Friday, June 05, 2009

What's The Point?

by G.Parker

Have you ever felt conflicted about what you're writing? Perhaps you start writing one type of story and in the middle things switch -- the plot takes a turn, and suddenly you're writing something else? Have you written a story that you really didn't want to but felt obligated by a situation?

This type of writing wastes time, energy and frustrates everyone associated with it.

For example; I have a story that I've been presenting to my critique group that I wrote for the Nanowrimo project in 2007. It's based on a vacation I took by myself -- and didn't enjoy (long story). As I go through the story, I'm torn and it's obvious in how it comes across. It's become a mis-mash of story lines, as if I can't decide which type of story I'm writing.

My critique group informed me that I'm not a good action writer based on this book, and I decided not to take it personally, it's the only exposure they've had. They also informed me they felt I was a definite relations writer (i.e., romance writer) and that was my strength. Sigh.

Several years ago I had decided that I was a romance writer. Once in a while I added a little suspense or action, but I love romance, and that's what I write. By a fluke, I ended up writing a little bit of fantasy and discovered I liked it. It's not something I do very much of, but I have one long story that is gradually getting whittled down -- it's just not a priority, it takes too much brain power because it's outside my comfort zone.

That experience made me think that I could write anything I wanted; romance, suspense, action thriller, fantasy...the universe was my toy. Sadly, I am finding that is not the case. At least not without a great deal of practice and diligent reading.

What is your genre? What type of story do you feel most comfortable writing? Perhaps you just need to explore your options before you settle. I'm not sure I've settled yet, but this story is definitely going to end up on the chopping block.


Melanie Goldmund said...

Fantasy and sci fi elements try to creep into everything I write, and so does action, usually where the hero gets the crap beaten out of him at least once in the story.

Romance? UGH! Definitely not my strength. I don't even like reading it, except in the tiniest doses as a subplot. I'd like to write suspense, though I'm not sure how good I'd be at it. I don't think I could do comedy or humour, either, though I might be able to give my readers something to smile about every so often. If I were to play to my strengths, I'd be writing space opera, I guess.

David J. West said...

I want to read your stuff now Melanie.

I have to write action and history. I think everything I have ever done, even fan-fiction as a kid, relates about something that happened even earlier and how it affects the moment. Probably the Tolkien influence. Now with my Book of Mormon series, I still have to show back story, for all the stuff I made up that relates to the present of 321 A.D.

Carolyn V. said...

I love writing YA, everything turns into YA whenever I write.

I started with suspence, but it turned into YA fantasy. Now I'm working on YA funny suspence. My critique group loves it and it is fun to write. =)

Good luck with your story!

L.T. Elliot said...

I write fantasy. I've tried other things but this is where I settle. This is where I'm happy.

I'm sorry the writing road has been bumpy. I know once you find your place, you'll be wonderful. Keep at it. =]

Chantele said...

I love YA. Mostly fantasy, and romance. I like a little suspense in my novels as well!:)

Evelyn Curtis said...

I am such a new writer that I have no idea what my official genre will be. The story that I am working on right now seems to be a mixture of genres. The story that wants to be told doesn't seem to want to limit itself. But I do worry about too many loose ends.

I just read a book that had so much going on throughout the book. Then it was sloppily tied together for the very unsatisfying ending. It got published, but I don't know how. I don't want that to be my book; the unsatisfying read. Luckily I understand that my story is not going to be done any time soon. I am just whittling away at it bit by bit, reading lots of different genres, and learning as much as I can.

Which brings me to thanking all of you. You feed me wonderful info and support. I have started, and I cannot turn back!

Melanie Goldmund said...

David, I've just had a look at your blog and I think you will find my work extremely wimpy in comparison, but if you're really interested, there's a link to my website in my profile. I definitely want to read your stuff now, though!

The thing that worries me the most is that, right now, it seems that romance is the driving force behind sales of LDS literature. Or do the rest of you, perhaps being closer to the source, have a different impression?