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Would you read a biblical fiction book if its main character was male?


Would you read a biblical fiction book if its main character was male?  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. If a work of biblical fiction had male main characters (female characters were only orbital/secondary), would you read the book? (This will help me with my book proposal. TIA!)

    • Yes
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    • No
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  • Poll closed on 08/16/2020 at 04:30 AM

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Agents and publishers want to guarantee that biblical fiction will draw a whopping % of female readers, so there's a big push for biblical fiction to have female MCs. I recently had a very prestigious lit agency say I had a great book proposal, my writing met their standards, but they wouldn't rep me if my MCs were the Wise Men. 

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I have

6 drafts with male

1 published with males

1 flash fiction with male 

1 published with Android and male ancillary 

1 flash fiction with wood 

 

Why wouldn't I read it?

Would I if it were female, yes. Unless it's a romance story, then it doesn't matter, I won't even open the cover.

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58 minutes ago, Lana Christian said:

@carolinamtne, I'm not trying to find female characters.  (There's no shortage of them to write about.) The issue is what publishers are demanding in the biblical fiction space--for the MC to be female, not male.

I'm confused 

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8 hours ago, zx1ninja said:

I'm confused 

 

Apparently publishers of Biblical fiction think their readers (who are primarily female) only want to read stories about women, but the MC of her story is male. At least that’s what I understand the issue to be...

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Well then, (as he puts the wrench down and picks up a partially soiled rag to begin wiping off his hands with it). I didn't understand the question then. Ethan Hunt or Lora Croft, doesn't matter. Action with a decent story line, a few car chases and the occasional blown up things is all I need. 😁😎

 

I think you'll find however, that in the Bible the majority of stories have male MC with few female MC.

 

Just the way it was in that time of society, (Don't take this wrong, it's not from me, it's historical fact.) Women didn't count in society then even though they did as much, if not more work. 

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23 minutes ago, zx1ninja said:

Just the way it was in that time of society, (Don't take this wrong, it's not from me, it's historical fact.) Women didn't count in society then even though they did as much, if not more work. 

 

I'd have to beg to differ on that--as in many Near/Mid Eastern societies even today, women's roles are far from public, but they count for a great deal. However, their part in society, though greatly influential, is traditionally in the private rather than the public sphere. Since it's somewhat hidden, it's often more difficult to gauge women's influence, leading people from a Western society, where men's and women's roles are both in the public sphere, to think they don't have much influence.

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I appreciate everyone's comments, but we're getting a little off topic. Here's the deal: The mindset of larger publishing houses (and, by extension, many agents) is that (1) mostly women read biblical fiction, so (2) they want to read about female protagonists. I'm sure publishers have statistics to back that up, but it's pushing THAT NICHE in a certain direction. Agents who rep biblical fiction coach those authors to write in a certain way for this reason. Writing a male MC IN THAT NICHE gets a kindly rejection. That's the current climate FOR THAT NICHE. It's given me pause because I've sunk 3 years into a book series I totally believe will be a success but am hearing otherwise. SO ... back to the poll: All I'm asking is that if you were to pick up a well-written biblical fiction book and its MC was male, would you still read it?

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15 minutes ago, Zee said:

I'd have to beg to differ on that--as in many Near/Mid Eastern societies even today, women's roles are far from public, but they count for a great deal. However, their part in society, though greatly influential, is traditionally in the private rather than the public sphere. Since it's somewhat hidden, it's often more difficult to gauge women's influence, leading people from a Western society, where men's and women's roles are both in the public sphere, to think they don't have much influence.

Thank you for writing what I am thinking!  

This is another level of AND/OR thinking. Our influence is not dependent on our visibility. 

2 minutes ago, Lana Christian said:

but we're getting a little off topic.

That happens quite often around here. Go with the flow! We're deep thinkers and can take a subject waaaaayyyy beyond what the original post intended. 

To me, your three years are not wasted, though you may need to investigate other publishing models. Those biblical fiction agents and editors who reject you have painted themselves into the corner and are not serving another segment of the population that you might be called to reach. Be brave! Be bold! Our responses all indicate that what you have written is valuable and wanted by Christian readers. 

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1 hour ago, zx1ninja said:

Action with a decent story line, a few car chases and the occasional blown up things is all I need. 

Sorry to distract again, but not likely to find a few car chases in biblical stories, even with male MCs.

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15 hours ago, Lana Christian said:

...The Wise Men.

It's revisionist, but the Magi in my alternate history are a matriarchal society of librarians and the agents they send to Judea are Armenian merchants.

 

I don't know how it's doing, but our own PenName has a book out on the Joseph story. 

 

I'd chalk this one up as an "It's good, but it's not for us..."

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I admire Lana for knowing what publishers are interested in buying. Personally, I have never made a purchasing decision based on race or gender - my criteria are the big ideas presented, the writing style, the POV (I won't read Present Tense at all), and little things like style (gerunding turns me off quicker than anything, 'turning, I went down the stairs). 

I'm super finincky but I have limited time for reading, so I only read the very best books which fit all those criteria. As a result, I never have a bad reading experience because I've crossed off all the things I don't care for in my fiction.

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