Tag Archive | genre

Getting the Words Down

When you first start writing a story, do you start where you as a writer need to start? Or do you try out first lines/paragraphs until you get it just right? I just finished 6 handwritten pages, and I know that it will all be backstory. The character that is the focus of that chapter isn’t a main POV character— but what happens to her is what sets the whole shebang going.

I needed to know what happened to her, what set everything in motion before I could start the rest. And still, I’m stuck. I know where I need to go, but I’m trying to figure out whether to open it up with the drunken knight or the scared little boy. These two characters are the ones that will change the most within the story— but I’m still probably going to start with the drunk. Simply because it’ll be fun 🙂

I’ve struggled with this one. Partially because I almost always have written female main characters. This will be a leap for me. My last big leap was a modern paranormal in first person. All in one shot! I think I’m at the point where I want to not only enjoy writing, but also stretch a little when I do it. The paranormal needs a lot of work before I send it out again, and I’m debating writing more on it….

But for now, I want to go back to magic and mayhem and horses and knights who are a bit broken. And the POV’s will be mail, and also…probably not quite the same tone as I normally use.

How do you stretch yourself as a writer? Do you change up POV, genre, style?

Dear Bruce Willis

I don’t know if the reports about what you said about making action movies is correct or not. Did you really basically say you were in it only for the money? I don’t know. Could be the media has blown this all way out of proportion. It’s happened before.

But really. C’mon. If this is the truth, then I say to you: put your money where your mouth is. There are thousands, if not millions of writers out there. I bet one of us could come up with either a non-action film that could gross lots of money OR an action film that might just make you say “Hey, that sounds like fun.” I really think you should do it. Want more ideas? Open it up to short story or novel writers.

Because here’s the thing. If you keep going on the path you’re on, you will end up like so many hack writers. They need money, so figure “Hey, I’ll knock out a quick romance / children’s book/ tween novel and sell it for mucho money.” The problem is that even if they get published, the readers know that they aren’t on the same page so to speak. I have a Master’s degree in English, but I proudly carried my novels (romance and epic fantasy included) to school. They are the genres that I love, and I saw no reason to break my own mold.

There’s no guarantee when you go off and do your own thing. But  you know, if you’re true to yourself things have a way of working out. Or at least working to make you happy. I understand that some people can’t see the joy. They worry over every penny and wonder how someone with less can smile and enjoy life.

I’ll tell you why. Because we know the secret to life. There are, in fact, things more important to money. The next few months will hurt financially for me, but you know what? I’ll still be able to cover my bills. And if my son’s happiness is really all wrapped up in getting a new toy every week (a habit I broke him of), then… well, i haven’t done my job as a parent.

If you don’t like the movies you’ve been offered, Bruce, go and find the story that you want to tell on screen.

If you don’t like the genre you’re writing in, find something that makes your soul sing. Your fingers will start flying over the keyboard, and at least you’ll know that you’ve given it your all.

Ok. I’ll get off my soap box for now.

By the way: My laptop was unfortunately injured and has been with the tech for a while, but I just got it back. YAY! Normal (for me) book review tomorrow. I still have Brandy Purdy’s new book to get you to buy…um, tell you about LOL!

Till tomorrow!

The Name of the Wind By Patrick Rothfuss

Earlier in the week, I was scrolling through my blog reader, and came across this article  all about a fantasy series by Patrick Rothfuss. It intrigued me enough that I went and downloaded it onto my Nook.

The Name of The Wind is the first book in a series called The Kingkiller Chronicles.

You know those books that you put down and come back to never? THIS IS NOT THAT BOOK. As is the key with rich worlds, I fell into it and didn’t come up for air until I had finished. Words with Friends? PPfFFTTT. I was busy with Chronicler, Bast and Kvothe for the whole week.

Well, except for the pre-birthday shenanigans for my son’s birthday, and then the very real stomach flu on his actual birthday.

I love the language of this (world? character? writer? book?). But the mix between the regular everyday language in The Name of The Wind and the troubadour’s soul that comes through to pluck gently at your soul… oh wow.

And then there’s the framework of the story. It is a mix of first and third. The first person narrative is Kvothe telling his own story: of being half feral in the big city, of going to university, of love and loss and everything in between. Third person narrative is the present day, when he’s telling the story to Chronicler and Bast and interacting with the locals his inn serves.

