WTF Genre Am I Writing in Anyway?

So I’ve been belly-deep in the WIP. Sometimes the words come slowly, and sometimes they are in a big rush. I’ve spent the past week making sure I writw every day. And that has been going well.


If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed some more random tweets than usual today. Goodness, do I wish I could say, witty or pithy tweets, but hey. At least I know myself. They were random. And that’s because odd things were clogging up my writing. You know, little deets, like my exact setting, and time, and genre. And names. I heart naming things.

Okay, back to genre issues. I’ve made certain decisions about setting/time/genre and tried to push through others. I have the story in my head. I can see scenes and my characters and it plays out. And that is where my focus has been these last few weeks. Putting it into words, cranking out the novel, and not getting stuck in too many rabbit holes of research. Although they are fun.

An example of something I haven’t made a final decision on is the EXACT time my novel takes place. I have an era that I think will make a good fit for the themes I want to include. I even have a century in mind, but nothing exact.

I have also, at this point, made up countries that could have existed during that time. And this is another strange place to be in. One one level, my goal is to write historical romantic fiction. And I am striving for details and as few anachronisms as I can have (just a sec: HAHA! Damn, is that hard.), because the “when” matters to me. Even though I’m not specific with it yet.

So, back to the made up countries. I’m writing about kings and queens, heads of state. I don’t want to take literary license with those who existed. Other writers have done and I’m sure will do a fabulous job of that, but that doesn’t interest me for this story. So, I have, in essence, place-holders of inspiration for my made up countries. I may change things. It may be glaringly obvious to others what I was using as historical anchors. And that’s fine. These aren’t secrets. They are, rather, ideas in flux.

The focus I am attempting to maintain in terms of story is about the main characters, Callum and Zara, falling in love. They and their relationship make up plot points, and has me pulling out my hair at times wondering about their likability, intelligence, or, in contrast, any possible doormat qualities. I like feisty heroines and Zara will get there, but for a while, she’s more of a wait-and-see, feisty-heroine-in-the-making.

If you’ve read my side-bar, you know that I mention fairy tales. I love fairy tales. When I set out to write this story I wanted it to be a fairy tale. That conjures specific images, themes, and types of characters and I like that. What fairy tales also generally entail is the use of magic. So, I’ve added that in as well. At this point, it’s subtle. But it’s there and is one of those things I scratch my head about wondering how it adds to the story or what it shows about the characters who use it and how to make the best use of it. I’m not going to keep it if ultimately it feels tacked on. But right now, it’s there and I have major plans for it. So. Yeah.

When I step back, I’ve started to wonder if I’ve entered a different genre altogether. Am I writing fantasy? Just how liberal can one be when it comes to “historical?” Why am I stuck on labels anyway? Gah.

In the mean time, I’ll be writing, occasionally tweeting, and working out these questions, hoping to gain some perspective.

So my question to you is, have any of you ever wondered, genre-wise, what you were writing? As readers, have you gotten into a story that bent genres or blended them for you? Did you like it? All I know is I’m having fun and am looking forward to the process every day.

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