5 Rules to save your Fiction from being Preachy – perfect for Christians, Sindarin, and Vulcans

5 Rules to save your Fiction from being Preachy – perfect for Christians, Sindarin, and Vulcans

Apr 15, 2023 | Latest, LegendFiction Show

Katie and Dominic are back and talking about how faith-inspired authors can write stories with religious views – without sounding too preachy. The LegendFiction show is for faith-inspired fiction writers to delve deeper, write wilder, and have fun with storytelling. Join Katy, and Dominic, two delightful, deliberate dorks, coming to you from the LegendFiction community. Join us as we share what we think about faith, fun, and fiction in our world today. Together, we nerd out on the numinous, grapple with the grimdark, and spellbind with stories.

This episode shares our own experiences and struggles in writing for a faith-inspired audience, and even discuss how secular content can affect storytelling. We’ve got some cool tips on how to talk about important stuff in your stories without boring your readers, and we’ll show you how being respectful and intentional in your writing can make your stories truly awesome.

Key ideas we cover:

  • Working Religious Views and Tribes Ideas into Fiction without Becoming Preachy
  • Exploring How to Avoid Preachy Writing in Faith-Inspired Fiction”
  • Writing for an Audience and Avoiding Preachy Content
  • Exploring Complexities in Feminist Storytelling Through Fiction Writing
  • Writing Evangelizational Tracts vs. Stories for Contemplation
  • Exploring the Complexities of Life Through Storytelling
  • Exploring the Difference Between Heroes and Villains in Fiction
  • Difference Between Good and Evil in Religious Characters
  • Honesty with Characters and Christian Wish Fulfillment in Writing
  • Discussion on Religion and Character Development in Storytelling
  • Analysis of “The Last Duel” Movie: Exploring Cultural Morality
  • Conversation on Morality and Culture in Writing Characters
  • Modeling the Right Kind of Witness: A Discussion on How the Church Should Welcome Everyone
  • Conversation on Writing Christian Fiction: Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks

We explore what makes a story preachy and how to make sure it doesn’t come off as too forceful. We talk about how this applies to all religious views, not just Christianity. We also discuss how to talk about the things that are important to you in a story without it becoming preachy and turning off the audience. Ultimately, we emphasize the importance of being respectful and making sure the story is not too preachy or off-putting.

Then we get into the some steps to avoid being preachy, and the struggles of writing for a faith inspired audience. Being intentional with your writing comes from understanding the difference between proselytizing and storytelling. The Legend Fiction Show encourages writers to delve deeper, write wilder, and have fun with storytelling while still staying true to their faith.

 Quotes from this episode:

Dominic: This is no longer the crusades where we go about killing our enemies. Now, again, if you’re talking Russia and Ukraine kind of situation of direct situations, of warfare, completely different situation. Most of us are not in that situation. We’re talking at parish level, the soup kitchen level, the online blog level, Quora, Wikipedia, like, whatever. The level of discussion is different and we need to take a very careful look at how we deal with different people of different faiths, because our witness is going to create a direct impact on how we’re communicating to them That’s going to impact our storytelling as well.

Katie: It’s about the journey of an individual, flawed human being that makes a good story, and they have to look in at themselves. And I think a good story, as I say, will challenge its target audience. So if your target audience is Christians, you need to challenge them. A lot of people were very surprised when I wrote Rosalyn’s Curse because there’s two main characters, right? One of them is not religious, one of them is very religious, and it adds a lot of humor and intention that they have this relationship.

Dominic: The kind of things that you create come out of your heart. It’s like Christ says, the things that man puts into himself is not evil. It’s what comes out of the heart of man is what can be evil. And then you can flip that over. What comes out of the heart of man can also be good. So we track this discussion further back into our own spiritual journeys, and if we are honest with those experiences, that’s going to play out in the kinds of stories that we also tell.

Katie: You can and should always show good as good and evil as evil. That said, human beings lie somewhere in the middle. So your hero is not always going to do good things. Your villain is not always going to do bad things. Right? And part of that, I think, part of the journey of your hero is the fact that they’re struggling with all these flawed human characteristics, but God’s grace, that absolute good, is going to help them in the end, despite their flaws. And that’s what’s going to make them a hero.


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Dominic Vera

Founder of LegendFiction, and a total Wandery. Geeks over epics, mystics, science, the angelic, & Netflix. A young, Catholic dad and novelist passionate about worldbuilding and faith-inspired fiction. A graduate from the Writer’s Institute for Children’s Literature, self-published a children’s novel, and works as a full time marketer and graphic designer. Married, with a small girl and a smaller corgi. Website | See more of Dominic's posts

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