Before I start this post I feel I should inform you that I received a rejection e-mail today from the publisher who showed an interest in The-Book-Formerly-Known-As-Silver. Which I was expecting and means I can now consider rewriting it. But no feedback, what's up with that? What does that mean?
As part of my 2012 New Year resolutions, I decided to start entering short story competitions. So since January, I have been trying to enter at least one a month. It hasn’t quite worked out that way but I have entered quite a few. I’m still to be placed which has led me to start planning an assault on the short story including a course and lots of practice and research, but that’s another story…
A recent short story competition in Writing Magazine is on the theme of love. Easy, I thought. Every genre can have a love theme and so I set about planning my entry. I came up with about seven ideas and whittled them down to four. Two apocalyptic love stories and two nice, normal romances. It was one of the apocalyptic stories which interested me the most so that was the one I wrote.
I read it back yesterday with a mind to getting a critique done on it. I don’t know if it was good, as such. It just didn’t feel right. So I went through it with a highlighter and picked out my favourite pieces and attempted a rewrite.
Then I wondered if apocalypse stories count as fantasy stories? Or are they horror? Is the reason I'm having problems with this because I'm not writing a fantasy story?
I suppose what I'm really asking is can writers get stuck in their genre? Feeling frustrated, I threw the story to the side and had some chocolate.
With the morning came a clearer head and I will be having another bash at this story. However, the point remains. Do we write in a particular genre because it’s where our heart lies or because we can’t write anything else?
I have been writing fantasy long before I made a conscious decision that this is what I enjoyed writing. Before the writers block incident of 2001, I had been writing only paranormal romance. Since then I have experimented with dark fantasy, high fantasy and epic fantasy but all of it fantasy.
Given my experience, am I capable of writing a crime thriller? Perhaps, although a dragon might appear at any moment.
I like to think I would be able to change genre easily, but it is so easy to get stuck in a rut. Considering that each piece of work and novel is a new learning curve, changing genre might just be too much to handle.
While this thought process is interesting, it doesn’t necessarily help me. Love is universal, across all genres and I should be able to write a good love story. Perhaps a fantasy love story would not stand a chance at getting placed in a non-fantasy magazine but that shouldn’t stop me from being able to write something I can be proud of.
So I will put that down to a bad day, brush myself off and have another go. After all, a writer is nothing without perseverance.
Do you write across genres? Or do you have any favourite authors who do?