Thursday, December 22, 2011
Crossing Genres: The Forbidden Zone by Stuart Nager
Crossing Genres: The Forbidden Zone
by Stuart Nager
I write what I like, and I happen to like different genres. It really depends on my mood, if I'm using a prompt, or I've accepted a Blogfest Challenge. My WordPress blog, Tale Spinning, is an experiment in flash fiction. I don't follow any rules as some of my pieces have been well over 1000 words. No matter what, I enjoy writing in different genres and styles.
For me, much of this comes from two sources (if not more): I am a voracious reader, and I read what interests me at the time; I was also an improvisation performer for many years… And I still do improvisational storytelling as part of my performance life. In improvisation you have to have a large pool of material to work from. If your referencing material is meager, then what you present to the audience will ultimately be boring.
That's how I see writing as well. I could write the same genre and style every single time. That would bore me to tears. At this point I write in the following styles: horror; psychological thriller; fantasy; humor; poetry and sonnets; mystery; science fiction; steam punk; Westerns; paranormal; and romance.
Yes, romance. If you remember what I said above, I don't believe in rules; I find that rules are meant to be broken, especially when it comes to writing. My first published story was in a romance anthology. I asked a romance writer who I knew from Facebook to give it a once over before I submitted it. She said that she liked it very much but because I did not follow the RWA rules for romance writing, my story would probably not be accepted.
My story was accepted. Hers was not. So much for rules.
I had a brief dalliance with a supposed literary agent. She told me that she felt I was a very good writer, but that she would only handle novelists, not short story writers. After much questioning from me and hemming and hawing on her part, I finally got her to give me a straight answer about what she wanted and felt would be published.
Her answer was: "I want great love story."
So, right now I am about 18000 words into a great love story. I also have about 7000 words of a fantasy, and I have no idea how many words I have yet on my horror series or my tales using Japanese mythology.
Crossing genres, for me, is creative fun. It keeps my mind agile, broadens my interests, and allows me to find out new things when I do my research. I find that exploring the different voices and styles inside of me makes me a better writer.
Stuart lives a creative life as a writer, playwright, performance storyteller, workshop guide and creative drama and creative writing, editor, improvisation actor, and director. For Trestle Press, Stuart has written a psychological thriller entitled Flash Over. You can read his blog Tale Spinning at stuartnager.wordpress.com/