1. Exzalia
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    Exzalia Contributing Member Contributor

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    The horrors of writing out side of your genre :c

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Exzalia, Aug 3, 2012.

    This feels impossible!

    So as many of you have already guessed from my threads and blogs I write fantasy stories mainly. I love fantasy with a passion, coolest genre EVER!

    BUT....

    This is not the only genre I enjoy nor is it the only genre I have idea's for. I for sometime now have had a really great idea for a school life story. It's about this boy who meets this strange girl, she wears a mask everywhere she goes, she never takes it off and no one see's her face, ever. That is not all though, she is a strange girl in every way, she talks in a strange ways, thinks in strange ways, does strange things. One class mate finds her so weird she develops the theory she's actually an alien which leads to hilarity :DDDDD

    Now the main character is the first to get to know her, and he learns that she wears a mask because she believes she`s ugly though through out the story no one sees her face to confirm it, despite this he eventually falls for her. She is also smart, artistic and very deep, the perfect person save that she's ugly. The whole theme of the story being the power of self image and how dangerous it is to have a bad one. Now I won't spoil the ending but I do have one well thought out no, it's the middle of the story that I can't figure out.

    What in middle earths name are they going to do at school that people are going to want to read? I know my self very well, I believe my love for fantasy is blocking my creative flow when it comes to other genres. In a fantasy story I can fill the middle with epic adventures, quests, magic battles, wars, all manner of betrayal and tragedy. But in a school life story I don't have that to fall back on, this is real life and real life is, boring...

    Now I know that in a story like this characters are essential. Yes characters are essential in fantasy as well but I would say less so. Why? Because even if you have bad characters in a fantasy story; you can use the plot and the world it's self to fall back on. I may not like you MC but I think the fact he's Voldamorts lost son is interesting so I keep reading. Your female lead maybe weak but she can command angels at a whim to do her bidding even though she`s a demon. That is interesting so I read to figure out why. You have a bad Mc who fails his school exam? yawn...

    So I did make lots of characters to help it along, though I feel it`s not enough. let me share some.

    Ann. The girl who created the alien rumour, she's super short and obsessed with the super natural, loud and out spoken she has an over active imagination often jumping to wild conclusions about...well everything.

    Tasha. she's a tomboy raised in a house of girly girls. she acts like a boy, is always getting into fights, and swears allot. Deep down it's just her way of rebelling against the shallowness of her mother and sisters. She also very noble often taking on older kids several times her size if she feels she has to protect some one.

    Josh. our main Char, a complete nerd who like me is obsessed with fantasy. he's a good person but his head is always in the clouds and is of yet, going no where in life.

    (As yet un named) he`s a Japanese exchange student, but I am not Japanese so I have not figured out a proper name for him. I play on the culture shock allot with him. He`s like Josh in that he`s nerdy and love`s fantasy, but unlike Josh he very athletic, and knows what he`s doing in life.

    There are many others so I know uninteresting characters is not the problem.

    So I have this neet idea, I have all these zany characters to populate the story, I have my beginning and ending. But what should they be doing in the 200 pages leading up to the ending? Right tests? get into relationships? play video games? Honestly I feel like shoving the supernatural in there and calling it a day.

    I feel like a fish trying to fly...
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Writing outside (sic) your genre is an excellent way to broaden your skills.
     
  3. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Trying to avoid sounding like a jerk

    I've been having that problem to. The middle is tough. I started a thread in Plot Development "Gah! I hate the middle of my story!" (might be worth taking a look at. Everyone was super helpful!) and got a TON of good advice about how to develop the middle. Basically, what I took from it was, think about your characters as real people with ambitions, desires, motivations, etc. then figure out what they would be doing. Try and give them depth, then see where that takes them, let your characters help define what happens in the plot.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    What you're thinking of doing is writing something more literary, as opposed to genre-based. I actually prefer literary -- the focus is more on the characters than on the plot (although, as always both are important.) One of my favorite things to do is to discover my characters, so I just start writing, and I see what they do. Write scenes with your characters -- they'll give you some good ideas as they reveal themselves to you. You have a good baseline, since you said it was a school based story -- use the timelines to see what happens. Is there a homecoming dance? Do your characters go? What do they think of it? What happens there? What do they do at Christmas/Christmas break? Does Valentine's day play any role? How do your characters feel about that? Does the school have a Valentine's dance or some other celebration -- the characters could either embrace it or mock it. What happens around Spring Break? What about finals? What happens at the end of the year? The calendar itself will give you a great basis to think of events or places your characters would be, and you can see how they interact with each other and what they think about these things. 200 pages will be nothing! And, of course, you don't have to use everything you write in the story -- just having written the scene will develop your characters and may give you ideas about other things you might want to make happen.

    Go have fun with it!

    Oh - and to your point of: "you have a bad MC who fails his exam? Yawn." NO! Not yawn. Write it well and that could be very compelling. There are tons of ramifications that could stem from that. Not everything is car chases and space battles.
     
  5. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    Writing outside of set genres like "fantasy" or "vampire romance" is a good thing.

    It'll help you grow as a writer.

    In my current work (a novella) I'm actively trying to stay outside of any set genre.

    I think that it will make the overall work more interesting to read, that it doesn't resemble any popular genre.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. Exzalia
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    Exzalia Contributing Member Contributor

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    thank you, I maybe I have to change the way I think about stories.

    Vampire romance is a genre? really? (-_-) thats...
    Anyway good luck working out side any genre !
     

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