Monday, February 1, 2010

Jumping Genres

If you slur your "J" it sounds like zshumping zshenres.

Today's post is about jumping off one category of books and writing another. When I wrote Alvor, I didn't think I could write any other kind of piece. I decided to write another fantasy in between Alvor and the second book in the series. Even though it wasn't the same story and had completely different elements in it, it was the same genre.

Three books in the same genre later, I knew I was going to have to write outside of my own lines. Even while I wrote Book 2 of Alvor, I knew there was another completely different story waiting to be told. I didn't know what story it was at the time, but it scared me to know for sure that it wouldn't be a fantasy.

And did I know how to write anything else?
You never know until you try.

Not all, but many authors stay within one genre for their entire career. I understand why. When you learn how to write well in one genre, why switch?

For me? Because I needed to. It's not a permanent switch- like never writing another fantasy- but it is stretching the horizon of how I write. And I'm learning so much.

Alvor is written in third person and comes from two people's point of view.

My new book is written in first person present tense. Nothing could be more different.

My new book's character is almost 18. She's enough older than the Alvor series that I can explore different situations on a more profound level.

And, my new book is NOT fantasy. Nothing supernatural or magical in it at all. It's not historical fiction, a memoir, a horror or a graphic novel. But it is a genre I have recently fallen in love with. No, it's not a romance either- although there is a touch of that in the story.

Why the switch? My reasons are probably different than everyone else's. I've had this feeling for over a year now that I needed to write a story in this particular genre. I don't know if it's so that I can learn how to be a better writer or if it's because my new story will make it possible for me to find an agent- I'm really hoping it's both.

For the record, I have been told by agents that fantasy is hard to sell right now, and even ones who would be willing to pick it up don't want to mess with the second book in a series where the first book is published already.

Even so, it's impossible to know what the future holds. I have already learned to be more aware of sentence structure, thoughts, feelings, sensations, actions, reactions and dialogue- so writing something new has been a great teacher in the long journey of writing.


L.T. Elliot said...

So what's the new genre? I'm DYING to know!

It's always good to stretch your horizons. I'm glad you're trying out new wings and I'm SURE they'll take you to great heights!

giddymomof6 said...

Ooh, how exciting for you! I love writing in new genres... okay, I've only ever written in two, but I'm starting my third!


Kerren said...

I can already tell . . . I'm going to love this one! Way to go!

Laura said...

L.T- uhmmm, I'll tell you next week. I'm actually going to see you IN PERSON!!! YAY!!!

Jenni- besides the YA Jane Austen rewrites and Historical/speculative fiction for adults-- what's your third? I missed that.

Kerren- Thanks for patiently waiting for me to get the publishing ball rolling. I would really love to sell two books this year to publishers- and if by some miracle I could get them in print before 2012, it would be great.

Thanks for all your words of confidence!

Synergy Girl said...

I am just bewildered by you...!! I have a hard time finding time to write on my blog...let alone all the books you are putting together...!!! You have supernatural SKILLS or something....!!