Maybe I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t seem to pick just one genre. I have so many ideas and hello, I write fiction! One of the most common pieces of advice I’ve seen from publishers, editors, agents and fellow authors is to write what you know. To read what you write (so you can accomplish the former, obviously). I read a lot of different genres. Perhaps, that’s where the root of my problem lies. Telling me that I can only read one kind of book, though, is like telling me I’m only allowed to listen to one kind of music. Ex-squeeze me? What if I want to curl up with Stephen King and listen to Chopin? Read Jane Austen while listening to Breaking Benjamin? I will, you know. Just watch me.
Following the templates laid out for each genre is where it gets a little tricky. Especially when you’re dealing with readers who have abnormal standards, because of those masterminds that came before us and set the bar extremely high. Having been a reviewer for a time, the one thing I’ve come to appreciate the most, both as a reader and a writer, is realism – which really irks the creative side of my brain a lot!
Here’s a look at how some of these internal debates go in the case of genres…
Contemporary Romance: This is a love story about two hearts finding each other against all odds. There’s no need for super hot lessons in biology.
Pfft! Borrrrrrring! Spice this drivel up or I quit! This isn’t the Hallmark channel!
Erotica: Now we’re talking!
Whoa, just wait a minute, people still have to have normal, natural reactions. The world they live in still has to run logically and the laws of physics still have to apply!
Science Fiction: I’d like to readdress this matter of physics now.
Ha, that’s what I thought!
What about that plot filled with technical land-mines? The readers aren’t going to buy your nonsense. You have to research. We don’t work for NASA or Lucas Films, you know.
…I don’t think I like you very much.
Sword & Sorcery: Mm… we’re treading into Tolkien territory here. We’re going to have to be exceptionally ingenious with this.
The villagers doth have torches and pitchforks, don’t they?
That, they do.
We’re world building and there are so many pitfalls, expectations.
Whatever happened to creative freedom?
Okay! ‘Nuff said, jeez.
Then there’s the politics. You know world building ALWAYS incorporates politics – what are you doing?
Just placing a wobbly chair under this here rope. Wait… there’s magic!
So, you can do anything with magic! Even, you know… be extraordinarily agile and have amazing recuperative powers for more –
I get it.
😀 [uses foot to slowly, inconspicuously push chair back against the wall where it belongs]