Why I Write What I Write

I like to read various genres, but I mainly stick to YA (young adult) and/or Sci-Fi. I love it when I find good YA Sci-Fi books. When I write, I stick almost exclusively to YA Sci-Fi, and more recently, I have also added another genre to the mix: Christian. Some of you may be asking, how does one pull off YA Christian Sci-Fi? To be perfectly honest, it is difficult to do when I am relying on my own sense of what the plot should be.

However, when I truly surrender to God, the writing becomes effortless.

In my last post, I mentioned that for the most part, I haven’t been doing a very good job in surrendering my writing. I was trying so hard to control the outcome that I was literally forcing writer’s block upon myself. However, over the past week, I’ve been doing much better. With the exception of Monday, I wrote at least 500 words every day. And not only that, I had a huge brainstorm that will affect all of my books (in a good way).

The brainstorm sparked a “historical” story, in that I’ve been inspired to write about a young woman (an immigrant) who discovers how to create portals. The story takes place before my main character’s grandparents were born, so it is interesting to write about that world without all the technology my main character uses all the time. For years, I have been trying to decide who figured out how to create portals, but I couldn’t think of any good theories.

Now I have a very interesting and creative idea, and I am having fun discovering the story behind it.

I mentioned last week that writing had ceased to be an adventure. Well, now the gloves are off and the game is on! I think I will actually use this story for Nanowrimo, although I will continue to write a bit of it every day this month as well. I am confident that there is plenty of story to carry me through this month at 500-1,500 words/day and then roughly 2,000 words/day for Nanowrimo.

The main point I want to make in this post today is that there is a connection between writing my favorite genre combo (YA Sci-Fi) and surrendering my writing to God. Again, I will return to the question, how does one pull off YA Christian Sci-Fi? For me personally, I believe that part of my purpose is to reach out to people and share the Gospel with them.

Those of you who know me may be wondering why I would say that, considering that I have generally been a shy introvert all my life (or at least I have acted like one). I will admit that I sometimes have problems sharing the Gospel by speaking directly with people, but generally, I really do want to reach people for the Lord. I believe that one way I can do it is through my writing, and I’m not just saying that so I can “get out of” speaking to people.

I honestly believe my writing will change lives.

Also, as I said before, I want to write what God wants me to write. There are certain things I won’t include in my stories, such as bad language, gratuitous violence, and explicit sexual content. I am not saying that solely because I am afraid of offending the Christians I hope will read my book one day, but because I honestly dislike those things myself. I believe I can have fully-formed, believable characters without having them spouting off profanity.

Will my characters be “human?” Yes. They will make mistakes, and they will face consequences. Some of them will have rough childhoods because their parents made mistakes, or because they were kidnapped by a military group who wants to train child soldiers. My stories aren’t going to be “goody two-shoes” Christian, but they will undeniably be Christian.

But here’s the thing: I also really love the Sci-Fi genre. It may not be too much of a stretch to combine Christian and Sci-Fi, but I have a feeling some people may not have an easy time believing that, at least until they’ve read my books. In any case, I believe that God will be able to use this genre in getting His message through me. He knows what I enjoy, and He gives me the desires of my heart. I did say before that I used to write just what I wanted to read and now I’ve changed, but in a way, that isn’t entirely true.

I still do write what I want to read, but I’M the one who has changed, at a heart level.

So, that is why I write what I write. I have a message, which I believe God has placed within me, and I am having a grand time expressing that message through my favorite genre hybrid: YA Christian Sci-Fi. I truly believe this message will change lives, and as I’ve said before, I can’t wait to see what God has in store for my writing.

For my readers who are also writers, what are your favorite genres to write? Do you like separate genres or combinations/hybrids? What is the strangest genre combination you can think of? Do you believe you have a message that you are expressing through your writing? Please answer in the blog comments section, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments, or shoot me an e-mail at rachel@theblessingconduit.org.

Published by Rachel

Rachel McDermott wrote and illustrated her first story, titled The Cat and the Rat, at age 7. She has been writing ever since, and has dreamed of becoming a published author. Young Adult Science Fiction is her favorite genre to read and write, and she started writing Christian Young Adult Science Fiction after rededicating her life to Christ in 2009. She is currently in the editing stage of self-publishing her first book, The Crown Jewel.

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