Wednesday, September 9, 2015
FICTION IS A WASTE OF TIME--Or is it?
Let's be honest, we all would prefer a world where everything is tidy, where everything is in nice neat little lines, no bends or twists, and certainly no bumps in the road, and absolutely no craters to avoid falling into, or hill difficulties to scale, no bad guys, monsters, or dragons with which to contend. We prefer a world that reads more like a shopping list, just a neat row of facts, if you please, without inexplicable complications, thank you very much.
As appealing as this sounds, there is a problem. In case you hadn't noticed, the broken world we live in isn't like this. Nor is the Bible like this. And, hence, the best fiction isn't like this either. Well-crafted fiction actually does give it to us straight, the way things really are in a broken world, filled with broken people, like you and I, deeply in need of redemption. But how do we develop the discernment to know when we're reading a well-crafted work of fiction? Employing blunt hyperbole, G. K. Chesterton helps us evaluate the worthiness of any author and his book, “If the characters are not wicked, the book is."
Flannery O'Connor further clarifies the role of the wicked, the ugly, and the violent for the writer who is ultimately concerned with creating longing for the good, the beautiful, and the redemptive. "The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural; and he may be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience. ...you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
All this leads me to the point of this post. I'm excited about the RAGGANT FICTION FESTIVAL sponsored by Evangel Classical School in Marysville, WA, Saturday, September 26, 2015. They've asked me to be the key-note speaker at this one-day festival of imaginative writing. This event is like the gospel of Jesus Christ--it's open to the public.
Homeschool families are particularly welcome at this event. Do you have an eager writer but aren't sure how to guide them to the next levels of their writing? Do you have a reluctant reader or writer? This event is for you and your family. You will return home with your imagination steadied and inspired, ready for the challenges of the new school year, and with pages of helpful materials in hand. Register early and receive a free signed book (probably my new release HAMMER OF THE HUGUENOTS) and, to cap off the day of exploring the mysterious and wonderful world of fiction, we will enjoy a fine dinner together. There are family and student discounts, but space is limited so register right away. Contact Jonathan Sarr at evangelcs.org or email him at
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me at bondbooks.net or email me at email@example.com.
See you in Marysville, September 26 at 9:00 am!