Owning up about your genre - Page 2


Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 31

Thread: Owning up about your genre

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    I thought this was an interesting post found on the newsletter above:

    The same poster talks about “OS&C”, conventions and obligatory scenes. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't even want to know what they are.
    I looked up OS&C. “Operating Strategy and Costs” ?? I’m not sure which link you are referring to when you said newsletter, but I looked some more of this up and found yet another link (below). I really think I/we can’t ignore all those stuff about expectations. I’ve written stories since I was a little girl, but consciously getting into the head of a reader just seems so important and it is so hard to nail down— even in all of these articles. We have our own experiences to draw from, but if I only look at my stories from my writer’s vantage point then I think it is like a magician who isn’t thinking of the showmanship of his art, maybe.

    https://storygrid.com/genres-of-writing/

  2. #12
    Member JBF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    216
    ďOperating Strategy and CostsĒ ??

    Obligatory Scenes & Conventions, I would think.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Llyralen View Post
    I looked up OS&C. “Operating Strategy and Costs” ?? I’m not sure which link you are referring to when you said newsletter, but I looked some more of this up and found yet another link (below). I really think I/we can’t ignore all those stuff about expectations. I’ve written stories since I was a little girl, but consciously getting into the head of a reader just seems so important and it is so hard to nail down— even in all of these articles. We have our own experiences to draw from, but if I only look at my stories from my writer’s vantage point then I think it is like a magician who isn’t thinking of the showmanship of his art, maybe.

    https://storygrid.com/genres-of-writing/
    I was referring to the newsletter link you provided in your post:

    https://elizabethspanncraig.com/busi...ons-for-genre/

    And then there was another interesting link in that newsletter: Conventions and Obligatory Scenes for Genre.

    https://storygrid.com/conventions-an...nts-for-genre/

    That was funny when I first read your post, I thought maybe my mind was wandering in my previous post or it picked it up from my auto correct. You know you're talking to an accountant right?
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    I was referring to the newsletter link you provided in your post:

    https://elizabethspanncraig.com/busi...ons-for-genre/

    And then there was another interesting link in that newsletter: Conventions and Obligatory Scenes for Genre.

    https://storygrid.com/conventions-an...nts-for-genre/

    That was funny when I first read your post, I thought maybe my mind was wandering in my previous post or it picked it up from my auto correct. You know you're talking to an accountant right?

    Oh interesting! I did a new google search using the terms you used and of course it circled back. Lol. I think this story grid stuff is pretty good. I might have to read some of the books they are talking about. The only book I’ve ever read on writing was Steven King’s. Otherwise I thought just reading enough would do it. I didn’t want to hear about other people’s ideas of “the rules”. I am re-thinking that, I think I have to do some studying to really improve— at least gain more perspective.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by JBF View Post
    Obligatory Scenes & Conventions, I would think.
    I thought it stood for "Old Socks & Cats". When I pull my old socks off and toss them across the room, the cat...

    ...you don't really want to hear this, do you...?

  6. #16
    I keep seeing this pop up. I'm going to have to take a look.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Llyralen View Post
    It is kind of a let-down (personally and identity-wise) to think what I want to be historical literary genre boils down to romance. Well, it is those other things too, hopefully. Some of these authors have luckily made me see it through the reader’s eyes a bit. Since I am also a reader it’s not hard to think of the time that the trailer for Marley and Me made us think the film was going to be a fun light-hearted chuckle about a puppy and then we left the movie theater bawling with our then 5 year old twins traumatized. Sigh... Yeah, I think labeling and avoiding false advertising is important— and it does mean such a close look at the recipient’s expectations,

    I think the thing I am really trying to look at here (and have been all week) is setting up and understanding your readers expectations well so that you then can subvert them skillfully and in a way that delights your readers. This is particularly thought about in franchises like Star Wars, isn’t it? And I agree with what you said about Star Wars, it’s really a fantasy, isn’t it? I really want to try to understand everything with expectations. I think that the kind of literature I attempt to write which is the character-driven historical literature might have less defined expectations other than characters changing. I’d love to hear your thoughts on expectations on all of this, lucky.
    I find when writing it helps to 'push the envelope' as far as you can with tropes and genre. There are limits of course, particularly regarding credibility, but this is when stories start to pop.

    If you look at the kind of stuff the really good literary fiction writers put out, it's always got something that makes you go 'huh!' There's always something unexpected, some sort of twist on an old formula. The idea of subverting the 'kind old man' trope for a wizard into a horrible little child was obvious, and a bit silly, but there are things you can do while still keeping the thing feeling grounded.

