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Storytelling is a talent passed down through the generations in my family. It is a way of life in that the more you live, the better the story; the deeper the experience, the broader the plain to connect with readers. Just like life is about people so writing is about people - about their love, their loss, their triumphs, their failures, and their x ever after. I write to understand myself and make sense of life. I share my work in order to find others who can relate to my characters, or their lives, or the moral of the story.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Of Genres and Nanowrimo

Listening to: The Devil's Trill by Vanessa Mae
Reading/revising: Shadow Legacy (w/t)

I had a scout around to familiarise myself (again) with the different genres and sub-genres out there. I've never slotted my work into a genre before. I've labelled myself a horror writer, because that's what I tend to read, watch, and breathe, but the horror in my mind translated onto paper oddly enough doesn't fit in the literary horror genre. Funny that.

The reason I struggle to define what my novels are, in essence, is because some genres bleed into others. For example, my Chronicles of Derenvere series starts the first book off where my MC is abducted, tortured (mentally, physically and emotionally) and mutilated to a degree. On top of that, he's being starved to death very slowly. There are some nasty, gory scenes, but they become less and less the further away my MC escapes his nemesis. Now those elements should, by all means, shift the story into the Horror genre.

But here's the thing: my MC is an aspiring powerful sorcerer, coincidentally also the heir to the magical kingdom Derenvere, and they have things like unicorns and dragons and elves running around the show. There's runes, and levitation, and the setting isn't in the real world - it's all a manifestation of my imagination. This would make the story a fantasy - anything with dragons and princes and magic class as Fantasy.

And to put the cherry on the cake, it is also a very spiritual journey my MC goes on. Going from being a blind believer to a non-believer to having doubts, he's spiritually tormented for a long time. I don't write about God and Satan and angels, per say, but there are beings in the series that are derived from them. So, what does it make my novel? Is it Literary fiction, because it focusses mostly on my MC's inner and outer journey, or is it Inspirational, because it involves spiritual growth?

You see why it's hard for me to decide on a genre. I could just slot it into the General genre, but I'm reluctant to do that. So far I've claimed this to be a Dark Fantasy, whatnot with all the fantasy and the horror. But maybe the final decision on which genre is more befitting will be at my agent's discretion.

One novel I'm not confused about is my current manuscript titled Shadow Legacy. It's definitely a YA Paranormal novel. It does start off with my MC being trapped in an alternate world (which would make it a Fantasy) but she eventually finds her way back to the 'real' world where she has to deal with the paranormal that has followed her there.

I'm not fussing over this one. It's Paranormal.

I'm also going to be rewriting/revising this novel for Nanowrimo. Yes it's 30k words or something at this stage, but it's not like I'm cheating. I'm still  going to be working just as hard at this as everyone else who will be starting a new project from scratch. I'm still going to be putting in the hours, same as everyone else. This is one manuscript I need to get done, chop-chop, so I can start searching for representation by the New Year. Or should I say, the Last Year? It is 2012, after all.

I'm looking forward to meetups with writers in my region, if I can make it. I want to say that I will go to every meetup and be one of the last people still sitting there writing my little heart out. I want to say that I will get to go chill out with a few cups of coffee and with like-minded people. I want to say that I will be a regular visitor to my library every day and get at least an hour of writing done. 'Tis but a dream!

But look, I doubt  the library staff are going to be very tolerant of my little monkey messing up their computers or unpacking all their DVDs and books in the kids section, and let's not forget how he absolutely loves to run around screaming like a monkey going to war. Maybe for the first day or two they'll look past it. After that they're likely to ban me from setting foot in the library unless my monkey is gagged and tied down, y'know?


18 days to Nano!!!

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