It would be a mistake to miss those third person chapters, however. Because it becomes very obvious that the present may be just as perilous, if not more so, than the past.

Ohhh,…. I’m forcing myself *not* to buy book 2 yet. Maybe next weekend. I have things I have to get done and can’t afford to disappear for a week again.

 

In other news, I started a fiction writing class (of the online variety), and have been writing a little bit every day. Can’t ask for more than that right now. I also just some new books to read. I’m really liking the novel by Holly Chamberlain. It’s very different from the Name of the Wind, but I needed that.

Of course, I noticed that part of the frame work is similar to NotW.hehehehe.

 

Ta, my lovelies!

The Plot thickens

Shake em, stir em, rattle them babies around. It’s kind of nice seeing the stregnth anf vulnerabilities of your characters start to pop through. I had no idea that the tentatively titled “Garden” would have so much of a romantic subplot.

Yes. Subplot.

Because there’s a lot going on underneath that. A lot of healing that has to be done, by the heroine, before she’s going to be ready to trust someone again. And yes, she must heal herself. No one can drag you through it, but they can definately help you through it.

Yes, this one is going to have some my life in it. A lot of it. The thing is, I really really want to write this the way it deserves to be written. I love Sarah Addison Allen, and I’ve devoured all of her books. I like the magic weaving through “real” life, the characters are slightly off beat…

But they don’t have the asinine humor that I somtime’s deploy.

Yah. I said it.

When my son was a wee little babe I called him, among other things, Melon Head. I even wrote a poem about him at ten months, calling him “Beloved Melon Head”. It’s right there on the top of the page— click on it and take a look. I can wait a moment.

Waiting

Waiting

Yah. See? I can be a bit asanine. But even though there are things in there that aren’t quite right, you can tell through every line of the poem that I adore that baby.

And that’s the kind of book I want to write.

A little bit asanine, but with the beauty of possiblity woven through out.

I’m game. are you?

Note:

If you’re up to it, I’m appearing on the Mocha Memoirs Press Blog for 4/10. Another 10×10, but this time I did top ten movies. Which is harder than it looks, by the way! By the end I had to think really hard about the movies. But they are a great cross section to know the kind of person I’m like 🙂  Go find me at the MMP Blog at http://mochamemoirspress.blogspot.com/ My post should go live at midnight tonight, or you know, tomorrow as that’s the date I’m set for over there (4/10). Even if you don’t see me, poke around— there are several great authors over there blogging on a regular basis.  Oh, and Rie’s blog post back on the fifth has a snippet of ME! yes, me! They Love me! They really do! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

Ta, my lovelies! I’m planning on blogging again tomorrow, as I will be gone all next week starting on Sunday. We’re going to Disney Land!

Guest Post- Rie Sheridan Rose

I asked a good friend (a sister from another mother) and writing mentor to do a guest post on writing in multiple genres. It’s something that a whole lot of people don’t talk about. We all read in different genres and forms (poetry, high fantasy, magazines, news papers, chick-lit, romance, contemporary, literary fiction, classics, gossip columns…. and those are just from my reading list LOL), but do we write in different genres? Why did Nora Roberts have to write under a different name in order to be taken seriously as a mystery writer (ok, that had something to do with gender at the time, too…)… but the question remains. Will you follow an author across genres? Have you ever thought about it?

Without further ado, here’s one of the bendiest writers I ever did know. She crosses genre and form with a single bound… and does it extremely well.

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So, when I was asked to do a guest blog post, I said sure. About what?

Maybe I should have asked that FIRST.

I have been asked to talk about writing in different genres. I suppose this might be because I have written/published:

1)      Science Fiction

2)      Fantasy

3)      Horror

4)      Steampunk

5)      Romance

6)      Erotica

7)      Poetry

8)      Young Adult

9)      Picture books

10)   Lyrics

11)   Non-fiction

12)   Blogs

In other words, pretty much a little bit of everything.

Some people think that one needs to specialize in a specific genre to be good at it. I personally think that limits your potential. For one thing, what if you become blocked in your genre of choice? If you are having trouble writing on a fantasy, say, why would starting a new fantasy be any easier? If, however, you write in a range of genres, and you become blocked on the fantasy, you can work on your horror novel for a bit.

