A blog about writing, being a writer, getting inspired to write, etc. For writers, authors, would-be writers and authors. I only have 2 rules. 1, please keep everything PG rated at most, there are some younger folks who read my blog; and 2, please do not criticize what others have written. I would like this to be a safe haven for folks to explore their writing style and to gain some confidence in their story telling abilities. Nasty comments will be deleted.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
November 21st Challenge
it’s Christina –
Morning! In an effort to keep my sanity and my good mood this morning, I
avoided reading any FB posts (unless they were comments/replies on my site),
and decided to read posts on one of the NaNoWriMo forums instead.
participant posted a very good question. She wanted to know if her story should
be categorized as a ROMANCE or not. She thought she was writing a fantasy, but
then she became confused because the main characters (MC) fell in love and are
going to have a happily ever after (HEA).
what I told her:
can easily be marketed as a romantic fantasy or a paranormal romance. It is
very difficult not to have a sub-genre anymore when you are dealing with a
romance, and often times the story could easily fit into several sub-genres.
That is where things get a little murky when you try to categorize your story.
use my 2nd novel, Taking
Chances, as an example:
fall in love and have a HEA - ROMANCE Novel
place in the 1800s - HISTORICAL ROMANCE Novel
in England in the 1800s - GEORGIAN or REGENCY ROMANCE Novel
MC works for a covert branch of the British Government (spies, murder, mayham,
you name it) - ROMANTIC SUSPENSE or ROMANTIC THRILLERNovel
MC has the power of precognition - PARANORMAL ROMANCE Novel
solve a Da Vinci worthy puzzle - ROMANTIC MYSTERY Novel
what I mean? Each and every facet is an integral part to the whole story, so
where do we put it? When we published, we decided the category should be
Historical Romance with the blurb on the back of the book hinting at all the
keep writing and don't worry about pigeon holing your story. If your publisher
is worth a grain of salt, he'll figure out how to market your book.
After I hit submit, I realized I had
forgotten a category. The story isn’t real, so FICTION, and that needs to be the main classification. One story,
seven pigeon holes where it fits. Is it a wonder why authors get a little
confused when asked, “what genre is your book?” My response is, “Because my stories
have happy endings, I fall under the ROMANCE
The whole classification of books
thing is a double edged sword. True, if you have a passion for mysteries let’s
say, it is easy for you to go to the mystery section and make your selection.
However, to use the example above, Taking Chances, is very much a mystery, but
since it is categorized as a historical romance, you would never even look at
it. Is it miscategorized? No. It, just like so many other books out there, falls
into a variety of categories, so no pigeon hole is an exact fit.
Just short of releasing a book
several times, once for each appropriate classification, authors are stuck. I
believe there should only be two classifications FICTION and NON-FICTION,
and then the blurb on the back of the book would tell the reader if it is a
story he or she would like to read.
True, this idea would put a different
level of stress on the author. They would have to make sure they have a killer
cover to initially attract the reader’s eye, and then they would need to make
the blurb on the back of the book so compelling the reader craves more. Now
these are things authors should be doing anyway, but …
Okay, enough on the trials and
tribulations of being an author. I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy
Oh, don’t forget, I’m leaving to go
pick up my daughter from school tomorrow, so unless I wake up at 4:00 am, there
won’t be a blog entry tomorrow. If I do happen to wake up early, there will be
a blog entry, but there won’t be a writing challenge. The same holds true for
Your Last Challenge (this
idea hatched from the lists which have been popping up on FB these past two
a little or unknown true story about something strange or unusual that happened
Roughly fourteen years ago, I was sound asleep in my bed
when I felt a hand on my shoulder shaking me awake. I sat up and looked around.
My bedroom door was closed, my infant daughter was sound asleep next to me, and
my husband was snoring away next to her. There was no one else in the room.
Figuring I just didn’t wake up quickly enough and the person
who woke me left, I got up and went to find whoever needed me. I opened one
bedroom door and looked in. Both my daughter and my mother, she was staying
with us at the time while her house was being built, were sound asleep. I
quietly close the door. Next I go to check on my son, but I stop short of
opening his door because I can hear him snoring right through it.
Okay, what the heck? As bizarre as it sounds, there was only
one other option, it had to be our resident ghost. I know, you are rolling your
eyes right now, but hear me out.
Ever since we moved into the house, we had had strange
things happen. My pots and lids would fall off of the rack where I was keeping
them, cabinet and regular doors would open and close at will, lights would go
on and off on their own, and all of us had caught movement out of the corner of
our eye, turned toward it, and no one would be there. The baby would be
laughing and babbling at thin air, or she would stop crying and be laughing in
the few seconds it took me to get to her.
We just assumed it was the previous owner’s husband, Larry,
who we knew had died a few years before we purchased the property, but after
doing a little digging, I found out that Larry did not die in the house, but
his father-in-law had. Now, this man was not the owner’s father, but her step
father who had no biological children of his own, and he didn’t marry Althea’s
mother until Althea was in her late teens. The owners, Larry and Althea had no
children of their own. My children were the first children in our house, the
first chance this man had at being a grandpa.
Okay, my ten minutes are up, but I figured you would yell at
me if I didn’t finish the story.
Obviously I was woken up for a reason, so I went and
explored the house. I even went into the basement, nothing. I was just about to
go back to bed when I decided to check one last place. I open the interior door
to our garage and look out. Sure enough, my husband forgot to close the garage
door before he went to bed. I grumble, “I can’t believe you woke me up because
the garage door was open.”
At dinner that night, I tell the family what had happened to
me the night before. My kids take it at face value, my husband rolls his eyes,
and I have no idea what my mother is thinking because she doesn’t say a word.
The following evening, my husband comes home and tosses the
newspaper at me. When I ask him why, he tells me to read the article he marked.
Turns out the night I was woken up to close our garage door was the night three
houses on our street had been broken into and robbed.
(It turns out a friend of mine from high school, Merrill, is
married to Larry and Althea’s nephew. Merrill – if you happen to be reading
today’s blog, please chime in and verify my story.)
Next Challenge is:
Write a story with the following three elements: a wicked storm
is brewing, you lose power, and there are young children with you.
You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong,
just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to
criticize what someone else has written. Go.