Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Down to Business

OK, let's get down to it, shall we? I have, in fact, been writing in most of my free time for a few years now. Half of this has consisted of blogging and other participation in online communities.  This has served both to keep me connected and to keep my language engine running. The other half of my writing time has been devoted to actual fiction.  I have several works in progress, including a novel.

This novel is my first real attempt at such a thing. Going into it, I thought it was mostly a matter of coming up with a good story and getting it down on paper. I had consciously decided not to worry over every sentence and paragraph until the first draft was complete.

So far I'm pleased with my progress and pleased with the story. However, even with a story in mind, I'm a little bowled over by how many decisions there are to make. To start with, there is the question of category. Everyone would like to write the perfect novel that is all things to all people. But of course there is no such thing. Readers of different categories of novel have different expectations. A thriller and a mystery may both have a detective and a crime, but they are markedly different in structure and tone. A romance and a fantasy may both share paranormal love, but the romance is short and delivers primarily emotions while the fantasy is long and delivers primarily ideas. Then there are the hazy literary fiction and commercial/literary fiction, the definitions of which frankly mystify me.

My story has mystery, suspense, romance, and speculative science. I'm afraid my novel can be sold as, at most, only one of those things. Sigh. For now, I'll just keep getting the story on paper.

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