Author, Dianne Christner (Christian Fiction: Is It Effective?)

Dianne Christner, Christian Fiction Author of the Plain City Bridesmaids contemporary series and several historical novels.

Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book.”

I’m at that glorious age where I use a magnifying mirror to put on my make up even though I’ve memorized every freckle on my face. At sixty, I finally know myself. Aging is liberating, and I highly recommend it. According to Emerson, the writer is crucial to the writing voice. Flip flop it, voice is an expression of self.

Voice makes Christian fiction and any type of fiction as diverse as its authors.

It only follows, since I don’t go knocking on my neighbors’ doors to evangelize—the very thought of it makes me shiver and turns my insides pea green—that evangelism isn’t the emphasis of my writing voice either. I express Christianity through my individual voice (my core – which is my body, soul, and spirit). Since as an introvert, the idea of evangelism churns pea soup, it isn’t the focus of my writing or even of my worldview.

Should the creature argue with the creator? Instead, I celebrate divine uniqueness. This makes writing voice special and memorable.

My voice is one of many. A mere dot in the universe, especially so in the publishing world. But small dots can make a big impression. Take the pink polka dot which reminds us of baby girls and birthday parties. As a Christian, I’m a reflective dot shedding the light of Jesus into the surrounding darkness. Surely we can agree there’s too much darkness in the world? That the most important thing for all dots is to light up the world?

My world is small, compared to some. I’m a homebody. Certainly not a foot—though I do go on book tours and vacations. I’m more of an arm that reaches close and hugs tight. I’m a hand-holder and a mentor. Amazingly, others gravitate to open arms, and since the path goes both ways, it all works out in the end. Through writing, my circle of influence is widening. Whether family, friend, or reader, I welcome and share of myself. I mentor and entertain. That’s all.

Well not all, it’s a burning desire—the writing. It’s a calling. Writing is an overflow and expression of my core. A living thing within me that I’m sure is part of my spiritual DNA. For me, it’s saying yes to God. It’s saying yes to my core and my calling. Whatever ministry happens, God does. My part is walking in sync with Him.

I was raised in the Mennonite faith, and although I don’t adhere to their beliefs, I use Mennonite characters in my novels because their beliefs formed the foundation of my worldview and became my springboard to faith. I write about life’s contrasts–futility and hope. When I reach a dramatic climax, I insert comic relief. I move my characters towards victory because I’m a mentor. Towards love because I’m a romantic. I celebrate happy endings because I have the hope of Christ living in me.

I write Christian fiction and call my writing voice: Dramatic Romantic Comedy.

Setting talent aside as Emerson did, if you hate my writing, you probably wouldn’t choose me for a friend either. In other words, the many genres of fiction have resulted from a diverse populace of authors and the distinctive tastes of readers.

I believe Christian fiction is a vital genre because it’s an expression of a group of people with a burning desire to write from their core.

What draws you to a novel?

Note From Nikki: Yesterday we featured atheist, David Rosman. Because I was unable to locate two more unbelievers to submit a post to balance out this series, I have instead posted upon the recomendation of C.S. Lakin a reprinted piece of literary criticism on Christian fiction to post tomorrow. To read more about this series, click here.

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