Thursday, April 14, 2011

Different Worlds

I've been wracking my brain all week to try and decide how I could move any of my stories to a different type of sub-genre and I have to admit, I'm coming up blank!

For several of my stories, the setting is integral to the plot. Moving them to, say, outer space (as much as I do love a good sci-fi story every once in a while) just isn't going to work. For most of them I guess I could move them to a different time period. The stories aren't too dependent on 'modern technology', so moving them back a century or so wouldn't change much of the plot.

The granddaughter who comes to her grandfather's cabin to find peace and solitude only to discover he's hired a sexy caretaker, although set in the here and now, would still work as a historical. Her job as a web-site designer would have to be changed, but that's a minor plot point.

In another story when the hero comes back to town to buy a local bar and finds the heroine (his high school sweetheart) managing the place, I'm thinking we change the bar to a saloon and we're in good shape.

In my marriage of convience story, the basic premise would still work in the past, although I'd have to change the fact that my couple has to get married because of a tv game show.

Maybe my current WIP could work in outer space I guess. It's a country boy/city girl story, so instead of being from different parts of the country, they could come from different planets. He's a bull rider, which leads to some of the conflict due to the dangers involved, but I guess I could make him a pod racer and still have it work.

But here's the thing...Although I could move some of these stories to other galaxies or centuries, I don't think I'd want to. There should be a reason for setting a story in outer space, and besides, I like my stories where and when they are. That's why I wrote them this way in the first place.

I will say, though, in a deep, secret place inside, I'd love to write a Civil War novel some day. I already have a premise in mind, but I'm a little afraid of the research. I want to get it right. But who knows...maybe someday...

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. I love how your stories sound, regardless of the genre/time. I think you hit on a key point, though. If you don't want to move them, they're not going to feel right and I don't think your voice will come through. Maybe that's the point with choosing your genre--it reflects your voice. Changing the genre can be a fun exercise, can even work, but you've got to protect your voice. IMO.

  2. You've said it, Debra! "I like my stories where and when they are. That's why I wrote them this way in the first place."

    I just realized what I do when I create a new product for my Secret Garden home business is what I do when I write a a novel. I pick my genre (soup or seasoning). I identify my main character (wild rice or curry powder). I test story arc (recipe) until I come up with one I like.
    Writing like recipe creation.

  3. You should write what you're comfortable with. Writing historical or sci-fi usually involves lots of research. I write fantasy romance, so most of it is from my imagination, but I do have to be consistent in the worldbuilding.

    Like you, I have a Civil War romance (actually 2/3 done with a first draft) but I decided that the research involved will take too much time right now. With 3 kids, it's hard to have time for anything that extensive.

    One thing I like to do is write short stories of other genres to see if I can stretch my writing muscles to another area.

  4. Hi Debra,

    It all comes back to author choice! What feels right, what flows without too much effort (brainstorming)and love for one's characters.

    I fell on historicals by chance via a gorgeous female portrait and another image of two men on horseback in mortal combat: Their story, all three, came out of a dream. I might never have written such otherwise, and now I'm well into the sequel. I love history per se. The era I'm indulging perfect for me and I feel transported back in time. But, I equally love writing modern contemporary romantic fiction. ;)

    I've experimented with short fiction: a YA from male POV. Also on same blog as above. Stretching oneself from time to time is good for a writer, as Mysti pointed out. :o


  5. Hi Ana,

    Great analogy of the writer's lot! Recipe, ingredients, a little mixing and a rub-a-dub-dub here and there, and hopefully a meal to tempt the taste buds. ;)


  6. So many excellent comments here!
    Debra - I really enjoyed your ideas about how you could change the genre of your novels but then you said the important thing - "I like my stories where and when they are."

    Jennifer - you said it right! Totally agree that if you're not at ease with a genre, your voice could well be lost.

    Ana - love your analogy to creating recipes. Get the ingredients right and you have the perfect dish.

    Mysti - I agree that writing what you're comfortable with is so important.

    Francine - you've echoed Mysti's comment when you say that the era is perfect for you.

    And, on the subject of writing in a different genre, pop into my blog on Saturday where I'll be up to N in the A-Z Challenge, and my title is 'Never Say Never'

  7. Thanks for all of the great comments and discussion...I was out of commission yesterday (not at school) and my computer at home is out of commission (virus) so I wasn't able to get on line all day. Sorry.