Branding for my writing

Missy Tippens over at the Seekerville had a post about a list of 10
points that are most important in her work that she always makes sure to include.

I thought this was a great idea for branding one’s work. When I
write/edit my story, I naturally have certain guiding principals that I
follow. But after reading Missy’s post, I’ve decided to write them
down.

1. I want to write stories that exalt Jesus.
HEART AND SEOUL was born out of my desire to capture how Jesus drew me to Him and made me fall in love with Him.

2. I want to write stories that reflect who I am: a follower of Jesus Christ, an Asian and an immigrant, a wife of Caucasian man from Kansas, a mother of a biracial child, etc.

The hero in HEART AND SEOUL is a biracial man working in Seoul.

I am well aware that the Christian romance market is not all that
interested in stories with international settings or non-white
characters. But this story reflects who I am. If I take these elements
out, the story wouldn’t ring true.

3. Opening with action (something unexpected happens)
One of my pet peeves when I’m reading a fiction is when a character
spends most of the beginning chapter reflecting on what happened in the past. I want the story to start right away!

Also when I’m reading, I expect something unexpected to happen in the first chapter. So I write my story that way, too.

4. Imperfect characters who are strong, who are more interested in doing something than having internal monologue.
I think this point reflects my personality. When life happens, I deal
with them by doing something about them. I rarely get paralyzed with
internal struggles or feel the need to talk on and one about them.

In fiction, I prefer fast paced stories. But everything that happens
has to contribute to the overall story. I’ve read books where things
are constantly happening, but they really didn’t have anything to do
with the overall story. Not good.

5. Quirky and unusual situations that allow readers to experience something new.
In real life, I don’t get to experience everything out there, nor do
I want to. One of the benefits of reading fiction is that I get a
glimpse of other people’s lives that is totally different from mine.

For example, in HEART AND SEOUL, I have a scene that takes place in a
booking club in Seoul. I have never been to a booking club, only read
about it. As far as I know, booking clubs are unique to Korea, and I had
fun throwing Melanie (the main character) in that situation and allow
readers to experience it through her.

I’ll write the rest of the points that are most important in my work
in another post. If you have your own list, please share.

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