1. Autumn Grayson says:

    To an extent I feel conflicted about the Christian fiction “brand” in terms of clean fiction and such. Partially because different people have different definitions of what is clean or not. I might not have a problem with a book using words like “damn” in a book aimed at teens and adults, but other people act like it’s the most horrible thing ever. Some people also say we should be able to write about more “gritty” subjects like violence and sex as long as the scenes are not too detailed and are there to talk about difficult issues rather than to be gratuitous.

    This issue brings up questions of whether Christians should really scrub their fiction clean to the point of dishonesty(completely ignoring the way the Bible treats such subjects) or how Christian publishers can adhere to standards of a “good clean fiction” brand when audience ideas of what is clean enough will vary.

    I don’t want Christian fiction to be just like secular fiction, all over the place with beliefs and morals to the point that some things aren’t even remotely Christian. But at the same time, I think one of the only ways to handle all this is to handle branding more according to the Christian publisher’s brand, rather than expecting the brand of Christian fiction to be the same across the board. So some Christian publishers may have the brand of being so clean that characters won’t even use words like heck and darn. Perhaps a different company has the brand of having dark and gritty Christian fiction that challenges readers and helps them understand how Christians can follow God even in the most difficult circumstances.

    I think all this is part of why I want to publish most of my own stories, rather than trying to fit into whatever box some other publisher would expect me to fit in. And really, sometimes I feel like self published works are often better than ones that are written just to fulfill a huge company’s brand.

What do you think?