Monday, August 31, 2009

Contemporary is Where the Heart is

Hope everyone had an awesome weekend! I know I did. :D You will NEVER guess who I met Saturday. THE Steve Vander Ark. You know, the one that created the Harry Potter Lexicon. *faints* I got my picture taken with him. I’m going to stop fangirling now and try to remember what I was talking about…

Other than that, my weekend was pretty blah. Moneigh finished fourth in her maiden, Quality Road finished third in the Travers (losing to Summer Bird who’s definitely taking after his sire in my book), actually I don’t think any of my horses actually won this weekend. Indian Blessing lost…Quality Road lost…Moneigh lost…I think that’s all I was cheering for this weekend. Oh, need to go look up that filly that beat Rachel so I can keep an eye on her.

Okay onto things that you actually care about. I really need to try to keep the horse racing to my horse blog.

This week we’re going to talk about genres. No, I’m not defining them all. I don’t even know what half of my own books are let alone know how to tell you if you’re book could be such-and-such genre. I’m going to talk about finding your voice in a genre.

Everyone has a genre that they write best in. Could you imagine Nora Roberts writing horror or J.K. Rowling writing thrillers or Steven King writing romance? Sure, they might branch out into other genres now and then, but they tend to stay closer to home. Closer to the things that they are used to writing and are talented at.

I recently discovered where my own voice is. For years I’ve written fantasy. It’s always young adult, of course, since I fail at adult, but I still stayed around fantasy. I could create my own little world and do whatever I pleased with it. It wasn’t like I knew enough about reality to write contemporary, anyway. And then Krista told me that she thought I’d found my niche in contemporary after reading one of my Jump snippets. (Thanks so much Krista, you’re awesome!)

I screeched to a halt. What? I read it again. And again. I’d found my niche in contemporary? Sure, I enjoyed writing it, but fantasy had always been my thing. Jump happened because Hannah wouldn’t shut up. Then I thought about it and the figurative light bulb appeared above my head.

My voice really is in contemporary. I love it. I love writing Jump and playing with No Kissing. It just comes naturally. When I was revising Destiny, my favorite parts were the ones that contained more contemporary elements than fantasy. But it was scary. Fantasy had always been my genre. Everything I attempted was fantasy in some way, shape, or form. Most of my ideas were fantasy and I won’t give up on those. But contemporary is my thing now, and I love it.

The moral of this story is: don’t be afraid to try new genres. Who knows, you might just find your voice. And while fantasy was my first love, contemporary is my calling. Of course, just because your voice might be, say, literary fiction, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on that humor story brewing in the idea bank.


Emilia said...

YEAH, one more for the contemp writers! :D It's a wonderful world out there HR... I'll help you navigate if you want! haha.