission statement as a Christian writer.

Taking inspiration from Biblical Writing

If you think about it, the Bible is full of dramatic and engaging stories of soldiers, like David, who have triumphed over their enemies – consider the story, for example, of David and Goliath – unselfish women who have made great sacrifices, yet have triumphed in the end – think about Ruth, the Moabitess, who gives up her family and her homeland to go with her mother-in-law, Naomi, to a strange land – and great queens like Esther, who risks her life to save her nation. There is plenty of conflict you can tap into as an author without having to include elaborate plots about demons, vampires and disfigured creatures.

So enjoy your writing as a Christian author by employing traditional but enticing fiction writing techniques.

To excel as a Christian author, it's essential to be constantly learning and improving your skills. Therefore, I highly recommend checking out the following blogs to gain valuable insights and tips:

Breath of God by Gillian Leggat
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