Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Religion in Writing

Status: No longer sick. Woot.

I was raised an atheist, not a chanting in the woods atheist, an actual atheist. Believe in nothing but yourself. (That has caused me plenty of problems, trust anyone?)

Not the greatest way to go I've since learned. My only experiences with religion as a child was a collection of bible stories for children, (I'm guessing from my Grandmother) and a summer of my father taking us to Sunday school with the neighbor down the street and her kids. I found out when I was 16, he was having an affair with that neighbor at the time. Soured church for me.

There is a point to this little history of me, I promise.

I went to church with one of my friends in high school, she absolutely hated it, and only went because her parents forced her. I learned some basics that basically everyone would know. Like what a covenant is. I didn't have a clue. The people were great, but I saw the extreme side of Christianity, and didn't like it.

Now that I've grown up a bit, I've started doing my own research. I may be finally coming around, though I doubt I will ever be the person whose at church every Sunday and at every function. It's just not me and I've seem so many fake people at those things that I just can't stand it.

How does writing fit in?

I was driving home from school and had a novel idea. Happens fairly often, what was different was that this one would fit squarely into Inspirational Fiction. I shocked myself. I asked myself if I seriously thought I could, or ever would, write christian/inspirational fiction.

But then I realized that's how it works sometimes. You don't always know where you're headed until you get there. I have yet to find a genre or a niche of writing that really feels right. So maybe this is it. I doubt I'd ever write solely in one genre, I'm too wishy-washy for that.

I can't say I've read a lot of christian fiction. I think my parents managed to make me want to avoid anything remotely related to religion. I'll have to pick some up and find out if I like it.

Side Note: I've started using some of the index card methods to flush out Ivory and find out what's missing as I finish typing up the first draft fixes. NEVER again shall I write a first draft with the true spirit of NaNoWriMo. I have never spent so much time fixing stupid typos in my life, and I will never do it again.

Do you edit as you write, or write then go back? Both? Some combo or something else entirely?


  1. I tied NaNo last year. and got close to 25,000 words. Just a lot of loose thougts and gibberish. I was too rushed to make much coherent sense. I don't think I'll try it again this November.

    Stephen Tremp

  2. That was my problem with NaNo. I wrote a ton, and loved it. Until I went back and saw the mess I left behind. It's just not worth it.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Since I'm an editor, I can't write without some editing, but I do try to write without going back to re-read until I'm either through for the day or through with a chapter.

    Straight From Hel

  4. Interesting thoughts about your spiritual journey, Meg. I was raised "in the church" (several, actually, since my father isn't really a "get along with people" type guy), and while I still consider myself a believer, I'm not a church-goer, and probably never will be again. Religion itself doesn't bug me (it fascinates me, actually, and I've studied a lot of them)...the people do. My husband is an agnostic, so it's just as well that I've come to that point.

    The lovely thing about inspirational fiction is it's not generally tied to any particular church or set of beliefs. I quite enjoy reading it, so do try it, and see what you think. Some of it gets a little preachy, but for the most part, it's just...well...inspirational. :-)

    As for writing while editing - last year was my 6th time doing NaNo, and my goal (since I knew I could finish) was to go for both quantity *and* quality. I ended up with a pretty decent first draft, actually (better than what I'm editing now).

    For a great many years I wrote without editing, just to get the words down. I had to do that to build confidence in myself, and to just practice *writing*. Now that I'm more confident and moving toward submitting, I'm doing more editing while I write.

  5. I edit some as I go because typos are sneaky little things. Plus if I feel off track I go back and figure out where it started and delete and start over. If I just kept going I would waste a lot of pages. Nice post- thanks!