Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Genres and Labels
For a little while, my current manuscript and I were hopelessly stalled by the side of the road. Broken down. Not moving. Like a 1973 VW bus being driven from Des Moines to San Francisco with one and a half of the dual carburetors on the fritz. Seriously.
Thanks to a little NanoReviseMo mojo and the help of some friends and my critique partner, I'm unstuck and finally beginning to understand the tenets of goal, motivation and conflict in literature. Who knew that I didn't fully grasp the concept when I was taking all those literary theory classes at Jesuit university? Now that I do, things are looking up in terms of being able to pinpoint not only a description, blurb and elevator pitch for my tale, but I think I might even have drawn a bead on the genre.
What's that you say? How could you not know what GENRE you're writing! The horror!!! Well, you try figuring out if it's science fiction/fantasy with romantic elements or a historical paranormal romance. To top that off, what if it's single title (still not quite clear on that, someone PLEASE help) or Category. Here I thought, I'll just write down this story that keeps screaming inside my head but no, I have to tell you what it is. IT'S A STORY I MADE UP. Please stop confusing me. Or frightening me a little, in a good way by educating me with complex publishing-related math like Moonrat did over at Editorial Ass today. I mean your accountant might need an accountant to keep up with what's what in terms of earning out an advance. If you ever get one. Fortunately for me, I do already know that zero times any number is ALWAYS zero.
But thanks to publishing glossaries such as this one posted by blog fave, agent Nathan Bransford here or the anti-fairy version featured on fave 1.0, agent Janet Reid's shark infested waters here, I'm a little bit closer to the mark. Highly entertained though, but not necessarily as clear as I could be.
Please send chocolate.