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02 November 2010 @ 10:11 pm
my dad says to write something original ftlog  
I thought, "Why not try writing a Regency romance? You love Austen and you like Heyer, plus it would give you the excuse to buy this awesome book. Also, fools like Julia Quinn write Regency romances that get on the NYT Bestseller list, so you could probably afford said book by doing it."

Then I read an excerpt from a Julia Quinn.

a woman with cool gray eyes he could have drowned in

This shit is harder than I thought.

(Seriously, though, I'm having the hardest time with my Original Stuffs. I've started and abandoned three stories for the Terry Pratchett prize and now accepted that I will never have the time to finish something for it. However, this is mainly because I don't feel fantasy is what I want to write. I like writing about families, not romance or magic or crime or sex. But I don't think 'family stories' is a genre. HELP?)
Current Mood: infuriatedinfuriated
Current Music: jealous // sinead o'connor
lecharmediscret on November 2nd, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
if the two cents of a reader who likes your stories is worth anything- what makes genre fiction, or any fiction for that matter, work as something that gives its reader pleasure, is if that story has heart. (sounds cheesier than I mean it.) the genre or style, then, really is nothing more than an aspect of the background (though obviously it should at least partially be woven in with the story through the plot). If you want to write about families, write about families, if you want to write fantasy as well, write about a family in a fantastic situation. same goes for crime and history.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
It sounds less cheesy than hard. Like - how will you know if you have it?! Still, I assume I must've at some point, if you like it. :D
Ria: autumn lightkessie on November 2nd, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
The werewolves has fantasy, a bit of romance, and more family dysfunction than is healthy. Families can fit into pretty much everything, I feel.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
They feel like the unsung heroes, though: romance is trumps, followed by evil parents or siblings ... the family as a unit seems to be missing.
wayoffbasewayoffbase on November 2nd, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC)
I guess it depends on what, exactly, you want to say about families? Someone like Monica McInerney, for instance, writes about families, and her books are bestsellers. And then there's people like Theresa Rebeck, whose books are also, primarily, about families (although they do involve a bit of romance) but in a, umm, a sassier way, I guess? So, I'm not sure if it's a genre, exactly, but there is a market for it. There seems to be a bit of a formula going on, anyway (even if it is only - there is a family, and something dramatic happens that changes the family dynamic).

Also, and I guess this is a bit obvious and cheesy, but if you write what you want to write it'll come out a hell of a lot better than if you try to write what you think people will buy. I dunno, I've found that I have to pretend like there isn't a market out there or any pressure and just write what I want, rather than stressing about whether people will like it or buy it.


every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
Interesting - I have never heard of either of these writers! Methinks I should look them up.

I think writing about families versus one relationship is like making a feast versus a cupcake. Cupcakes are great! But you can do more with a feast.

lol, if I knew what I wanted to write I'd do it ... I'm all at sea.
cleodoxacleodoxa on November 2nd, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
You've written about teenagers and schools a lot in your stories; if I imagined an original book by you I think it would be YA, with a real school rather than Hogwarts and family and friend relationships instead or as well as m/m stuff. You're good at combining seriousness and humour which goes well with writing teenage turmoil in an entertaining, empathetic way.

I don't think you need to find something entirely new to what you've been writing for years to write an original novel, just lose the most obviously fanficcish parts and expand on the things fandom didn't need; ie the background, the non-romantic relationships. Even for adults, it's perfectly okay to write a novel about families. Don't feel you need to work out what people want, then do that, especially as you may be biased against yourself and come to the conclusion that no one wants what you want. You don't need to write something that comes under a strict genre heading either; the "General Fiction" section is the largest.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Yet I have the greatest mental block against YA as a genre. Perhaps because literary snobs seem to dismiss it so easily ... not to mention that teenagers aren't necessarily the most discerning. I know that's unfair, and Smeyer's success is probably mostly due to the 30/40-something Twimom fanbase, but that's how I feel. :/ If I could get over my prejudice maybe I'd do better?

HA, true! Or maybe I should stop trying to NOT do m/m relationships, because they're obviously what I'm good at? Questions, questions!
Blindmouse: scribbleblindmouse on November 3rd, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Don't try to write for a genre, then! Write a story about families and then see what it looks like at the end. It will fit into some genre, because everything does, but maybe it will be excitingly genre-bending as well!

And then let me read it.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
Oooh, genre-bending! Sounds kinky. :P

shadowclubshadowclub on November 3rd, 2010 04:06 am (UTC)
Hmm, I think family dynamics can take place in any setting including fantasy.

It's great that you are writing original and finding at least some time to think about it... school is just destroying me right now:(
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
Work is pretty much destroying me too ... so I dream about writing a bestseller to escape it. :D
Sereniaserenia on November 3rd, 2010 06:05 am (UTC)
Well, family comes under social themes, I guess. There are sometimes a lot of family dynamics in the historical fiction I read, and I think that's what I like best about them. The romance I can take or leave, but it's interesting to see how different families work together.
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
Families are fascinating! Especially when you see it from the other end of romance. I was looking at family photographs on the weekend and trying to see any burning passion between my parents or relatives. They can't always have been who they are now.
Tieleentieleen on November 3rd, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Well, but a lot of 'non-genre' fiction is about families, isn't it? Granted, if you want to write about families that aren't breaking down completely you're probably not quite mainstream, but still...
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
For a given definition of breaking down. Any time I addressed familial dynamics in HP fic there was a hue and cry, simply because it wasn't all perfect for the good guys. Yet I didn't do anything terrible to them ... I don't think.
(Anonymous) on November 4th, 2010 09:35 am (UTC)
Zadie Smith does families! See On Beauty for example...

every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
She's on my to-read list (as one of the over-hyped ones...)!
mesurexit on November 4th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
Family stories is totally a genre. A genre of medieval Icelandic sagas.

every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on November 8th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
Before I was hunchbacked I was dazzling?

(That is seriously awesome, btw, and if I knew anything about Iceland or history I would totally pursue it.)
mesurexit on November 11th, 2010 11:57 am (UTC)
See, now you're mixing up medieval Welsh and medieval Icelandic. A SCHOOLBOY ERROR.

Yes, they're well cool. They include Laxdaela saga, which is one of the most awesome things ever written. And you don't need to know anything, I know very little! :D