Everything I know about writing I learned in Sunday school
I am a storyteller whose themes are informed by faith, but I do not preach it. In fact, one reader mailed back one of my novels complaining that it was filthy; with a magic marker she had blacked out everything she found offensive. When I saw that the first casualty was the mere mention of Jack Daniels bourbon, I knew there was no need to look any further. I mailed her a refund check.
Such readers want literature to set a good example. They want writers to pretend that people do not drink, shack up or commit incest and blasphemy. They want us either to take sin out of our fictional world entirely or to punish it more thoroughly than real life does: to stop that tower of Siloam from falling on the innocent and to make sure that every Job gets new wealth and a just-as-good replacement family.
This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.