Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG: Unplanned Writing Genre

Hello all;

August is here - oh my oh my! And boy, its hot in my area. Made even hotter and more uncomfortable while working with the face covering requirements. Uck. But, we are all suffering - unless you are working from your home, in which case I have no sympathy for you. Envy abounds though.

This post might be a bit of a mess cuz I'm writing from my Samsung tablet and not used to the small screen and one finger tapping. How do people live without full screen, a mouse and external keyboard. 

Since I'm not working from home, I'm picking up slack from all the in-store workers who are at home due to Corona-virus lay-offs, and not getting any writing time. So, I have no writing insecurities - except perhaps that I'm still struggling with considering myself a "writer" since I haven't written much even before the pandemic. I'll try to answer this months question. Its quite unusual, that's for sure.
August 5 question - Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

I think most of my writing sort of "found me." I don't think I knew much about genres and story classification before writing my first real novel. A short story that begged to be longer and became a book. I thought I was writing something in fiction that Nobody ever wrote outside of nonfiction/biography. 

It wasn't poetry, mystery, romance, horror, historical, sci-fi, or fantasy. Definitely not porn, children's or Christian.  So it had to be new, never seen before. I was a creative genius! The next Great American Novelist. After submitting to several publishers and getting my first vanity agent, I figured out my genre was Women's Fiction,  still haven't entirely settled into a subgenre, and the field is overflowing with aspiring authors just like me.

On the plus side I discovered a new realm of books to read and authors to envy, emulate, and treasure.

With the discovery of blogging (recommended through an offline writing group) I was introduced to even more writing forms and genres.  I credit blogging, and several writers groups both on and offline,  with the majority of my knowledge and experience.

"Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be." This quote truly summarizes my writing experiences since I started blogging (2007?2009?). I get story ideas, usually a specific character thumps on my forehead with a specific scene, setting, or issue, and I just write it. The characters choose which form or genre the storyline follows, and I don't worry about pigeonholing such minor details until the second rewrite/editing pass.

Gotta know what genre to adher to for submission, even if you are self publishing.

And for a blog post on the busiest Wednesday of the month this is getting rather long. Time to thank our host Alex J Cavanaugh, the IWSG team, and this month's co-hosts: Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, Chrys Fey.

Have a good one y'all; see ya 'round the blogverse.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's wild to think you didn't know what genre you were writing. But it didn't inhibit you.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It wasn't revolutionary but that first story guided you to your path.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Well done Donna ... you wanted to be an author and you applied yourself ... and blogging certainly helps us. Women's Fiction is a wide genre to be in ... but that opens lots of doors. Take care and don't work too hard picking up the pieces ... all the best and stay safe - Hilary

Rachna Chhabria said...

Its really nice that most of your writing found you :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great how your writing found you. And how you found so many other awesome authors and books that you enjoy.

Chemist Ken said...

I'm glad someone was able to tell you what genre your story belonged to. I'm still trying to decide if my story is considered urban fantasy or not.

I hope that work settles down for you and allows you plenty of free time to write again.

Olga Godim said...

We write what is in our hearts. The genre definition can come later, when the story is complete.

Botanist said...

If you write, you're a writer. IMHO it doesn't matter how much or how little. In writing terms, you've already accomplished more than most people ever will.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...


You are definitely a "writer", regardless of whether or not you ever write another word.

Many years ago (March 17, 2005), I wrote an review for a book about baseball. I posted it and, thinking it might have been the best thing I'd ever written, I proclaimed myself (for the first time ever) "a writer". And then I immediately took my Ma to her favorite Thai restaurant for a celebration lunch.

Contrary to common knowledge, a person doesn't need to continue writing in order to be a writer. I've read enough of things you've written in the past to know that YOU are definitely "a writer". You have a gift, and I know I have told you that before. It's still true, and it doesn't need to be proven over and over again.

~ D-FensDogG

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Donna!

So good to see you posting! Yes... you are a WRITER!!!! You have been questioning this since I first met you in late 2009!

It is HOT here, too, and I will be getting even HOTTER when I go back to FL in a week or so. NOT BY CHOICE... the last thing I want is to go to COVID FL. But I sold my condo and I must. I hope an pray I get back Covid free. You'd be happy to know I LOVE my house in NW IL and I will probably never sell it. I finally found my home. How is your new house? I know you are always on the road, but I do hope you are loving it... Miss you a lot. I hope and pray you are well... sending a HUGE Virtual HUG...

Pat Hatt said...

No writing time stinks indeed. Know that. It is fun to just go and let the genre come about when done.

Tamara Narayan said...

I think my first book wanted to be a fusion of paranormal and crime mystery. Fun to write, but it never found a publisher.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

That's how I started. I just had to write. I'd figure the rest later, which I eventually did, but it took me a while.

dolorah said...

Alex: I was a true amatueur :)

L Dine: It was a start.

Hilary: It has been a great journey.

Rachna: thanks

Olga: Exactly!

Natalie: Had a lot of fun along the way.

Ian: Thanks

Saint Mac: You are such a sweetheart. Thanks for stopping by.

Michael: Awesome to see you around the blogs too. Try not to ge eaten by gators on your Florida trip, lol

Pat: Your genre fits you so well. I'm sure I'll have time soon.

Tamara: But it got you started on your writing path, which is awesome indeed.

Lynda: and you kept at it also, and look how far you have come. Congrats.

Deniz Bevan said...

Love your plus side about a new realm of books to discover! Whenever I'm in a writing slump, I try to fill up the well, as it were, by reading even more often :-)

Nick Wilford said...

Women's fiction must have a lot of different avenues within it, though. That's a pretty broad definition. You're right that it's best to just go with what the story and characters are saying.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'm ready for fall, that's for sure. It's been consistent 90s for weeks here. Not a norm in Colorado, which is why I live here.

Glad you figured out the genre. And of course you're a writer!

joylene said...

For years I used a big mac and 2 monitors. It took awhile to feel comfortable with my MacBook and this little keyboard. I guess we're better writers for conquering these devices, eh? Happy IWSG Day.