#IWSG: Genre-morphing–and a question for my readers

Happy IWSG Day! For those who are new here, I participate in the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. This month’s optional question is: Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Before I get to this month’s question, I have a question for anyone reading this post: Would you be interested in a series of posts loosely related to self-help for writers? I’m not talking about over-the-top, Stewart Smalley style self-help but rather some practical ideas from self-help literature, applied specifically to writing. I’ve been looking for a focus for this blog, besides my own self-indulgence, and I’m interested in helping other writers find time to write, build positive habits, set goals, and make progress. What do y’all think? Has that topic been done to death, or is there room for more?

OK, now for this month’s IWSG question. My first novel, Vanishing, Inc., started out as a murder mystery/ghost story and morphed into a time travel romance. Both paranormal, but other than that, pretty different. I woke up one morning with the idea of a terminally-ill woman in a 19th century cottage built on a thin place. The closer she got to death, the thinner the veil would become between this world and the next, and the more she would be able to interact with the house’s spectral residents. I imagined that the ghosts would somehow reveal that a murder was committed there, and our unfortunate protagonist would have to identify the murderer before she died.

Somewhere in the early planning, my idea shifted. My protagonist became a battered wife hiding from her abusive ex in a small Arizona town. She rents a cottage built on a thin place–a fact she discovers when a man from 1910 materializes in her living room. Once I landed on that concept, the various plot pieces more or less fell into place, which is a lucky thing, because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.

It’s now about six years later, and Vanishing, Inc. is in what I sincerely hope is the final round of revision before I hire a professional editor. Then there will be another round of revisions, and then I’ll enter query hell. I still hope to write the ghost story, but I see it being more of a novella. Someday…

9 thoughts on “#IWSG: Genre-morphing–and a question for my readers

  1. I’d certainly be willing to read any tips and tricks you’ve learned. I can always use another idea. However, you need to think about whether the ultimate goal of the blog is to connect with other writers, or to connect with readers, and find a good balance between the two. A how-to blog for writers isn’t going to be the greatest tool for selling book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. It’s a bit of a catch-22: it’s hard to connect with readers before you have anything published, but it’s hard to get published without a following. I haven’t found a solution to that conundrum yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s always room for more help and support for writers.

    There’s nothing like having a plot come together halfway through a story. I’ve given up on having detailed outlines for my stories because I always come up with better ideas as I’m writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When it comes to connecting with potential readers (as Karen mentioned above), I found it helpful to think about what other topics those readers would be interested in, and blog about them. Unsolved mysteries is one of mine, for interest.

    There are so many writers blogging about writing, and only the big “names” seem to really take off in that regard. Readers, aside from the ones who may write as well, won’t be interested.

    Still, if that’s what you’re most interested in blogging about, it’s best to make yourself happy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is good advice–thanks. I’m still wrestling with what potential readers would be interested in, since I write across genres and haven’t published anything yet. I’ll ponder.


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