The book in my head, which is slowly making its way onto (virtual) paper, surprised me immensely.
I had always wanted to write teen fiction, that much I knew, but I did not know what I would be writing.
Then one day, a small paragraph of dialogue came into my mind. It had no context, no sense even, but it was there. Then the next morning, I awoke with a story.
It was a wonderful feeling, to have such inspiration, and I have been sitting on the story ever since, letting it simmer and boil under the surface while I get on with my life.
Now, roughly 4 years on, I have started writing. Slowly, very tentatively, but writing nonetheless. What continues to surprise me, however, is the genre. My story, which burst out of nothing and has held fast with me, would probably be classified as science fiction.
I have barely even read science fiction over the years. I think genres are funny though. Whilst my book will be science fiction in its premise, the story and the theme are more coming of age / reconciling family as a part of your sense of self / inheriting problems / sacrifice. None of these things are strictly ‘genres’ and absolutely none of them are indicated by the genre I know my book will fall into. But these themes are critical to whether a reader will like the story or not.
I have decided, at this early stage, not to worry about whether future readers will be lured in by a science fiction premise, and then disappointed that it is merely a vehicle for the more usual themes of teen fiction. But at some point I am going to have to think about it. Not only am I completely surprised by the genre I have fallen into, but I also will eventually have to delicately tread around the expectations of that genre…yet not so delicately as to compromise the story I want to tell. It’s exhausting to think about really and will have to stay in the back of my mind for now.
Where you surprised by your genre?
In what ways does your genre either free or restrict you?