Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Genre For Which I Pine ...
"What genre or category of writing do you wish you could tackle, and why haven't you?"
Lydia's answer is here, and Laura's is here. Deb will give her answer next week. For me, this is a pretty easy one. I haven't written anything contemporary. I think that's what people might expect a psychologist to write. Either that or psychological thriller-type things. I don't write anything close to that. All of my projects involve some sort of fantasy or supernatural element, which is sort of funny to me because I'm kind of a science person, in case you hadn't noticed. But also, I enjoy world-building, making rules amd mythologies, and letting my imagination unfurl on the page.
Nevertheless, I admit to pining to write exactly the kind of contemporary you might expect from me. I've even outlined most of the plot for one, to tell you the truth. I've done quite a bit of research. I want to write it. I love the characters already.
A few things are stopping me.
First ... my agent has informed me that contemporaries from not-yet-established authors are not selling well right now. No, I'm not saying no one can sell a contemporary or anything like that, I'm just saying I've been told they're harder to sell right now. I, personally, love contemporaries and they comprise a large chunk of my reading list. More, in fact, than urban fantasy or paranormal ... which is what I tend to write. That's because contemporaries are the books that delve deeply into issues of mental illness and health, and that's what I tend to read lately.
Second ... because I've got a lot of other stuff to write. Those of you who read this blog regularly know I recently started a new WIP, which is paranormal horror-ish. I got about 100 pages in, but now I've put it on hold (temporarily) because I needed to write something else. That's just how things go sometimes, and I know that project will be waiting for me when I return. But between my various WIPs and potential WIPs, it takes a lot to front burner something these days, and the contemp isn't making it.
Third ... you know what? You guys are so sweet to me, and several of you have commented how you think my characters must be so well-developed and their relationships so intricate and emotionally satisfying. I certainly hope they are! I work really hard on it. But with contemporaries, that's got to be pitch perfect (not that it doesn't have to be in other genres)--it's real life in a real place, not a haunted Irish castle or the afterlife or a futuristic canal city. I've read NUMEROUS excellent contemps this year, all of which accomplish exactly that kind of emotional intricacy. I think I'm a little intimidated. I honestly don't know how much of that nagging fear is present in my decision not to write the contemporary right now, but I'll go ahead and admit to it.
Now--your turn! Is there a genre you're considering but haven't quite committed to yet? Why not?