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So what DO I want to write?

*this post only relates to my novel writing, my short stories are coming along just fine ;-)*

Having decided to set Lifelines aside, I find myself presented with the next problem. One which has me feeling like I am floundering around.

If that’s not what I want to write – what is?

Do I have any novels that are good representatives of what I want to write? Or am I going to need to start fresh?

A quick run through the list leaves me with this: I have an unfinished trilogy of pure fantasy novels. I’m currently not sure how I feel about fantasy.

I have a YA supernatural type novel. I don’t think I want to write YA.

I have a space novel with young adult characters but which I don’t consider to be a YA novel. This one could be okay, but it does need work.

Novellas? I have two, ones a dark fiction tale that I really want to see reworked and published. That’s more in the vein of the writing I want to do. The other… it was a fun piece to write and it was more about just having a bit of a break from ‘serious’ writing.

Hmm…

I think I’m letting myself get too trapped by ‘genre’ when thinking about what I want to write. I would probably be better to say that I want to write thought provoking stories, stories that explore characters selves and how that relates to the situations that they are in, how that is changed by their circumstances and the choices they find themselves making.

Which could be just about anything.

I keep telling myself that I don’t need to think about this right now because I’m not novel writing, not for a fairly long time yet. I’m not even considering novel writing until next year, possibly not until the second half depending how this whole 3 child thing works out. There are too many unknowns in the equation – it could be much easier than I thought, or I could have no energy or drive to do anything other than be the best mother and wife I can be for awhile.

I’m going to put these thoughts in a box for now, but I really felt like I needed to get them out of my head first. It will sort itself out.

Possibly the most surprising thing about this post is how ambivalent I feel about ‘fantasy’ right now. I used to think that was all I would write, and now… well I just don’t know if I do want to write it. Traditional fantasy, sword and sorcery, whatever, has kind of lost its appeal for some reason.

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11 thoughts on “So what DO I want to write?”

  1. Just because you don’t feel like writing a certain genre at the moment, doesn’t mean you have lost your mojo! I don’t write in genre – it just happens that most of the story settings happen to occur within that genre. The first two stories I wrote were fantasy. The next one is more historical, the one after that is gothic – it all depends on the characters rather than what you want to write.

    Instead of focusing on what you don’t want to do – why not start looking at your characters and see how you could develop a story around them and see where that leads you. 🙂

    1. Oh, don’t worry, I have NO trouble at all working out what I want to write when it comes to short stories, this only relates to novels.

      And seeing as novels aren’t going to be written until next year. I should just stop thinking about it!

  2. Novel writing can be a real bugger. For me, I can’t do shorts and write a novel at the same time. It’s one or the other. For example, I have a short I want to write, but it has to wait for my editing to be finished and the work in progress to be done. If I have a work in progress going, everything else besides editing the prior WIP must wait.

    1. Yes, get editing…. I’m still waiting!

      I hadn’t considered that maybe my novel issues have arisen because I simply am not writing them right now but focusing on shorts, but there might be something to it. Either way, I have plenty of novel ideas, it’s just a matter of getting the time in which to write them, and deciding on one that I want to finish to submission standard and get out into the world.

  3. I think you are right that you are allowing yourself to be kidnapped by genre. ALL writing will fall into a genre whether you want it to or not. Therefore, if you don’t have a genre preference, just write a story… pour your soul onto the page and allow it to breathe and come into its own. By the time it reaches the 30% mark, it will tell you what genre it wants to be.

    Then build upon it from there. This generally is the key to birthing a story of pure message and intent.

    Whatever you do… good luck and keep at it.

    1. Thanks Ken, I’ll always be working away at something! My ideas normally let me know pretty quickly what they are which is a bonus, it’ll be interesting to see whether I work on a novel I’ve already written, or start fresh, when I do eventually get the chance.

  4. My take on this is that from the few years I’ve been aware of the business side of writing, to be associated with only one genre is how writers are being squeezed into this role or that role, as if the ability to write more than one type of story is an oxymoron.

    That the art of good storytelling can only survive within certain parameters, and to step out of those is professional suicide.

    Which irks me, because who is to say what you write and in what format? Pigeonholing is absurd, for I take what I do not as some slapped together attempt at the almighty dollar, but some deeply creative, artistic endeavor, not done to attract the most attention. I do this because right now, I have no choice.

    Which sounds sort of angsty and ethereal, but it’s true.

    So, in that (and I realize this is long already), writing what you feel called to is key. Whether it’s this or that genre, short stories or novels, it’s the writing of and in itself that means something. As you said, you’ll not be noveling for a time. Let it percolate as the baby is, and then when the door opens for you and the next manuscript, well, amazing things I feel are on the horizon!

    1. I hope you’re right about amazing things being on the horizon, I kind of feel like now that I’ve let it out of my system it’s not something I need to worry about anymore, which is a lovely way to feel 🙂

  5. My first novel I considered mainstream. I had an agent classify it as woman’s fic. My critique group classified it as biotech suspense. My second novel I classify as woman’s lit, as does the agent. My point – two very very different novels here. Genre doesn’t matter in my opinion, unless you are trying to target a genre audience. And if it comes down to it, the publisher’s can tag your work with different psuedonymns. Write what you need to write. I figure this out just by sitting down and writing. Sometimes I really have no idea what will come (excpet my shorts seem to have more of an origin in an idea).
    I too have no idea what I will be writing in the next few years with baby 3 arriving. (I am toying with the idea of YA or chic lit. Something light that I won’t take too seriously if possible).

    1. biotech suspense? that sounds interesting!

      I hadn’t thought about the fact that a lot of it is how you look at it, and you’re right, publisher’s can certainly spin things different ways.

      Light is a good way to go 🙂 Things that you won’t take too seriously are also good. How long do you think it will take you to get back into writing regularly? So many unknowns, but I know we’ll both get there!

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