Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Writerly Wednesday: Bad Religion

To come up with a writing topic that I haven't talked about before can be a difficult process.

I've tackled things like weight issues, gay teens, sex appeal, and teenage drinking. So what is there left to conquer?

Well there are definitely alot of taboos in society that we see in everyday YA literature. With the spirit of the holidays in full bloom, I thought it was time to talk about religion.

Here's the thing, religion is very prevelant in YA literature with books about fallen angels and vampires with morals, but you never really get that full religious experience unless it's a christian novel. Why?

GP Ching and I were discussing her Soulkeepers series and she came up with a very valid point, you can't have a fallen angel story without talking about how the main character views religion.  There are touches of what some main characters think of religion in books like Fallen, but it is more or less danced around.

Why is religion so taboo? We can talk about sex, drugs, and eating disorders, but we can't talk about christianity?

 What are your thoughts on this?


  1. Tough one. I edge around "religion" in my stories, and put the focus on spirituality. Some people believe in God, but not in organized religion. Other people don't, or don't until something in their life drives them to search out meaning in their lives, and for some, that means God.

    Thought provoking post, Magan.

  2. Religion is something which is a touchy subject because of how personal it is. Imagine walking into a room and spotting a naked stranger. Now imagine instead that you are looking upon their soul instead of their body. Pretty personal, huh?

    That said, we also tend not to notice when people make stories based on Buddhism or Hindi or Islam because they are not in our collective consciousness. When a character rejects the big books of Abraham and goes off on another path, these religious views are not something most Americans are educated enough to comment upon. This does not mean we are foolish, it just means these stories are outside of our realm of common knowledge.

    But why are we so uncomfortable about this topic? Well, there are few other topics in which a few careless words and offend thousands of people enough that they might want to actually kill you. That is a frightening concept indeed.

  3. I think it's so taboo because it is guaranteed to narrow down one's readers based upon whether or not they agree with the way religion is portrayed in the book. But, such is the case with many subjects so I see nothing wrong with tackling religion in one's writing if that's what you want to do. We can't please everyone and as long as we go into it knowing that, we're okay.


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