Writerly Rant #40
Tara Sparling is an author I follow who studies the analytics of the book business. She’s developed some great title generators for various genre fiction that highlight and speak to the stereotypes present in writing and publishing. Tara has even gone so far as to outline major character arcs and plot points that each genre tends to follow – because that is what’s selling after all.
This got me to thinking recently when my editor pointed out a line that bordered on romantically cliché in my science fiction novel. Yes, there’s a romantic sub-plot in the book and I was attempting a bit of genre-blending by using the phrase. I was highly advised to remove the line and replace it with something a bit more realistic. Grant it, my editor and therefore my publisher likely have different expectations for this book than I do, and so I’m wondering if the fad of mixing genres is just that:
F – fashionable
A – and
D – dwindling
The traditional publishers seem to like their carefully package, predictable formulas – writing and designs that they know will sell, especially when it comes to genre work. So what does that mean for those of us who like to try something different, who like a little spice in what we do to mix up the usual templates and themes? Well, there’s a reason self-publishing is becoming a lucrative market – when it comes to risk-taking who will be losing the time and money should an idea bomb, you or your publisher?
I love the idea of genre-bending and blending. Yes, the Urban/Supernatural-Fantasy/Romance is more than a little bit over-done but it worked; it peaked interests and told publishers that teens and lovers of fantasy were looking for more diversity in their reading options. As a writer this opens up new avenues of exploration… or I thought it did. Is it really so bad to go Cli-Fi/Fantasy/Romance in today’s market?
I guess I’ll find out.