Fred Clark’s blog, Slacktivist, is probably best known for his long-running in-depth skewering of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind books, the best-selling evangelical series/franchise about what happens to those left behind to deal with the Antichrist after the Rapture takes every true Christian and every child on Earth to Heaven, body and soul. You may have heard of it recently because Nicolas Cage has signed on to star in the remake of the movie.
Left Behind is a very bad book series in terms of theology; it’s an equally bad book series in terms of writing. (In November, when writing the first draft of my novel, I started to notice that passages of Nicolae: Rise of the Antichrist had certain stylistic similarities to my novel — repeating things to make absolutely sure the audience got the point, spending pages upon pages on minutiae like how my characters were getting from one place to another, etc. The thing is, I will be revising and removing that kind of thing before I publish. Jenkins and LaHaye just went ahead and published the terrible first-draft version.) Reading Fred Clark’s careful, clever critiques of the books’ writing style over many years has done wonderful things for my own writing ability.
(Below the cut I’m going to start talking about Christianity and my relationship to it. Feel free to skip by it — but check out those links above!) Continue reading