Friday, February 11, 2011
Genre Writing: I AM My Genre!
She says it suddenly with such drama because she has realized something irrefutable; they are so much alike as to be one! There is no denying it. It is quite a moment.
Now, I am not going to discuss 'Wuthering Heights' here. I am referring to this line purely to make a point. This weeks' topic asks: 'within the genre you write, do you know who you are writing for? Do they call to you?' I have to say I couldn't wait to get going with this one!
Gothic fiction with its sweeping and dramatic narrative knows my name. I hear its voice every time I sit down to write. I am writing the sequel now to my gothic novel, 'The House on Blackstone Moor.'
And boy do I ever hear its voice. It is all around me.
As it happens, I live in Yorkshire and have been to the Bronte Parsonage many times as well as the moors around Haworth, the very moors the Brontes walked upon. Anyone with any sort of affinity for gothic romance should visit these places. These dramatic, wind-swept settings shape my writing and always will.
As for the genre in general, those great writers of the past left us a legacy to carry on with: whoever they were and wherever they lived. And by the way, the drama in gothic can be transposed to various settings and times. It is merely up to the writer.
I feel there is a genuine interest in this genre. In fact I don't think it ever went away. Read some of the discussions on Amazon between gothic romance readers and you'll see what I mean.
As for me, I often hear from those readers who wish to read that sort of fiction again. Not re-packaged, but freshly written for today's reader. All the feedback I am getting is confirming this to be true.
I read that gothic romance was no longer popular. That motivated me to write my book.
What better inspiration is there then to be on a mission to help to reinvent gothic romance?
I think we all write within the genre that appeals to us, the one we enjoy reading the most. It is a natural thing.
We watch what's being sold, what's popular, but we should also be unafraid to trail-blaze or to seek to bring new readers over to our genre fold. And then again, we may re-interpret what's gone before or indeed go onto invent some entirely new subgenre!
I believe whatever genre we write in, we must love that genre. It must be part of us, because our writing is really our vision of everything told subjectively. There's a very interesting line in the film, 'Leave Her To Heaven,' when the beautiful but homicidal Ellen says about her father: 'my father said every book was a confession...'
I think it is. I think we are what we write!