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Author Topic: Would I lose some readers?
Collin
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I plan on writing a fantasy novel soon and I want to make it where there is a being much like God who has a son, which is much like Jesus. These will not be what they are called of course but the idea is the same. There will also be a Hell where the evil inhabitants of the world go after death and a ruler of this Hell; a devil. It will be a good way to distinguish good from evil and to make the world more unique. If I did this, and also mentioned the fact that I'm a christian in the 'about the author' section and compare the characters in the story with actual supernatural beings in the real world, would I lose fanatical atheist readers?
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Owasm
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Once they figure out how transparent your story is, they will put it down.

What you have been describing is pretty much historical fiction if it parallels the bible too closely. In that case, your readership is for people who enjoy that history. If you wrote a book about ancient Greece, you won't get people who hate sword and sandal books.

If you really want to write a book about that subject, then do it. If that book is burning within you, get it out. Don't wring your hands about it. Just do it.ģ


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Kitti
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Say there's an Emperor-over-the-Sea. And he has this son, Aslan....
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Troy
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Of course you would lose some readers. I certainly wouldn't read it. But you'd probably gain some readers, too. One of those things...

Virtually anything you put into a story has the potential to gain or cost you readers. Every reader has their own likes and dislikes. Therefore, to thine own self be true.


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extrinsic
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I don't have enough information to say whether readers would be lost due to religious motifs. How much religious content and the slant of the religious content will impact popularity. Too middling of a religious take and it's just milieu background. In a favoring extreme, inspirational fiction, a religious audience might promote a fantasy story with "just like" religious icons. At the opposite extreme, an audience might react strongly in opposition, which might also result in popular appeal. Controversy sells.

Many individuals who are admonished to boycott irreverent or even blasphemous products will secretly want to judge for themselves whether a product deserves shunning regardless of who says what. One celebrity "bully pulpit" spokesperson banning a product for being innappropriate often creates instead a promotional windfall. Effective word-of-mouth advertising relies on stirring up audience emotions.

[This message has been edited by extrinsic (edited May 17, 2009).]


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wetwilly
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How many readers do you currently have? If you're like most of us here and your fanbase is 1 (yourself) or possibly 2 (and your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/mom), then you really can't lose readers. You can't lose what you don't have. Just write the book and if nobody reads it, well maybe the next one will be your breakthrough.
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TaleSpinner
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I don't think there are many fanatical atheists, if any; even if you did lose them as readers, it wouldn't make much difference.

Of course, some Christians regard all atheists as fanatics; if this is what you meant, then you'd risk a larger readership. Then the question is, who are you writing the story for? If not atheists, it matters not; there are surely plenty of Christians to provide a sound readership.

If the intent of the story is to preach at atheists by exploring a fantasy world where good wins over evil, then I think we'll see through it -- and find something else to read -- whether you mention your own beliefs in the bio or not.

If the story were to twist; if the God-like and Christ-like characters turned evil because absolute power corrupts; if the Devil went sour on badness and realized that an ethical code is in everyone's interests -- then the Christian mention in your bio would probably add some spice.


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Collin
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You know I really hadn't thought about it that way.........
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KayTi
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There's a thriving christian lit marketplace, if you feel compelled to write that story, then look to the christian market when you are ready to sell it.

I would say a story with heavy heavy religious themes and a strongly stated christian belief system in a bio would not have a mass-market appeal, but I can certainly see exceptions to this.

As others say in this thread, write what you feel compelled to write. Then worry about the market for it after.


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tnwilz
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Youíve picked an interesting time to write such a book. The world is changing at an ever faster pace. Books that sold well even ten years ago may not do near so well now. This country in particular, is at the precipice of the greatest changes ever to occur. All the long held basic moral codes are up for a total re-write. The use of drugs is up for re-evaluation Ė perhaps we will legalize Marijuana and tax the dickens out of it, says the governor of California in chorus with several other prominent politicians. The definition of marriage held for thousands of years Ė out the window now. And those who oppose these changes are societyís newest rejects. Miss California is literally hated by the mainstream media for answering a question that has nothing to do with a beauty pageant. Atheists are becoming atheists for a whole new set of reasons now. In my life time itís gone from, ďI donít believe in God leave me aloneĒ to ďI donít believe in God and if you do, youíre weak and stupid and fanatical and judgmental and I hate you and we are many and weíre going to take over everything.Ē Books are being written to demonstrate just how dumb Christians are for believing in something so retarded that it is a source of great amusement for the truly enlightened. And the greatest beauty of being this enlightened Ė itís so incredibly easy. Forget the days of write your own vows, we live in the age of write your own morals. For centuries the world was filled with people who couldnít care less one way or another. People simply too lazy to even look for answers. Thereís no train in sight, the tracks are comfortable to sleep on, heck I doubt there even is a train, Iíve never seen one. The train should prove itself to me if it really wants me off the tracks. People who read train schedules are weak minded and oppressive to me and Iím sick of them trying to make me feel lazy and selfish just because I donít believe in trains. They say the tracks are evidence. How do they know the tracks arenít just naturally occurring phenomena? A random collision of chance and materials conveniently relieving me of any moral obligation?

Europe is almost done with religion. The USA is next. Itís as obvious as the nose on your face. Just look at the content of the TV now, compared to twenty years ago. What was happening in Sodom and Gomorrah that would be outright condemned by todayís media? Iíll tell you what would, the actions of God! So your book is aimed at an audience that is in decline and will very soon be the subject of ever increasing oppression. It is fascinating to watch it all unfold and gather its momentum right on cue. Soon the world will turn on and devour religion eating up her fleshy parts. If the world does not do this, she will have proved the Bible to be a false prophet Ė but donít worry, she just canít help herself. There are still pockets within the USA where a book using this theme would sell if it was well written. But they are on borrowed time.

