I’m not a fan of the
word edgy when it refers to Christian
fiction.
Why does the term bother me?

Edgy is a subjective word. What is edgy for some writers is over the edge for some. I find that for
some authors edgy means they should
push the limit. Well, yes and no. How far can a writer push the limits before she
falls off the ledge into what would, under no circumstances, be considered
material in a Christian market?
That is a question I
pondered as I worked on a workshop I taught last summer. Today, I thought I’d
provide you with the two lists that explains what edgy fiction does and does not contain.
Let’s start with the
negative first. What is it that a Christian should preclude from her manuscript, even if she is working toward an edgy feel:
An edgy Christian novel
should not include:
  1. Gratuitous anything;
  2. Scenes and actions that
    overshadow the story’s message;
  3. Offensive words or
    phrases, even substitute words that leave the real words or act in the minds of
    the reader.
  4. Offensive language
    toward any group, people, or individual (a disclaimer on this one is a bigoted
    villain. However, this villain should clearly be defined as a villain and very
    much in opposition of the truth); and
  5. A story that provides
    incorrect theology.

On the other hand, in
order to make a novel edgy, an author
may want to try to write:
  1. Thought-provoking
    stories that do not leave readers’
    minds in the gutter;
  2. Dialogue and action
    loaded with conflict that does not
    leave readers’ minds in the gutter;
  3. A plot line that shows the
    state of fallen men and women but does
    not
    leave readers’ minds in the gutter.
  4. A story that
    contradicts the world’s theology and pulls readers’ minds from the gutter.

Think about it. How can
an author change the world if her book uses the world’s methods to tell her story? 
Happy editing.

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