Contact Me

Email me
"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus



Sunday, June 12, 2011

Finding My Niche In The World of Novels

One of the toughest things for me in pursuing a writing career is being one of approximately 3 people in the known universe who don't want to write (or read) romance novels of any genre.

On the whole, as a would-be reader of fiction, I most often find myself dissatisfied because writers don't pursue in depth any relationships other than romantic ones.  I want something more.  And that is a very large part of what drives me to write.

Since I don't want to write what is most common, romance, that leads naturally to the next question---so what DO I want to write? And because my take on things is outside the norm, how can I put that unique perspective to work with my stories?

That got me to thinking about favorite TV shows I watched growing up, as well as favorite books.  If you were to ask me off the cuff what I enjoy most in television, I would tell you that I love buddy-centric shows.  Simon & Simon (ok, they had to be buddies, they were brothers. LOL!), Starsky & Hutch, Riptide, etc etc.  My favorite novel, Zane Grey's Forlorn River, knocks my socks off because of the friendship between Ben Ide and the former outlaw Nevada.

BUT...I also love shows/books that feature the "lone hero" concept.  MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 (the original in this case), Gunsmoke (yes, each has a supporting cast, but the lead character stands head and shoulders [in James Arness' case, literally] above the rest.

So I have a running list of 18 different novel/novella ideas that I want to develop. Naturally, I decided I ought to review that list of 18 titles and see if they leaned more toward buddy-centered fiction or something else.  And as I reviewed the story concepts (some more well developed than others), I found myself surprised by the results:

10 story concepts featuring primarily the Lone Hero
5 story concepts featuring buddies
3 story concepts that were romance (yep--you heard that right.  Romance)

Of those 18 titles:
10 were historical genre
6 fall roughly into contemporary suspense
2 contemporary women's fiction

How very interesting, both from a writing and psychological perspective.

I then decided to take those 18 titles or story concepts, and rank them in the order they interested me.  I was also quite fascinated to learn that the first 5-6 I chose as a priority were about evenly spattered between Lone Hero, Buddy, or Romance.

How weird is that?

It gives me much to think over.  Now that the moving hoo-ha is over and life is beginning to settle down into what passes for normal for me (the constant, wearying drama of the day job aside), I need to get back to writing again.  So I need to have this philosophical battle with myself, get it over with, and pick a project to work on next.

All the philosophical debate in the world is useless to me if I don't produce manuscripts.  THAT is what it is all about.

2 comments:

hopeofglory said...

Those are extremely interesting results in your case, Brenda. I'm posting a "sort of" review on Thursday in which I mention your name as a barometer of sorts. How's that for an enticement? You'll understand all my innuendoes when you read it. Anyway, I'm kinda anxious to hear your thoughts on it.

Nicole

B.K. Jackson said...

I look forward to reading your post, as always!