[This message has been edited by tnwilz (edited May 17, 2009).]


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Troy
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Thanks for the laughs.
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BenM
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I love rant generators.
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tnwilz
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You realize thats fairly ironic right? I mean half the comments came from people who couldn't help but mention they are atheist and wouldn't read Collins book. Mine was the only comment that was from an obviously Christian POV and it immediately generated a typed sneer. At least you proved the point that atheism is no longer a passive POV in this country.

[This message has been edited by tnwilz (edited May 17, 2009).]


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Collin
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An interesting insite tnwilz. I agree with you 100%. When I look at America today, it reminds me of France when it was on the brink of its revolution. The so-called "brilliant minds" of those like Voltaire, Montesque, and Jeaques Rousseou led the people to believe that there was no God. All of France embraced atheism, and their nation was nearly destroyed because of it. Tens of thousands were dragged to the guilletines to be beheaded and tens of thousands more were imprisoned simply because they did not believe in what the mainstream did. I fear America is on an all too similar path. Perhaps we won't be so lucky as to escape from it whole.......

Hmm, it seems I've gotten a little off subject. I apologize. So, the general opinion is that I should write the book first and then worry about who will or won't read it?

[This message has been edited by Collin (edited May 17, 2009).]


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BenM
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So, the general opinion is that I should write the book first and then worry about who will or won't read it?

I think so. Perhaps another approach is to ask yourself if the subject matter will provide you enough motivation and momentum to finish a novel. If you care about it enough, if you feel you've something to say, then does it matter if it reaches 1 person or 1 million?


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Collin
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Good point Benm.
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satate
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If you love it write it. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. First, because your first several books probably won't sell anyways. Second, it's hard to write anything that doesn't inspire you. Third, in ten years religion could be the new hot thing and you could dust off the old story and sell it.
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Troy
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quote:
You realize thats fairly ironic right? I mean half the comments came from people who couldn't help but mention they are atheist and wouldn't read Collins book.

*blink*

What? That didn't happen.

quote:
Mine was the only comment that was from an obviously Christian POV and it immediately generated a typed sneer. At least you proved the point that atheism is no longer a passive POV in this country.

That didn't happen either.

*confused*

[This message has been edited by Troy (edited May 18, 2009).]


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TaleSpinner
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quote:

half the comments came from people who couldn't help but mention they are atheist and wouldn't read Collins book.

Who better to answer the question about the possible reactions of atheists?

quote:

At least you proved the point that atheism is no longer a passive POV in this country.

Are atheists supposed to be quiet about their beliefs? Can Christianity not survive rational criticism?

I think atheists should be treated with the same respect here as those of faith.

One aspect of the above that particularly annoys me is the implication that only those of faith can have morals. It's perfectly possible to develop a liberal moral code that's consistently based on an ethical framework of compassion for the weak and respect for the views and individual freedoms of others. Christians would recognize underlying principles such as "Do as you would be done by" and "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

For writers, the message is this: a story that demonstrates a simplistic understanding of the morals of atheists, agnostics and other non-Judeo-Christian belief systems will only play to a Christian audience, and a narrow one at that, for there are Christians who understand and respect other views.


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Troy
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For the record, twilz, I'm not an atheist. And I only went out of my way to tell Collins I wouldn't read it because he asked.
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dee_boncci
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Collin,

You seem to be drawn to Bible-based themes. So I agree with the others who say to just go ahead and do it, and don't worry about how popular it will be. If your main concern is appealing to as wide an audience as possible, then perhaps you should consider romance or mystery stories.


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tnwilz
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Collin was asking how a fictional story with a Christian undertow would do in todayís market. After a couple of ĎI wouldnít read ití and Ďweíd see through itísí, I felt I had an opinion on the current and changing market from a different perspective. That market is changing and changing fast. Mankindís battle to break free from a God imposed code of right and wrong is accelerating as Christians have long known it would. These turn of events are plainly prophesied in the Bible. That was really my point. I also said that the world is now trying to say that Christian reasoning is laughable and its proponents are fools. So how ironic is it that after I state my opinion, someone retorts by saying my opinion is laughable? Iím only talking about the evolving state of the market and why I believe it is changing, not individuals here, whom I really donít know. Itís just a different perspective on Collinís question.

Itís not that Christians believe that only they can have a moral code at all; itís just that they donít believe we have the right to make up our own ďliberal moral code.Ē But that's been the battle since the beginning of the rebellion hasn't it. Whatís happening, must happen and you have front row seats.

Edit: You know what might make a great story Collin; a story about an entire civilization that are in the midst of the greatest rebellion of all time. But, theyíve been in it so long and for so many generations, most are utterly unaware that their very planet is a battle ground.

[This message has been edited by tnwilz (edited May 18, 2009).]


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extrinsic
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This is a writing forum, not a soap box for promoting questionable opinions on religion and politics. And it's certainly not appropriate when at least a thousand distinctive religious demoninations practice their faith freely in the US and elsewhere and that do not necessarily agree with those questionable opinions. I'm sure there are likely almost as many religious denominations represented here as there are members.
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Troy
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quote:
So how ironic is it that after I state my opinion, someone retorts by saying my opinion is laughable?

You know, I'd address this further, but it could only end with me getting into trouble with our esteemed moderator. Suffice to say, this is the third time you've directly addressed something written by me, and it's the third time you've gotten it wrong. Your crystal-ball powers are not very good.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I think Collin has received the answer to his question.

Thank you all who helped provide his answer.


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