    Character-driven historical fiction....what period? Let's go with the French Revolution, for no particular reason, I just thought of it and know a tiny bit about it.

    All right, so let's think about books written on the French Revolution...they almost always incorporate the aristocracy, usually involving them trying to avoid themselves being guillotined. We have lots of fiction on the plight of the aristocracy during the Reign Of Terror and it's all right, but you're going to struggle to write a unique take. Still, in the interests of getting some good drama, let's go with the aristocracy...

    Let's have a family, the Le Havres, who are facing the CHOP(!) due to them being minor baronets or whatever. Basically, they haven't done anything wrong but are guilty by association and have just been arrested Ironically, Monsieur Le Havre was actually one of the early proponents of the socialist ideology that led to The Revolution in the first place. The family is Monsieur Le Have, his wife, their teenage daughter Francoise and son Phillippe. We will have the daughter be in love with one of the Princes, thereby cementing the reason why the Le Havres were arrested: They might have got a pass, but the revolutionaries intercepted a love letter from Francoise to the Prince. Angered, they arrested the poor family and imprisoned them in the Bastille. Will the Le Havres survive? Will the lovers be wed?

    This is all really ordinary historical backdrop love story stuff.

    How can we make this different?

    You said character based, so lets start with character. What character can provide an interesting POV on the key events of this story? Let's create one, call him Maurice. Maurice is a poor young man who worked in the Le Havre's kitchens as a potato-peeler, where he was mistreated by the cook. In being mistreated, the previously non-ideological yet opportunist Maurice was convinced to join the revolutionaries and in fact aided in the arrest of the family he once served, blaming them even though it was the cook who was shitty to him. As reward, he is appointed to be executioner. However, gripped by guilt and secretly in love with Francoise, he agrees to try to help coordinate the family's escape while publicly guillotining dozens of people per day. The story is then mostly told through Maurice's point of view and ends with him regretfully guillotining the object of his desire and her family. This adds an extra spin by portraying the French Revolution through the perspective of the guy operating the guillotine while adhering to the central 'love story' people like.
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    How can we make this different?

    You said character based, so lets start with character. What character can provide an interesting POV on the key events of this story? Let's create one, call him Maurice. Maurice is a poor young man who worked in the Le Havre's kitchens as a potato-peeler, where he was mistreated by the cook. In being mistreated, the previously non-ideological yet opportunist Maurice was convinced to join the revolutionaries and in fact aided in the arrest of the family he once served, blaming them even though it was the cook who was shitty to him. As reward, he is appointed to be executioner. However, gripped by guilt and secretly in love with Francoise, he agrees to try to help coordinate the family's escape while publicly guillotining dozens of people per day. The story is then mostly told through Maurice's point of view and ends with him regretfully guillotining the object of his desire and her family. This adds an extra spin by portraying the French Revolution through the perspective of the guy operating the guillotine while adhering to the central 'love story' people like.
    This is much more interesting and creative than the first plot.I like it!

    However wouldn't this go against what Elizabeth Craig was saying in the OP article, about not disappointing your reader? I would think an obligatory scene would be them getting together -- no? If he is secretly in love with Francoise, and it is from his POV, then the reader would become invested in the love story. You risk a let down at the end. This is always the problem when you walk away from genre conventions. I'm all for it, don't get me wrong, but to respond to the OP wouldn't one need to give the reader a head's up. Perhaps the copy states it's a "tragic love story."


    Or could there be a period where they get together? But she dies anyway from something else. Then at least they would have those OS together. Perhaps he helps her escape but she must live with him in his modest quarters. But she is too delicate and becomes ill and he tries to keep her alive, but fails. Itís already starting to sound like something Iíve read...lol!

    This stuff is hard!
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    This is much more interesting and creative than the first plot.I like it!

    However wouldn't this go against what Elizabeth Craig was saying in the OP article, about not disappointing your reader? I would think an obligatory scene would be them getting together -- no? If he is secretly in love with Francoise, and it is from his POV, then the reader would become invested in the love story. You risk a let down at the end. This is always the problem when you walk away from genre conventions. I'm all for it, don't get me wrong, but to respond to the OP wouldn't one need to give the reader a head's up. Perhaps the copy states it's a "tragic love story."


    Or could there be a period where they get together? But she dies anyway from something else. Then at least they would have those OS together. Perhaps he helps her escape but she must live with him in his modest quarters. But she is too delicate and becomes ill and he tries to keep her alive, but fails. It’s already starting to sound like something I’ve read...lol!

