The plot is too often left in formula format, pretty weak and focused as a testimony of the author’s Christian doctrine. The characters are either strong believers in the beginning or become stronger through hammering manipulation. After all, we only have 300-400 pages to get this character on the right track and “times’ a’wastin'” Now and then, the villain is cheerfully dispatched to ‘the fiery place’, but there are some stories where the author cleans everybody up…”No lost soul left behind”.
Authors do well in the draft stages of their book to follow formula. But, there is a responsibility to the testimony, God, and the reader to go past formula and press out the story…trust me the story is there and won’t suffer from some work on the presentation. Little things like spelling, typos, flow or finishing a scene can make the difference between a disappointed reader who misses the idea of the testimony because the book was laid aside as difficult to follow or BORING. As God has placed a story on your heart, dear Author, write it better than WELL, then go back and check one more time to His glory. Or risk becoming a scary voice crying in the wilderness, responsible for the miss-direction of reader souls and spirits. Write better than the ordinary time-waster that tells a real reader the author and publisher just wanted the money, offers no satisfaction promise and figures the book will be put aside before reaching that soft spot in the middle or that weary ending.
The ham-handedness of a Reefer Madness copycat isn’t as offensive when the author and publisher haven’t pushed the “Rush to Publish” button and set a sloppy story loose on the readership. I’m insulted by a poorly arranged and edited story that could have been a positive spiritual influence.
I’ve added the 1937 movie REEFER MADNESS because in its dreams (nightmares) of offering a scare tactic about the evils of marijuana use, the exaggerated, melodramatic production could easily achieve the opposite dream…bigger nightmare. I do not endorse or approve of the use of marijuana as a recreational drug. As a personal conviction, I believe ‘drugs’ (including some prescriptions) are for ‘free spirit wannabees with poor imagination skills’ and I don’t have that problem, so I don’t use the illegal, addictive substances or Tobacco. (Except I will let my roses have some tobacco)
About the reviewing — I haven’t had the patience to write a book. Any author who can get me past Page 50 without giving up, gets One Star for showing up. For many of the books that are discussed in this post, there is a Second Star because they offer ‘time wasting’ without debauchery. The stories are good for those moments in time when, as a Desperado Waiting For a Train, I just want something in front of my eyes for the duration and it doesn’t have to be profound. A Third Star awaits the author’s research, unique topic and story idea. A weak plot, and poor editing can cost the coveted Fourth and Fifth Star. To get one of them on an ugly, rushed-to-publish book, the author had better have a very good personal story that intrigues me.