How well I remember the first "Christian fiction" book I read. One of the few books I tried so hard to read, I gave up on out of pure-dee boredom.
A handsome, young man was ship-wrecked and found unconscious by the lovely lady, who cared for him in her cabin by the shore. For two hundred pages, she watched him sleep. He didn't eat, he didn't stir, and he didn't die. Or maybe he did, but I was long gone by then.
So for several years, I didn't give Christian fiction another chance.
What we now prefer to call "inspirational" fiction has leapt from safe and syrupy to real-world drama. Characters with a Christian mindset tackle challenges of daily life. The genre leads readers through a realistic plot, action, and emotions.
We are spiritual beings, searching for answers to conundrums, relationships to others and to God. Spritual being required spiritual solutions to their problems.
Inspirational fiction entertains while it uplifts and encourages. The reader can depend on a satisfying conclusion, leaving a sweet taste when the plot is resolved.
God did not promise us that our lives would be easy; in fact, He guaranteed we would have problems if we live a Christian life. Inspiration, then, is derived from walking with a well-drawn character through a "true fiction" situation. We laugh, we cry, we see how someone else with a godly worldview might have created a life. That's the backbone of "inspirational fiction."