anthimeria: Comic book panels (Sequential Art)
[personal profile] anthimeria
Do we still need First Girl Ever stories?

In the real world, these stories happen and are still happening, but we've been telling them for several decades--the Song of the Lioness quartet (Alanna), by Tamora Pierce, came out in the eighties, and I've read opinions that this trope is "tired and overused."  (To be clear, this isn't the only place I've read/heard that, Brennan is just very clear.)

While I definitely agree with Brennan in the article linked above, that I would love to see more Second Girl Ever stories, I'm wondering if there's still a need for the First Girl Ever story.  Is it still important?  There are girls making huge strides in male-dominated fields today, but as Brennan points out, they're largely in "field[s] that, while not exclusively male, [are] still heavily skewed that way."  Which makes the Second Girl Ever story all the more important.

So what do you think?  Is the First Girl Ever story tired and overused?  Or an important story that needs to be told, no matter how many times we've already said it?


(Crossposted, since I'm hoping to get as many opinions as possible.)
ilthit: (art)
[personal profile] ilthit
I found myself plotting a manor mystery yesterday, and continued it today, and I am having just so much fun.

How do you feel about writing genre fiction, especially fiction in a very specific niche like the manor mystery or gothic romance? When you have a narrowed-down genre, do you want to keep within the tropes of it, or mix it with another genre, or subvert those tropes? Or do you prefer not to think about genre at all?

Since manor mysteries are all about messing with your expectations (as long as it doesn't ruin the brain teaser) I expect this will be the most genre-loyal of any of my subgenre-specific stories. If it was a sword & sorcery story, I would not be able to resist making the lone barbarian warrior into the villain.
sterling: (Sephiroth - Creativity)
[personal profile] sterling
In a recent discussion with a writing peer, the subject of genres came up. She asked me what genres I typically wrote, or would like to start writing.

My answer was a lengthy ramble that could have just been summarized by two words: Speculative Fiction. But of course, I wanted to get into more detail than that, so we talked about it for several hours. Almost everything I've written falls into this category (both fanfiction and original fiction), with specifics in: post-apocalyptic, dystopian, fantasy, steampunk, and/or urban fantasy worlds. With the rare exception of a few horror and sci-fi works, I was actually a little amazed that my writing focus was so easily defined.

Even the genres I'd like to start writing for are under the big "speculative fiction" umbrella (one specifically would be alternate history, but I just don't know if I have the patience to do the kind of research I would need to do to make it feel historically possible).

So, some questions for other writers here...

What genres do you usually write?

What genres would you like to write for if you decided to try something new?
ilthit: (writing)
[personal profile] ilthit

This is rather long and I apologize for that in advance. But it's a community for talking about writing, isn't it? So there. 

After 15 years of writing, I'd say I'm definitely a writer, even if all I've published is one minor article in a local newspaper, a few reviews in a super-indie publication and tons of fanfic online. I've never really taken my writing seriously enough to try to make money off it, but I'm going for it at last this year for National Novel Writing Month. 

I know - NaNoWriMo is usually for bad writing, but it's a good excuse to really work hard every day and get a first draft done from start to finish. I have a lot of research and planning to do first, even though all I'm going to attempt is a romance novel. I figured it's got to have a better chance of being published, considering the huge percentage of the book market romance novels dominate, and from what I've seen Harlequin doesn't exactly mind "beginner" errors. 

I got a hold of some romance novels for researching the genre, though before I got them I had already got excited and begun to plot - a plot that I now see I can' t possibly use... Believe it or not, I had never before read a bona fide category romance novel. My first one was Linda Lee Guhrke, and I found it so-and-so, but having since read two others I now see that in its genre it was quite brilliant. There are very clear rules and there seems to be a formula for plot points that I intend to calculate by pagecount next. I want to do the genre justice. It's actually interesting to write such specific genre fiction, as the challenge is to make it original and still make it fit. 

I face several challenges in writing this:

- I will want to improve on the clichés, and that's a difficult balance to keep - I don't want to sound like I'm mocking the clichés the reader is likely to love. 
- I really hate the way the heroes are written. I don't find them attractive at all. I don't know how I'll be able to write one of these silly characters and still like him. 
- The man will have to be stronger and more capable than the woman, and that needs to be one of his appeals. This offends my feminist sensibilities somewhat. 
- I will have a lot of doing trying to stop myself from subverting the clichés (my first urge is to write this about a middle-aged overweight couple who are so mundane it hurts, and show the beauty of their love while they munch on industrial cookies on their tacky 80s pattern sofa).  

Pretty much the only thing I'm sure I can ace are the sex scenes, and even there I think I'll need to hold myself back a little. There's also the problem that I'm not at all used to writing novel-length fiction; I tend to peter out long before 10,000 words. The longest I've written so far was 45,000 words. 

All this makes me think I should just write the novel I want to write; it's got more of a chance to be actually finished, but pretty much zero chance of being sold, despite probably being a better book. 

What do you think I should attempt? Mundane romance (this is the idea that fires me up) or something I can actually sell? 

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