Welcome back to Wicked Writing Wednesday! This is the second post in the series, so if you need to go back to #1, you can click here and read up on my rant/semi-instructional blog post. Today's post is going to be significantly shortly than last week's because I have a deadline or two or seven that are looming like dark shadows in the night (<---not particularly good writing right there; ignore that). So I'm going to get right to the assignment part of the day here and start talking about genre.
Why, you might ask, would genre be the second thing we'd talk about in a series of writing workshops? Well, remember last week how we learned lots of different semi-scientific terms like "artist"? There's your answer. I am an artist, and I will do as I please. Plus, I've written over fifty books and several million words by this point so I think I'm pretty qualified. P.S. This series is educational but also so totally tongue in cheek, Please take everything I say with a grain (or a mountain) of salt.
Now. Genre. What is it and why is it important? Well, in my opinion (if you haven't figured it out, everything I say here is IMHO) genre refers to the audience just as much as does the literature. Genre dictates more than just the plot of the book, but also how you go about writing it. That's why we're working on this during week two. I could write the same scene for young adult, erotica, crime thrillers, and murder mystery and even if the characters did the exact same actions, it would read completely different.
Genre tells you where to focus your energy and how to narrate your story. It dictates your voice and your direction. Basically, it is god. If you're writing for fun, congratulations, I want you to RUN WITH THIS and experiment in lots of different genres. If you're a full-time writer or an aspiring full-time writer, just remember: genre decides everything. It decides cover design, reach, income, marketability, discoverability, even how you might be treated by friends, family or coworkers.
So here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to skip right to the assignments so I can get back to my literal last day of "Glacier" edits. I'm kind of in the middle of giving a final look through on the last sex scene, so ... yeah. Definitely desperate to get back to it. Besides, only like two people told me they even read last week's post so I'm working under the assumption that I could very well be talking to myself. Which, you know, is completely fine since I talk to imaginary characters for a living. But maybe I'll talk a little more about specific genres next week. For now, let's just focus on writing some shit because I will tell you with all due seriousness, actually doing the writing is the hardest part. So if we skip around in this little class of mine and don't discuss all the things we should rightfully discuss in detail, consider it a success if you write anything, anything at all.
First off, did you do last week's assignments? If not, then get your arse back there and do them. I told you'd be needing them this week. Like, for real real.
We're only going to do one assignment this week, but it's going to be significantly longer than last week's five mini-assignments. Partially because I think this is a good step two and partially because I have a ton of shit to get done tonight. If you're into this and want to keep working with me, please let me know somehow--Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below--and I might extend this section.
For now, you mission, should you choose to accept it is to select a genre that you're interested in writing in--whether you're familiar with it or not. If you are, I want you to write down what you think are the five main reasons that people read this genre. For example, people often read erotica because they like to read about steamy sex (yeah, I went there. I did). Or they might read young adult because they like lighthearted love stories. Or maybe they read mysteries because they like to puzzle out who the killer is before the MC does. Make your list and if you're not overly familiar with this genre, consider talking to someone who does, see if you can get a better understand of it. If you ARE a reader of the genre you want to write in, congratulations. No matter what you think or feel, you ARE a part of your own audience. So write to make yourself happy. Honestly, this is something you should strive to do no matter what, but we all have reasons for straying outside our favorite genre every now and again, so don't let that hold you back.
Next, I want you to pick one of last week's assignments and rewrite it to match your genre--and then I want you to keep going. I want you to write for a minimum of ONE HOUR on your piece. Do not stop to research or look things up. Once you get started, I just want you to keep going. You'll fast learn if you stick with me that I don't believe in reworking something to death, so don't spend too much time on that part of the process. To be a writer, you have to actually write. Editing something doesn't really work. It might make that ONE SINGLE PIECE better, but it won't improve your overall skills in the writing department. Yes, of course, we'll go over editing eventually, but for now, please just stop protesting and write.
Use one of last week's prompts.
Any questions? Anybody here? ;)
These are your assignments; you wrote them; do whatever you want with them! If you end up writing a #1 NYT Bestseller with one of these prompts, then I am proud as hell of you. Take them and run with it. You can also post them below and start up a discussion, get feedback, etc.
We'll be using these prompts again in future assignments, so keep them for next week! And remember, if you liked this post, let me know so I can make sure to do another one next week. I can even expand into video/etc if the interest is there.
If you have questions for me, you can also post them below in the comments section. =)
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoy this post!
Wicked Writing Workshop #3:
(P.S. If you post any writing or share any writing with me, you are sharing it freely and cannot later sue me for any reason. I'm not going to steal your work, but you also cannot later sue me if you think I borrowed an idea or something random like that (which I won't do). I know this seems like overkill and that none of you would do this, but it has happened before to some pretty well-known authors. I get all my own ideas and my own writing from inside my head; I don't copy or borrow. So feel free to post but just remember, YOU CANNOT LATER CLAIM I TOOK SOMETHING FROM YOU. Love you guys and sorry I even had to write this. Makes me so sad. Wahh!)