Think about Genre Before Writing

Hello dear readers, and thanks for staying in touch. Pretty soon now, you’ll get to download, for free, my first novel in my own name, called Bits of String Too Small to Save, on your ereaders. The book has some issues around genre because, frankly, I didn’t think about genre before writing. It’s meant to simply be literary fiction, but I’m getting some blowback on that.

Real (paper) versions of the book will soon be out, too. I thought this blog might be a good time to talk about the strange circumstances in which this novel exists. When I first wrote it, I gave myself a rule: write for an hour a day, and have fun every minute.

Think About Genre in Your Daily Writing.

I wasn’t allowed to waste any of that precious time outlining and agonizing and plotting. (I did all that later). The first draft was simply an exercise in one writer having fun.

As a consequence, Bits of String is a really fun book with hilarious characters and great dialogue. Also, as a consequence, it fits into exactly zero established genres and I’ve been told it also seems too genre-ish to cut it as straight literary fiction. I’ve discussed this ad nauseum with publishers who were very interested in it, but not quite: they had no idea how to market it. They wondered why I didn’t think about the genre before writing. I could only reply that I was having too much fun.

Actually, Okay, Maybe I Should Have Thought About Genre

You see, the tone is a kind of Lemony Snicket meets early John Barth. The characters are children, but some of the subject matter is much too adult for children.

Plus, the language and complexity of sentence structure is way ahead of even the highest level young-adult genre. So, let that be a lesson to you writers out there: think about genre before writing! Then again, don’t.

Think About Genre Too Much and You Can Break Your Imagination

I love this book and I hope it starts a whole new trend in genre-bending “unmarketable” books that make writers actually having fun into a whole new trend.

Because I’m self publishing, I got to do it the way I wanted. I hired Phiilip Harris, a brilliant illustrator, for beautiful pen and ink drawings that further blur the genre boundaries. Ideally, you could read it to your kids, and the two of you would enjoy it on totally different levels. The release is coming soon, soon, soon, so stay tuned!

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