Also, no genre is perfectly contained within itself. A good fantasy may include romance or horror. A good romance may be science fiction in setting. The more genres—and their conventions—that you are familiar with and comfortable working in, the more layered and rich your work becomes.

Personally, when I am blocked, or wishing to write, but don’t have a lot of time, my go-to genre is poetry. For one thing, poetry is dictated by form, not subject, so you have the best of both worlds. You can write poetry in any genre. I have an entire collection of fairy tale poetry, for example.

In short, my best advice is never limit yourself. Keep trying new things. It will help you grow as a writer. Every genre that you try is another that may become your new favorite. You will never know if you can write in a genre until you try. But if you find you don’t like one, let go of it. Don’t feel trapped into a rut.

I know I have tried time and time again to write a mystery novel. For some reason, it still eludes me. But I haven’t given up wanting to write in one of my favorite genres to read. I keep trying.

Writing is supposed to be fun. Always remember that. And keep experimenting—it will keep your writing fresh for the readers.

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To find Rie’s work on Barnes & Noble, go here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/rie-sheridan?store=allproducts&keyword=rie+sheridan

To find Rie’s work on Amazon, go here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=rie+sheridan  (but be careful, cuz I think there were a couple of red herrings on this one.

To view her blog and keep up on what she’s up to: http://herestheclean.com

 

Thank you for Visiting, Rie!

 

Ties that Bind

Ties that Bind, Marie Bostwick. Published by Kensington Books May 2012.

 

Note: The copy reviewed is an Advanced Readers Copy

 

Ties that bind center around two women in a small community, Margot, who is so nice and pleasant and afraid to stand up for herself and Phillipa, the new interim pastor of their little church. This book is one in a series, and yet it is a stand-alone novel. I’m sure that if you had read the previous ones, you’d love the glimpses into the character’s lives as they are now— but that foreknowledge is not required.

This is a comfy book, in the best sense of the word. About women supporting each other and learning to stand on their own two feet. It’s also about faith, not only in God but also in yourself. Because at the heart of Margot’s problem is that one simple thing.

I like it as much as I do the Blossom Street stories by Debbie Macomber. Those ones have never disappointed me, they are exactly what you think they are. This one is a little more heavily into the faith than the Macomber series, but really. What do you expect when a character is the pastor of a congregation?

This is the book that I picked up after having been witness to a drive by shooting on Friday. It did exactly what I needed it to do: be a comfy book. Too many people think there’s no place for comfy fiction, or for romance, or whatever it is that they don’t read and value. However, in my life, there are definite reasons for the different genres that I cling to.

How about you? Do you read different genres for different reasons? Or do you cleave only unto one?

Wicked Little Romance

I’ve been reading romances since I was in the fourth grade. Granted, at first I was only allowed the “sweet” Harlequin romances. But I graduated quickly. The genre has been with me ever since, accompanying my through a Master of Arts in English Literature. If you ever want to see how brave you are in the face of ridicule, make sure to take a romance novel out of your back pack in full view of a professor who has an inferiority complex. My response to all of her frothing was to note that as a writer I was very interested in one of the fastest growing genre’s.

She wasn’t amused.

Somehow, my little romance novels survived the rigors of a higher education. Perhaps only because I am a spiteful, stubborn student. Perhaps just cuz they are good. Although there is great freedom in the romance genre, there are certain things that are to be expected. 1. Boy and girl meet. 2. Boy & Girl fall in love/lust 3. All sorts of mayhem keeping them apart. 4. Happily ever after ensues.

I don’t generally enjoy stories that take place between persons who are already married. Don’t know why but in the normal course of my reading I don’t take that trip.

Enter in “My Wicked Little Lies” by Victoria Alexander (Published by Zebra, it goes on sale January 31, 2012). This book has landed on my all time favorite list. It takes the question of “What happens AFTER happily ever after?” and throws in a bit of boredom, jealousy, a secret or two and some great BFF’s for the heroine. This book is witty and winsome, striking the perfect pitch between the couple in question.

 

Trust me on this one. I give it five out of five stars….

As an added bonus, the publishers are giving a sweet deal next month (2/13/12 to 2/18/12) on the first book of the series: The Perfect Mistress, also by Victoria Alexander. Perfect for Valentines day, whether you have someone to share it with or not :-0

 

Read on my lovelies!