Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Caught Between Worlds
Part of it's the fact that I write blended genres. I'm one of those people who will read just about anything. I literally have just about anything on my shelves. From Playboy to the Holy Bible. From the Uncanny X-Men to The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
Writers from ages past. Homer. Sun Tzu. The Brothers Grimm. Anais Nin.
Writers from today. Robert Heinlein. Scott Turow. Neil Gaiman. Nora Roberts.
They all influence me. Yet, if I don't write within other people's proscribed rules then there's something wrong with me.
Let me correct that. If I don't write within other writers' proscribed rules...
A few years ago, I wrote an urban fantasy novel with bits of romance, adventure and horror. When I sent it to my critique group at the time, I said, "This is urban fantasy."
The first critique I got back started with, "This isn't a romance. This is an urban fantasy."
Yeah, I get that I met y'all through Romance Writers of America. That doesn't mean I have to write ONLY contemporary romance between an unattached male and an unattached female twenty-four/seven!
Yet, if I do write within the proscribed rules, my prose can be correctly compared to watching paint dry.
Then other days, I'm pretty sure it's not me. It's them. The other writers. The ones who (heaven-forbid!) dont' read outside their proscribed narrow circle of what's correct.
So what's a writer like me to do?
Fuck all the other writers! (Not literaly, folks.) The only ones that matter in this equation are the readers. As long as my readers are happy, I'm happy. And when I'm happy, I don't feel quite so stuck anymore.