Monday, August 8, 2011

Ready in the wrong genre

Well, I've done it again. I've cozied up to the wrong people. When I was trying to get into art school, I was hanging out with the potters. They are wonderful people to hang out with. But I'm a painter. I wasn't schmoozing the right department. (Not that I'm much of a schmoozer.)

And now here I am with a finished, polished and pretty damn good mystery novel and all I read is Fantasy/SciFi.


It started because I needed help. I wrote THE BOOK. It was a meandering tome with way too many characters in it that told everyone's story simultaneously. Ugh. It needed a lot of help. So, I started joining online critique groups. Then I discovered American Zoetrope and decided that writing a screenplay couldn't be that hard. They're only about 100 pages and most of that is white space! Double ugh.

Screenplays are bizarre little boxes that require very precise beats. And then you hand your baby over to producers, directors and actors to make what they will of it. Whoa nellie - I'm not that kind of team player. And right up front they warn people that SciFi is too expensive. So, while I was floundering around learning about format and storytelling I worked on a couple of mysteries. Until I finally admitted that I should stick to novels.

I rewrote the tome. Still not working. So, I decided to turn one of the screenplays (I actually made it to a Quarter Final in the Fade In contest, so it had some redeeming qualities) into a novel. It was fewer POVs, I knew the story really well and it would give me a new round of practice. Three rewrites later I'm thinking it might actually be finished.

But publishing is a business. They want writers that have a whole career of books in them. And I do, but they are not mysteries. So, it will have to go back in the closet.

I have a world that I can play in for a long time. I just need to rewrite that tome with all the new skills and insights I've gained. And this time, I will try to schmooze the right people!

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