Sunday, April 10, 2011

True Love Triumphs, but in what clothes?

The essence of romance is true love: Girl meets boy. Obstacles arise. Love wins in the end. This theme, thankfully, never goes out of style.
What does is genre, the wrapping we package around each version of our love story.
If a story genre falls out of popularity, can a story be repackaged to sell?
My first WIP was a western. Spunky daughter needs to save the ranch. (I live on a cattle farm, so I was trying to write what I know.) My craft skills were rudimentary, but my overall story arc was actually quite good. I hope to revive it soon.
If westerns are not in vogue when I do, I could turn it into a sci-fi. (Think Star Wars. It's a western set in space.) Or possibly an urban fantasy. Same story, just different packaging.
But should I?


  1. Unfortunately, this is still writing to please someone else. I guess I'm just tired of that.

    "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly

  2. Must admit I would tend to give it a different setting, rather than re-write in a different genre. But that's just my personal viewpoint since I'm not particularly interested in sci-fi or, indeed, any of the other paranormal or fantasy genres.

  3. Hi Ana,

    It's all a matter of author choice. Many people aspire to write for one publisher - no name, no pack drill - and known for its vast array of sub-genre to choose to write for, and some writers put themselves through agony for years trying to master the art of one specific line. To hell with that. Me, I'm looking for a publisher who pushes boundaries and wants to set new trends! If you know of one, please let me know. ;)

    As for dressing a character in guise of space cowboy instead of original dust-laden horse-packing cowpoke, yeah, go for it.

    But, turning a seventeenth century Cavalier landowner into a twenty-first century rich dude wouldn't really cut the mustard: a horse for a Bentley, lace frills and velvet coats exchanged for plain business suit. Nah, but I like both so I'll write about both! ;)


  4. It's so hard to predict the trends. "They" always say to us as writers, we need to be ahead of what's going to be popular and in. Which seems almost impossible to do.

    I say write what's in your heart. I write cowboys and country men because I love them myself.

    And sometimes the setting is integral to the plot of the story and becomes almost a character unto itself. In that case, it's nearly impossible to move the setting to a new locale, let alone another time and place entirely.

    And don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Star Wars fan. Talk about George Lucas being ahead of his time. (And for me, it's Han Solo over Luke Skywalker anyday!) He told his story.

    I say you tell yours! Good luck!

  5. I do prefer to write what I like and worry about what will sell later. Usually my repackaging has more to do with how I can convince a publisher to accept the manuscript, despite it's being outside their typical box. But I also think that repackaging something you've written can be a great writing exercise. Much like changing the POV of a scene or a chapter can completely alter how the story is told, changing the genre can also inspire the writer and perhaps breathe new life into the story.