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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cross-genre Writing

I am currently an unfocused writer.

As you can see at the moment, I am writing a piece of fantasy for you all. I would like to post a CAVEAT about this story, "How to be a thief." That caveat is that I do not know where it is going. I am not editing it like I normally would. I am going 1 chapter at a time with a vague sense in the direction it is headed. I don't know what will happen 2 or 3 chapters from now.

This is not the norm for me. I am usually a very structured writer. Structured, but still unfocused. I write outlines, I research, I pour over every detail. If I am writing a poem you can rest assured that A) it is not some lame "free style" excuse for a poem - it will have meter, it will have rhyme, and B) Every last syllable, rhyme, and punctuation mark was debated at some point, possibly for a while. To me, writing is never finished. There is "finished" and then there is "good enough." My goal is to get it to the "finished stage," this will let me get it to the "good enough" stage, at which point I am tired of writing it and will simply turn it in (or from now on, try to get it published).

Still, my ADHD gets the better of me. I am unfocused partially because of that, but I am learning to get a handle on it. I am also unfocused because I love writing everything I can wrap my mind around (which is, believe me, a lot). This is really my first fantasy piece. I have written sci-fi, mystery, historical fiction, nonfiction (articles, interviews, reports, SEO), creative nonfiction, poetry, and even dabbled in romance a few times. Unfortunately, cross-genre writing seems to be reserved for academia and very closely related genres (sorry Piers, but going both sci-fi and fantasy is hardly sleeping with the enemy). So few writers have successfully crossed into CLOSELY related genres; fewer yet have made it into unrelated genres, and most of those were one-time gimmicks.

The publishing industry seems to be under the impression that if you write in one genre, you will be unable to transfer a fan-base... and if you can't do that, then why bother? Personally, I wouldn't mind creating a readership anew. And in today's world that seems to cater to the ADHD mindset, surely readers can actually understand more than one genre. they might even enjoy it. Do you honestly believe that Joe Readerman is only EVER going to read fantasy novels? If he picks up a creative nonfiction book by Tolkien, I think there's a good chance he'll peruse it, which might get him to try another, then another, then another. Soon you have Joe Readerman who *gasp* enjoys TWO genres!

I think at the moment I wish to write in creative fiction - something that requires real research. However, if I get noticed in any genre, I will be superbly exuberant. Perhaps I will become the world's first popular pan-genre author? Only time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. So far so good. Seems like an interesting story. Not sure what I can do at the moment to critic it, besides spelling errors and the like. I like it so far, write some more and maybe I'll have more to think about to critique.