I'm the rebel contributor here. Not trying to burn bridges or make publishing enemies. Not being "critical" without substance. Doing my best to write thoughtful posts from what some might consider a skewed position. Self-published with no astounding success. Invisible - as in virtually nonexistent - platform. No cred, in other words.
Those facts don't subtract from this fact: I've written seven novels and am currently working on three more. I know the discipline and commitment it takes to put coherent words on a page and make them into a viable story. When reading (and writing), I enjoy freedom of style, voice, topics, and language. I don't advocate excessive cussing or swearing or graphic sexual scenes. I campaign for a broader scope in the construction of sexual attraction for Christian readers because of the honesty within this powerful component, and I don't consider hell or damn as inexcusable word choices.
For me, a novel is at its best when the honesty factor supercedes all others. From humor to horror and every genre in between, truth should permeate proclamation, depiction, and the good ol' show and tell instructions.
So perhaps this is what I often find lacking in Christian fiction. The "fresh-ness" that acquisition editors continue to extol and request is vacant in many of the current offerings from CBA based fiction. Oh, they say they want "it", but it hasn't translated well to their publications.
We all know and appreciate readers who want more of the same. Amish novel after amish novel. Historical romance after historical romance from the same periods of history - and then from another. Romance after romance. The same authors and their series. The same. And we all understand Solomon's declaration of "There's nothing new under the sun" so why not stick with what works.
Again, I'm the rebel here who questions the professionals' platitudes splayed all over the internet and trumpeted from podiums and classrooms at conferences. Simply because the evidence of what is said and what is published doesn't mesh. So . . . the plea for "fresh" has gotten stale.
Really the only reasons to pursue "fresh" writing are to avoid saturation and boredom and to produce a larger audience for your literature. To expand the market by representing those who write differently from the representative base of authors. To showcase additional creativity and appeal to new audiences. Produce, expand, appeal to more readers while maintaining those you "own".
Otherwise, who needs fresh? Apparently not too many of those who ask for it . . .
Nicole Petrino-Salter writes love stories with a passion. Raw Romantic Redemptive. You can visit her at hopeofglory.typepad.com.