But that was the last time I read any Christian novels. Until, that is, I picked up James Scott Bell's Deadlock, having been pointed to it by his book on Plot and Structure. I loved it, I have to say: I didn't know there was such a thing as well-written, decent "Christian fiction" that was not only intelligent but also set in DC. So, all in all, perfect for me at this stage of my life.
Anyway, I digress, because my point is that I am not writing a Christian novel, and this brings me a couple of issues. I've made my peace with the fact that since my characters are non-Christians in their early 30s, living in the 21st century, they will probably not be signing any abstinence pledges, for example.
But dialogue. Dialogue is a whole other situation. I don't usually swear, except in dire emergencies such as when I lose my shoe running for the train, or the doorbell rings in the middle of a Josh and Donna scene. So writing in swearing does not come naturally for me, and I'm not sure we need much of it, anyway.
Here's the thing, though: in real life, people swear. Particularly the guys in my story - I see them swearing, but more than that I see them saying "God" a lot. Americans seem to do that, possibly more than the British. (And they are Americans.)
I'm really not comfortable with blasphemy, even what must seem very mild blasphemy. What do I do? Will the novel seem fake if I don't use those kinds of expressions? If no one ever blasphemes, and hardly anyone ever swears?
Readers, what do you think? And writers, what how about you?