Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Is It Sacrilegious To Write For Multiple Genres?

((Please note, there's some religious humor here. If you are easily offended, you may want to skip today's reading.))

Forgive me, Reader, for I have sinned.

I have a bad habit. I have thoughts outside my genre.

A lot of them.

For some, that's a cardinal sin. For example, if Romance were a religion, it'd be like an Orthodox Jew talking about considering eating a ham sandwich.

People who eat such things think it's funny to so much as second guess it and think you should just snack down.

Then there's others who gasp and assure you that an unpub trying to write multi-genres means means you are going to Romance Hell--the very bottom of your ultimate editor's Slushpile. (Or, if you're a Romance Catholic who follows all the rules and confesses regularly to your CP readers, perhaps Romance Purgatory; where your mss are trapped in cycle after cycle of revisions with no hint of sale.)

Ultimately, in order to be a multi-genre unpub...you'll need to resign yourself to being a Romance Atheist.

I'm still on the fence, but let's face it, I'm listing to the side--my mother would just DIE if I claimed to be an Atheist, so let's not mention this to her anytime soon. I love smart ass romance. I like characters with fast talk, smart responses and admittedly, they need to be good in bed. Wake-the-neighbors good. Wish-I-could-do-that good.

But every now and then, I wonder...what if someone was trying to kill them?

Or...what if it's in first person and she's lousy at making sense, but great at shopping?

Or...(and this is my favorite crime) I wonder if I could make that a series?

Or.....

Or.....

The possibilities are endless. At least, they are in my head. But then my inner Romance Catholic rears her head and reminds me, "You'll never build readership that way! You just want to have it all! You lack focus, you undisciplined upstart!"

Obviously, as Romance Catholics go, I wasn't pleasant. I chafe at rules. Especially since the "Rules of Romance" haven't done a whole lot to get me published in the last eight years. Truly, I can't ignore the big rules--one hero, one heroine; no head-hopping; must have a happy ending. But really, I'd say I chose those before I started writing anyway. (Well, except head hopping, but once I found out about that, I chose not to.)

I suck at the "Traditional" query and short synop. I followed the rules and never got so much as a request for a partial. Made up my own style of query and a one page excerpt and there you go, suddenly, there's interest.

I haven't read the GMC book. My skin starts to burn when I touch it. I do have a rudimentary understanding of it, but don't ask me to point it out in my mss. It takes four hours to dig it out and it's not pretty. I don't like doing it.

I can't pitch to save my life. I'm a writer, speaking doesn't become me. I ramble, I'm unclear, I make off color jokes and as if that wasn't enough, I start nervously swearing like a Tourette's victim.

But does wanting to write multi-genre stories--and trying to see them published--mean that I'm vainly trying to get away with doing anything? Does it make me a writing whore, out desperately to submit where I hear they might be looking more intently for new writers?

I'm thinking...no. I mean, I've spoken to the editors of most lines, they're ALWAYS looking intently. I haven't figured out if I'm vain or not--I probably am, it's been mentioned by people who strongly dislike me that I think about myself entirely too much. Perhaps it's simply a scattershot approach. Perhaps after all these years, I'm a bit at a loss as to what I might be good at writing and I'm subconsciously willing to try new avenues, just to see if they suit my voice.

Or maybe, like most writers, I'm just imaginative. Maybe it's because I'm character driven and some characters drive in seedy areas. Maybe I'm just human with a full spectrum of emotion that can go into my work.

Or maybe, snort, I'm just that good?

Nahhhh. Even I wouldn't go that far. But here's hoping an answer shows itself soon, because my grip is falling off the fence and I'm not real sure where I might land--Romance Orthodox or Romance Atheism.

Or, rather, I just don't know which one I might regret.

Have a great day, folks!
Dee

4 comments:

THIS! Christine said...

I ramble, I'm unclear, I make off color jokes and as if that wasn't enough, I start nervously swearing like a Tourette's victim.

What, you're channeling me now? Although I do think I avoided (by the skin of my teeth) saying the F word.

X

Heather Diane Tipton said...

I haven't read the GMC book. My skin starts to burn when I touch it. I do have a rudimentary understanding of it, but don't ask me to point it out in my mss. It takes four hours to dig it out and it's not pretty. I don't like doing it.

LMAO! It's good to know I'm not the only one! I understand it, I could probably even teach it to someone but God forbid I would have to use it myself. It makes my head want to explode and kills all creativity.

LOL ALso love the quote that X copied up there. That made me spit my pepsi out.

Dee said...

ROFL, well, then my day is complete! Pepsi spitting is my goal!

And X, lol, you sure you don't channel ME? LOL!

Dee

Sasha White said...

Great Post! I'm glad you dropped by to say hi so I could find your blog!

Uhmm, I say go for it. Mulitple genres is very adventurous. LOL