Sunday, November 10, 2013

Genre Test

I found my way to a little quiz about what literary genre best represented my ideas and my writing here via Leah Libresco's blog, Unequally Yoked, at Patheos. Validity? Some, I'm sure, but interesting anyway as it makes one think about one's writing goals might be.

I was not at all surprised to find 'coming of age' at the top of my results. People discovering who they are is always important to me. What was surprising was to find westerns coming in right behind and epic fantasy way down the list.

But, when I think about it, I could put the characters in my fantasy novel, THE SONG OF THE SWORD, and its sequel-in-progress, into cowboy hats and the story wouldn't be that much different. There would be people riding around on horses, going back to the old ranch house instead of the castle, and making the same sorts of decisions. In other words, there is a lot of emphasis on personal morality and growth and not so much on big-picture epic conflict.

Indeed, I could jettison the magic -- which doesn't make up that big an element of the stories -- and write pretty much mainstream stuff. And the next novel may be just that.

addendum:  I had a thought after posting about something that has not so much to do with ideas but a great deal to do with style---the prose in TSOTS is very much on the 'poetic' side. It might even be called 'courtly' and it is suited to a fantasy concept. Writing in a different genre would require a change in my language and in my voice. But then, I wrote THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE as a contemporary 15 year old boy so maybe I could pull it off.

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