Sunday, July 4, 2010

Genre Hopping Crazy Lady?

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart - Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." ~ Carl Gustav Jung

RaShelle at A No. 2 pencil stat! asked the question, "Where do you draw your inspiration?".

In Bridge Across Forever, Richard Bach (one of my favorite authors) shares the following :
What was the question? ...Oh. Where do I get my crazy ideas? Answer: sleep-fairy, walk-fairy, shower-fairy. Book-fairy. And in these last few years, from my wife. Now when I have questions I ask her and she tells me the answer. If you haven't already, I'd suggest you want to find your soulmate, as soon as you can. Next question?
I've always loved this answer, because it's pretty much true for me, too. (The fairy part, not the soulmate part, I'm mateless at the moment.) I just have to pay attention and listen.

The title for my current wip, Churches, Chickens and ChiChi's came to me while driving, from the car fairy, one word at a time. The day the third word fell in to place, I was driving home from a seminar and by the time I reached the house, I had the premise, the main character, several of the supporting characters and much of the storyline. Thank you, car fairy!

I'm now a third of the way through the first draft of that novel, a southern women's fiction with a big smattering of romance and some rauch. As I've mentioned a time or two, I don't multitask well, so when the idea for a new novel, in a totally different genre starting niggling at me a few days ago (during meditation), I told the meditation fairy, "thank you for sharing" and wrote the idea down for later. Later being when I'm done with this first draft.

Today, while sitting for meditation, lo and behold, instead of giving me more insight on where to take my current wip, little niggle insisted on being heard and handed me the premise, the main character, several of the supporting characters and much of the storyline for Novel Two. And it's SciFi. Go figure. Thank you, meditation fairy!

Which brings me to a post by Roland Yeomans at Writing in the Crosshairs a week or so ago. He said he writes in the genres that most influenced him as a child and asked what books we had read back then and whether we find that same corollary in our own writing.

At first, I had a hard time remembering what I'd read (after all, that was a long time ago and I was an avid reader from the time I first started putting sentences together). But his question engaged my rememberer, and I realized that my reads were all over the place. I genre-hopped like crazy. If it looked interesting, I would read it, even when the subject matter was way over my head.

But I was pretty sure I had not read any southern women's fiction or 'romance' back then (though every good novel has a smattering of romance).

Now I get it. Heaven help us. I started out reading all over the place so it's not unlikely that I would write all over the place. The trick will be to have some common thread because I'm pretty sure agents and publishers frown on genre-hopping.

Does Roland's theory hold true for you in your writing? Any words of wisdom out there for a genre-hopping crazy lady?

6 comments:

stu said...

Ignore genre completely and just write whatever seems like a good story?

The Words Crafter said...

Hey Olivia! Nice to meet you! I'm a newb, too, just barely enough to say I even have a WIP. As for your question, I'd say yes. Roland is WISE. I'm enjoying reading your blog, you have a great sense of humor. Happy Monday!

The Words Crafter said...

Hey Olivia! Nice to meet you! I'm a newb, too, just barely enough to say I even have a WIP. As for your question, I'd say yes. Roland is WISE. I'm enjoying reading your blog, you have a great sense of humor. Happy Monday!

Olivia Herrell said...

Stu, thank you, I will. Because you said so and because I must do what the muse says or she'll run away and leave me alone. That would never do. :)

Words Crafter, welcome! I'd been reading your comments on other blogs. I'm so glad to have you here and glad to know someone as new as me. There is so much to see and learn from the host of amazing writers in this beautiful blogverse.

BTW, I clicked over to your blog and followed after reading your comment to Christi about birthdays. I like your sense of humor, too!

~Olivia

Postman said...

Sounds like Roland's got something there. I was heavy into sci-fi and adventure when I was a kid. So I combined 'em in my novel(s). My short stories are turning out that way too. No wonder the satires and the rom-coms I'm trying to write feel so forced! Though I might just be spreading my brain too thin...

I too can identify with the 3 a.m. epiphany. I'll bolt upright in bed or have to pull the car over and jot down some notes. I still have yet to gain as much insight as you have, though...plot, premise, story, characters in one fell swoop! I hope you never lose that gift...

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Postman, gosh, me too! Isn't that a cool insight, writing what we read as a child? Roland rocks. If you haven't already connected with him, skip on over to his blog. He's an amazing writer, plus, I learn something new from him every day.

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