We’ve made it to December, yo!
This month is all about revisions for me. I spent the last week taking stock on all my current writing projects. More specifically, the ones that I’ve actively tackled within the last couple of years. Sure I have others that are on pause from yesteryear. I don’t want to use the terms ‘orphaned’ or ‘mothballed’. I’d rather think of them on the publishing highway stuck in traffic while these others are in the passing lane. –> Spent the last eight hours running errands and commuting so forgive the lame imagery.
Anyhoo, I counted the active projects and I have TWELVE that I’ve written in the last two years (maybe three) with six of them in the revision stage and three of them closer to spit-shiny than the rest. Can you see why I decided to revise before coming up with something new? Sheesh.
That said, I decided to create a mini-series this month entitled WHAT YOU KNOW. I’ve noticed patterns in my writerly world and I wanted to share some of them with you.
This week’s theme on FRIDAY FORAGE is reading in all its glory. Everyone has their favorites. Some stick to a single type while others prefer reading to suit their mood. Others still, read only best-sellers or best-sellers recommended by a certain female celebrity powerhouse (who shall remain nameless, because, really, she’s doing just fine without my help).
Let’s talk genres. Here’s what I’ve been leaning towards when I open a book (real or digital):
I always want to know why a character does what he does. I often find myself intrigued by the antagonist and even go so far as to sympathize with the motivations behind their heinous acts. Could also be because their characters usually have more depth and they (and the author) throw everything at the protagonist(s). Keeps things interesting. Dan Brown, Michael Connolly, John Grisham, Greg Isles, Brad Meltzer and Kathy Reichs, come to mind, but there are countless others.
I use the blanket term because some view these types of books as chic-lit, women’s fiction, literary fiction, and the like. I suppose it depends on whom you ask. It certainly helps if there’s humor injected in these (and any type of story, for that matter). Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, and Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, to name a few.
3) SCIENCE-FICTION/SPECULATIVE FICTION/FANTASY/MYTHOLOGY/FAIRYTALES
OhMaGerd. Where do I begin? There are high fantasy books that I like but a lot of my favorite fantasy reads lean towards magic realism or urban fantasy, as well. Then, we have fantasy adventures. Quest-based stories that involve a group of good guys (and maybe an elf, dwarf, and a hobbit, too) are classic. Is it fair that I listed all these in a single section? No disrespect to these genres, but they usually go hand in hand, which leads me to
4) CROSSOVER GENRES
I love when a story is a lil’ bit of this and a lil’ bit of that. Some might consider it a catch-all, but I like when hybrid stories are created to put a spin on something more familiar. Who doesn’t want a fresh take on great storytelling? Vampires don’t have to sparkle here to pique my interest. How about a boy who thinks he leads a boring life only to learn that he’s a wizard and there’s an entire society out there he never knew existed? Oh, and that he’s part of a prophecy and, you know, saves the world, and stuff. What is that? Fantasy? Adventure? Coming of age? Quest? All of the amazing above!
5) NON-FICTION (is not a genre)
But it’s a category of writing that I’ve also lurved as of late. My favorites are writing reference and anything to do with learning and how the brain works. There are so many good writing reference books. Anything by K.M. Weiland, Holly Lisle, Jordan McCollum, and any of the folks at Writer’s Digest, for instance. Of course, one of my favorite non-fiction books of the year is The Spark by Kristine Barnett. So good.
It should be noted that while I’ve written across the board from Middle Grade to Young Adult to Adult, these are not genres but age groups. So the above applies to books written for both children and adults.
If I had more time on this post, I could probably list more than my usual five. It should more accurately reflect the endless TBR list that continues to taunt me. Also, I’m being super general in my name-dropping unless specified because the end result would be a post full of links and little else. At least, I’m guaranteed a great read no matter what. There are so many options out there.
What are the genres you like to read?
Next week on FRIDAY FORAGE, WHAT YOU KNOW: 5 Favorite Animes