I’ve been thinking about the art of writing, where I fit for genre, and what’s next.
No new story this week. It’ll be a while before I post a new one, which doesn’t mean I’m not writing. I am. This week, I got feedback that I couldn’t enter a contest because I don’t have any writing credits in journals. That’s because I’ve not tried to get into journals. Apparently, posting stories on this blog just won’t do it. I have to rethink my approach there.
There was a thread on a Facebook writers group asking how people keep their writing ideas. I scribble them down wherever I am, and whenever they occur. I told a story about how I’ve been known to use a stick to write down a quick story idea in the snow, so that I can capture it later. That’s true. Mostly, I email myself my story ideas, then put them into a Word doc that I email myself often, so that I don’t lose this so-important file.
That file is up to 51,000 words now. It’s like a novel of ideas. Some are really bad ideas. But others are pretty good. I’m sorting through this file currently, pulling out the nuggets and rearranging the information. Often, when a new great idea comes to me, I just write the story right away, but that’s not always possible, so this file is really important. I wonder if I should sell it or something. What’s a set of ideas for fiction worth? I never fear that new ideas will take their place. I never run out.
For the record, I have three written novels. The first is epic fantasy. The second is urban fantasy. The third is young adult. The next one will come from a bunch of ideas that are kicking around. I just think about the concepts that move me, and go with that.
I was having a discussion on Twitter, and an established, published author asked me what my genre was. Well, my short stories are mostly contemporary literary fiction. But the novels are in different genres. I did get to thinking about it, and I suppose I’m a cross-genre writer. I intentionally bend and blur, incorporating fantasy and science, literary writing, history, and characters that can’t possibly exist but might. Cross-genre writing. That makes sense to me. I’m not interested in pigeon-holing myself into one genre. I don’t even think about genre when I set out to write. Anyway, this is a nice self-realization.
This month starting tomorrow is my best month for writing. The snow starts to melt. The sun comes out. There’s meltwater on the road. There’re buds on the trees. That gives me renewal, and I write like a maniac. I hate statistics about writing, or making comments on WIP and the like. But I generally write between five and ten thousand words a week, depending on how crushing work is. In March, that doubles. I just let myself go. I simply express, and that’s a wonderful feeling. Welcome, March! I’ve missed you, spring.
Be well, everyone.
16 thoughts on “51,000 Words”
You are not the only writer I know who has trouble “positioning” himself. Genres are just so limiting, aren’t they? And publishers sure do like ’em. You keep doing you. Somewhere, somehow, there is a publisher who will be willing to go out on a limb…
Yeah I agree. I think there’s more room for blurring of genres these days, more acceptance that boundaries are fraying a little bit, and that the white space between genres is pretty rich ground if you’re brave enough to go there – and can find someone brave enough to stand with you on that journey.
I agree – there is more blurring. I think it goes with society, in a weird way. Sexuality, fashion… more openness and acceptance to being allowed to be who you are, where what you want, love who you want. Is that a weird analogy? Maybe.
I think as much as we have angst about things, they are moving in a good direction.
I’ve never heard it called melt water before. I like it.
I think we say that a lot up here. Cause we get a lot of melt.
I have often wondered how you think of your ideas. If you jotted down what you were doing when the idea came to you in your 51,000 I would read that in a heart beat. It would be interesting to see what stimulates your wildest imagination.
I jot down like crazy, random observations, what if statements, character traits. I just can’t get to enough of these ideas, so they’ve been accumulating. I think that’s a good thing. Latest story was one of those, an idea from years ago, I don’t even know when. It was just three sentences. I woke up thinking on it and there I was.
I think everyone has observations of life they make routinely. For me, I use them to develop worlds that aren’t real, and that never were. But still could be.
I use to keep a little tape recorder in the car that I would record ideas on while driving. I make notes and jot things down. If I ever find the places I put those notes I will be all set 😉
But do you ever worry that you’ll run out of observations and ideas? I don’t. Life is so full of surprises.
I just get frustrated. I will be doing something else and I get an idea and pretty much write the entire thing in my head and then when I finally get a chance to write it down. Poof!!! It’s gone. Not even a puff of smoke left behind.
You have to keep something with you, like your phone, and just send yourself an email with the idea in it. It’s super helpful.
You are cross-genre… in so many ways… ha!
Don’t get me started!
You are always started.