Tags: genres

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Writing Excuses 12.16: Writing Crime Fiction with Brian Keene

Writing Excuses 12.16: Writing Crime Fiction with Brian Keene

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2017/04/16/12-16-writing-crime-fiction-with-brian-keene/

Key Points: Crime fiction is hard to classify. Try bad things happening to people. Crime fiction, like any fiction, is for entertainment. The reader empathizes with characters they should not be empathizing with, and wonders why. Good crime fiction makes you feel uncomfortable. Normal human beings in terrible situations, and how they react, and how you as a reader react. How do you get people to empathize with the wrong people? Remember that they are people, too. Put that character in a very bad situation and see how they react. Research -- talk to people! Tell them "I am an author" and then ask questions. Get the reader to empathize with the character, then write the ending that fits. Be aware that readers have their own expectations, too.

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[Howard] We are past out of time.
[Brian] I'm sorry.
[Howard] No, that's okay.
[Dan] We just loved listening to you and your words here. So, you said you had a writing exercise to throw out our audience?
[Brian] Sure. This week, instead of… Regardless of what genre you're writing, write something different. If you're writing romance, sit down and experiment with horror. If you're writing horror, sit down and experiment with a western. You don't even need to complete the story. But just work on it half an hour every day for this week, and focus on the character. When you're done, see if you can take that character and put it into the genre you're working on. It's a character building exercise.
[Dan] Cool.
[Brian] I think what you'll find is that regardless of genre, what matters are the characters you're crafting.
[Dan] I love it.
[Howard] Outstanding. Brian, thank you again for joining us.
[Brian] Thank you guys.
[Howard] Fair listener, you are out of excuses. Now go write.
[Brian] Go write.
ISeeYou2
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Writing Excuses 12.5: Literary Fiction

Writing Excuses 12.5: Literary Fiction

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2017/01/29/12-5-literary-fiction/

Key Points: Literary is a modifier, that can apply to mainstream, science fiction and fantasy, or other genres. Literary means quality of form, marked style. Genre is a set of tropes and archetypes that readers are familiar with. Literary fiction pays attention to some aspect of the craft and tries to do something new with it. Windowpane prose, that is transparent, or stained glass windows? Embrace your style of writing, whether that's transparent windowpanes or stained glass.

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[Brandon] So, I'm going to call it here. But I will use my powers as director to add just a little footnote at the end. It is okay to embrace your style of writing. I am a windowpane writer. I can enjoy a stained glass window writers, but, for me, I've stylistically chosen a certain thing. I want to do it really well. The thing that Mary Anne said that I really love is that… And I think some professors lose sight of this… Is that you can challenge with more than just the prose. You can challenge, as Kurt Vonnegut did, with the themes. You can challenge… You can take your genre, and you're like, "I want to write dragon books. I want to write really fun dragon books. I want to write them in a way that stands out." That you can push in that direction. You can learn from literary fiction how to do that better, I feel. This is not… We don't have to be antagonistic, as we so often are. I think we can all learn from each other a lot better. I'm really glad and excited to have you on the podcast this season, Mary Anne, because I really feel like you're somebody who has been in both camps…
[Chuckles]
[Brandon] And can like cross the aisle, right. In a way that's going to be really good for our listeners. I'm going to let Wes, because he didn't get to talk as much on this one… Sorry, Wesley.
[Wesley] I am not literary.
[Brandon] I'm not either. So it's okay. Let's go ahead and let you give us a writing prompt.
[Wesley] Okay. So, I actually read this on a website yesterday. Creeped me out. So here it is. You drive your spouse to the airport and watch her fly away on a business trip. Then you drive home. Go back to your house, and find her working on the computer. Go.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
Fireworks Delight
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Writing Excuses 11.1: Introduction to Elemental Genre

Writing Excuses 11.1: Introduction to Elemental Genre

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2016/01/03/writing-excuses-11-1-introduction-to-elemental-genre/

Key Points: Season 11 is going to be different! Elemental genres. Each month, expect the first week to be an elemental drill down, second week to be a wild card, third week to be using the elemental genre in subplots, and the fourth week will be Q&A. Elemental genres are the things that make you read, the emotional resonance that drives a story. Not bookshelf genres, but elemental genres. The 11 elemental genres planned are wonder, idea, adventure, horror, mystery, thriller, humor, relationship, drama, issue, and ensemble. This is a framework for talking about what makes readers turn the page and have emotional responses, not a hard-and-fast set of categories or rules. Elemental genres let you mix-and-match underneath the veneer of the bookshelf categories.
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[Brandon] But I am going to give you some homework today. Your homework is actually to take some of the films and books that you love, and I want you to try and drill down to... You don't have to really define the elemental genre, because we haven't defined all of these for you yet. But what I really want you to do is start looking at what the emotional impact of that story is. What the people who made the story are doing to you. How they're hacking your brain. Try to relate... Try to strip away the veneer and dig down at it for yourself. Pick three of those, books and films that you love, and see if you can do it. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
Fireworks Delight

Writing Excuses 7.11: More Microcasting

Writing Excuses 7.11: More Microcasting

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2012/03/11/writing-excuses-7-11-more-microcasting/

Key Points:

1. Should you mix genres or not?
2. How do you avoid world builder's disease?
3. Tips for nanowrimo?
4. Before getting published, how do you get followers to your website or blog?
5. How do you create subplots?
6. What did you learn last year?
7. How do you stay motivated?
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[Brandon] So it was Bill Housely on twitter. He says, "A lone woman who runs an orbital refueling port makes first contact when some desperate aliens stop by for fuel."
[Dan] Awesome.
[Brandon] That's a great writing prompt.
[Dan] Bill Housely, you're our favorite listener, today.
[Brandon] So that's your writing prompt. Go for it. Thank you all. You're out of excuses, now go write.