Lutheran writer Lars Walker posted a great piece over on Patheos.com as part of the Patheos Public Square on Myth, Imagination, Fairy Tales, and Fantasy. And Faith., titled, “Mary Sue the Barbarian: Mining our Inner Evil.” In it, he explores character formation in light of what we know to be true: actual evil!
The article is well worth a read in its entirety—He has a way with words, after all—and he hits on a point that’s very close to home for me. “Christian” writing is often nothing of the sort. In his own words, “I find most Christian fantasy writing cloyingly ‘nice’. Characters of great villainy . . . . operate in a world obscured by a pink cloud of niceness.”
The irony of Christians hiding the sin of even their antagonists should be palpable. Once again, fallen humanity turns away from the revelation of Scripture to paint picture of ourselves or humanity under a false image.
Fiction contains truth even if it does so under a story. Christians authors are positioned so well to work with the truth that God reveals and delve deeply into human nature and the real redemptive motifs available to us. Why rebury the truth, even if its about the darkness of the human heart? Why hide away from the very topics arguably best approached through the format of words?
Read the article. Consider Mary Sue and her bigger, uglier sister Mary Sumo (love it!). Consider your characters and real, actual human nature, and write away!