Fiction is fiction – well of course it is! But as writers-for-a-reason, we have to remember that the main reason young people pick up and read a story, is to be entertained.
Of course, we write for a reason – that’s why we’re here! But we must make sure that the message we want to convey doesn’t come over as preachy. Readers don’t pick up a novel to be informed about an issue, they read stories to be entertained, to escape from reality, to fly off to an imaginary world for a while. Stories are to be enjoyed!
So if we want to inform our readers within the pages of our novels, we need to create fiction that will pass on a message as part of an engaging story: perhaps that the Lord answers prayer, that choices have consequences, that they are not alone, that they have a father in heaven who cares for them…
If you are writing for older children or young adults, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a subtle theme, requiring your readers to think a bit in order to pick up an underlying message and make the connection with their own lives. Jesus did that with parables, so it’s got to be a good way to tell a story!
If you are writing for younger readers, you will need to make your story simpler and more straightforward. But you still need to have a fun and enjoyable story if you want them to keep reading!
It’s an art, and practice helps, so don’t give up! 🙂
Grace and peace to you,