If you’ve had your fill of explicit gropings, insertions, four-letter and vulgar word description and mayhem, searing renditions of blood splatter and limb separations with the bulging eyes and raging screams to go along with them, then may I suggest you read the “cleaned up” versions of literature offered in Christian fiction?
Christian fiction has often been dubbed “clean” or “sanitized” which is hardly fitting for many of its novels. For one thing, I cannot think of a single story which doesn’t include sin in some form. So sin being what it is, “clean” is hardly a fitting description.
However, the levels of writing which include sin in all its horrendous forms have brought new readers into the world of Christian fiction while worrying some of the more traditional readers of the older style novels. No worries. There is quite enough fare for everyone’s preference.
While some critics suggest the lack of printed out profanity makes the reading less “real”, others claim it can be just as effective implying the cuss and curse words if written well. After all, who wants to sit down after a hard day’s work or walking through the halls at school and read in print what they’ve just had to listen to all day? Valid point. Especially when the cussing and cursing is not eliminated from a character’s demeanor—it’s simply suggested rather than quoted verbatim.
Does real romance require the graphic mingling of body parts? It does not. Clinical descriptions of intimacy do little for true romance. Now as titillation or for pornographic arousal, it probably works. There are instead multiple scenes, dialogues, interior monologues, and words, words, words to give a reader the escape into up tempo heartbeats and a little bit of steam between characters. (Secrets, Unforgotten, The Famous One [oh wait, that’s mine]) And then there are those same tools to depict the agony of rape, molestation, and other horrendous activities perpetrated on victims of such things. (Redeeming Love, The Atonement Child, Watching the Tree Limbs, Wounds . . . And Healings [oops, mine also]).
So you might say the fiction is cleansed of superfluous cuss words and depictions of various specific body parts merging, but “cleaned up” is misleading. Stories can be just as horrific, humorous, hip, or haughty in content plot-wise. They can be vamp-ish, veiled, visionary, or vapid. But not necessarily “clean”. You can find muddied up characters in Christian fiction just like in secular fiction. Nobody’s perfect there, but with different authors you sink to different depths according to the story.
Only hopefully at some point you’ll find redemption. For someone.
Aaaah, redemption! That’s where they get C L E A N.
Father, may my writing always feature redemption. It's all that's worth living for. Through all the dirt and filth of sin, let there be the offer of redemption in the Name of Jesus, Amen.