    This stuff is hard!
    Nah, no heads up required. Fuck 'em Why do we need to give heads up? Just don't advertise it as being a upper-case-R Romance and it's fine...

    This would be Romeo & Juliet except Romeo has to kill Juliet. This is what I mean about subverting tropes. The star-crossed lovers dying in each others arms is a trope. So subvert it. Absolutely have Romeo murder Juliet, or Juliet murder Romeo (#feminism). This is how we find our originality. What makes my French Revolution guillotine story a love story is that it's still about people in love. Maurice still loves Francoise.

    He is, however, forced into executing her by other circumstances. These can be honorable circumstances. Perhaps he feels a sense of duty? Subvert what duty means. Even if they aren't honorable, even if they are immoral, they can at least be relatable. Have Romeo kill Juliet because he wants to be a revolutionary hero and finally be respected. Subvert what respect means. Then, how about some irony? He really doesn't give a crap about the ideology, he just wants to fit in. Subvert what ideology means. These are relatable issues, and they could easily be imaginable in a Revolution. There are so many different iterations you can use on this idea and you can apply it to numerous historical periods, right up to the point where credibility fractures.

    Heck, take it as far as you want. Have a detective story on the spaceship, have a gay romance set in World War One trenches. The reason The Shape Of Water is a more romantic movie than your average boy meets girl is because it's about a weird woman and a weird mutant creature in a horrible dystopian society. The reason Brokeback Mountain is a great romance is not because of the homosexuality but because of the context in which the homosexuality happens -- cowboys on a mountain. There's no room for straightforward 'handsome boy meets handsome girl in Paris, rubs flowers on her nipples and makes her orgasm' type baloney in literary fiction anymore. Unless the handsome boy is actually a eunuch, handsome girl is actually a boy, or Paris is inside of a snow-globe. Subvert it.
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Nah, no heads up required. Fuck 'em Why do we need to give heads up? Just don't advertise it as being a upper-case-R Romance and it's fine...

    This would be Romeo & Juliet except Romeo has to kill Juliet. This is what I mean about subverting tropes. The star-crossed lovers dying in each others arms is a trope. So subvert it. Absolutely have Romeo murder Juliet, or Juliet murder Romeo (#feminism). This is how we find our originality. What makes my French Revolution guillotine story a love story is that it's still about people in love. Maurice still loves Francoise.

    He is, however, forced into executing her by other circumstances. These can be honorable circumstances. Perhaps he feels a sense of duty? Subvert what duty means. Even if they aren't honorable, even if they are immoral, they can at least be relatable. Have Romeo kill Juliet because he wants to be a revolutionary hero and finally be respected. Subvert what respect means. Then, how about some irony? He really doesn't give a crap about the ideology, he just wants to fit in. Subvert what ideology means. These are relatable issues, and they could easily be imaginable in a Revolution. There are so many different iterations you can use on this idea and you can apply it to numerous historical periods, right up to the point where credibility fractures.

    Heck, take it as far as you want. Have a detective story on the spaceship, have a gay romance set in World War One trenches. The reason The Shape Of Water is a more romantic movie than your average boy meets girl is because it's about a weird woman and a weird mutant creature in a horrible dystopian society. The reason Brokeback Mountain is a great romance is not because of the homosexuality but because of the context in which the homosexuality happens -- cowboys on a mountain. There's no room for straightforward 'handsome boy meets handsome girl in Paris, rubs flowers on her nipples and makes her orgasm' type baloney in literary fiction anymore. Unless the handsome boy is actually a eunuch, handsome girl is actually a boy, or Paris is inside of a snow-globe. Subvert it.
    I am totally on board with this approach! Other notables in this category are Harold and Maude, and there was a Canadian-British romantic adventure film, released in 1966, called The Trap. Do you remember it? A very unusual love story about a trapper who buys a mute woman and takes her to the wilderness to be his wife. He is really mean at first and she is terrified, but things change. I won't tell the whole story, because if you haven't seen it I highly recommend it.

    But we are still talking about a very big convention in basic fiction which is we must introduce extreme adversity. Most people don’t experience that much extreme adversity in a lifetime. But we all experience adversity. Do you think there is a place for stories of mild adversity. Like everyday stuff. Making bad decisions that cost us money...not being as good of a parent as we wish...finding out we have slightly different values than our spouse...finding work too demanding...being jealous of a friend. A world that is not so black and white...but a little grey.

    Can the mundane be interesting and still not cater to the OS&C?
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.