Crafting Spiritually Rich Novels

Have you ever read a read a book only to feel like you’d landed in a nineteenth century sermon? You know, the ones that go on for hours with no end in sight? In an effort to “speak truth,” many inspirational novels force Christianity by dropping a long sermon in the center of a rather plastic scene. Unfortunately, this sends the reader running for the paper shredder. To truly impact your reader, the character’s spiritual journey must be core to who they are. (Read more)


About Jennifer Slattery

Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery, also writing as Jen Pheobus, uses humor, grace, and truth to inspire God's children to live abundant, Christ-centered lives. She does content editing for Firefly, a southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and is a regular contributor to; Internet Cafe Devotions; Faith, Friends and Chocolate; and manages the social media for Takin’ it to the Streets, a ministry that serves Omaha’s working poor and homeless. She’s placed in numerous writing contests and her work has appeared in numerous compilations, magazines, and e-zines.

Posted on August 6, 2011, in writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I like Frank Lutz’s comment about preachy in his book, “Words that Work.” He says, “Tell the truth, but don’t do it in a condescending manner.”
    When the truth of the gospel is woven into the story because it’s connected to the character’s desires, hopes and dreams, it might sound preachy to some because many don’t like the truth. But many great books have gripping spiritual messages. For instance, “The Sin Eater” by Francine Rivers. Other Christian fiction writers are doing a great job of not only telling a womderful story, but also blessing the reader spiritually as well.

    • Great quote! I think you are right about weaving the truth into the character’s struggles, dreams, and desires. And Francine Rivers is the queen of inspirational fiction! And I agree…sometimes it’s not the method, but the message readers object to. Which will is beyond the writer’s control.

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