TRANSITIONING GENRES

TRANSITIONING GENRES?

scifi

Three tips to ensure a smooth move

It all started with a room in an abandon park…

It wasn’t just any room, but a particularly large, spacious and strangely unearthly one. It was as if the room was originally built for giants of men and heroes of old. After that day, I never saw that space again, but it remained etched in my memory. That was the room where the story first came to me.

At the time, I was already deep in the writing trenches of my YA fantasy novel. When this futuristic world began to reveal itself to me in that room, I couldn’t help but start frantically taking notes. There was a future world that existed out there and was waiting to be written.

I promised myself I’d finish up my current work in progress but after that, I would be switching to sci-fi. Though switching from fantasy to sci-fi sounded daunting, this past year was the year I made that jump.

If you’re considering changing genres, here are a few things I learned along the way that I hope help you:

Think about why you’re switching genres and if you’re a good fit

Hopefully, if you’ve completed another manuscript, you know what your strengths are. Do you write page-turning plot, life-like characters, or mind-blowing worlds? Take your list of strengths and weaknesses into consideration as you’re picking your new genre.

If your number one strength is developing deep characters and you really struggle to write anything fast paced, a thriller probably isn’t the best fit for you. Make sure that your strengths fit the new genre you’re about to tackle.

Think about what you’re passionate about

What makes you come alive? You may be the most gifted horror writer in the world but if you feel queasy at the thought of gore, is that really the story you want to tell? Writing is incredibly hard work. But it’s also fun! Write something that’s going to excite you and keep you up at odd hours because you love it.

Think about where you draw inspiration from

One more thing to take into consideration is your current environment. When I moved to Beijing a year and a half ago, I was in awe of city and curious about how it worked. I used my phone to pay for everything, scanned my face to get on planes, and had toilet paper delivered to my door by men on bikes. It wasn’t hard for me to begin extrapolating the world around me and converting it into a novel.

“I could see stories enfolding on every corner.”

That’s when I knew it was time to write the sci-fi novel I had stored away at the back of my brain since I first saw that room. It was a hard decision because I was about to start querying my other novel. I didn’t want to delay that any longer. But I also knew, I’d only have one year in Beijing and I’d never find inspiration like this again.

If you’re traveling, just moved, or are facing some other life change that is compelling you to write something new. Go for it! I typically wouldn’t advise completely neglecting your other WIPs but, especially if it’s a short stretch of time, take advantage of the inspiration around you! Tackle that new genre while the warm fuzzies last.

Just don’t forget, keep going even when they stop. Nerd out, turn it into a game, get organized, or keep wanderingbut do whatever it takes to keep writing.

 

Candace signing off to go hiking and get more inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Know Yourself: How Many Worlds Do You Live In?

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Writing fantasy is fun. Why else would so many people do it? Why would so many read it? There’s more than a monetary investment when a reader picks up a fantasy novel. They are taking on faith that the world the writer has created is going to engage them and spark their imagination. As an author, you have to think through more than loving your own world and story – it has to be easily comprehended by a reader so that they don’t get fed up and abandon the attempt to enter into your written world.

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Journey to the Stars: Discoveries Shaping Sci-fi

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One of the joys of writing Science Fiction is how quickly tomorrow’s technology can surpass a writer’s imagination. Computers the size of your palm? Done. Glasses that help you see 3-D worlds? Done. Real Pokémon lurking in your backyard? Well, sort of. And 30 years ago, no one really expected those inventions to become reality in their lifetime.

So what does that mean for a science fiction writer? Should we all retreat to fantasy? No!

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Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes

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Title: An Amber in the Ashes

Author(s): Sabaa Tahir

Publisher: Razorbill

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Young Adult book world if full of dystopian tales, which suits me just fine as I usually enjoy them immensely. It does take quite a bit to stand out from the crowd, though, and I will say that Tahir’s Ember shot leaps and bounds in front of many of the YA dystopian books I’ve read recently.

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Book Review: Tainted

 

51Tipyv8FfL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_-2Title: Tainted

Author(s): Alexandra Moody

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Rating: 3 out of 5

Meet Elle Winters, an ordinary teen who turns out to be extraordinary. A terrified girl compelled by love to tremendous acts of boldness. A loner who lives her life for others. And the bearer of an orphaned heart that just might open to family and to her true identity.

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Book Review: King’s Folly & SP Note

Hello SP friends!

As we learn just how to tweak things for your optimal viewing pleasure, occasionally you, our loyal community, get to experience the natural growing pains with us! All that to say: sorry for the influx of emails – specifically our old book reviews. Going forward we’ll regularly post book reviews on the main page.

If you are interested in contributing a book review, you can send your review to us via thespinningpen@gmail.com, as well as your website (if you have one) so we can link our readers to your corner of the ‘net.

Looking forward to seeing your suggestions for our reading lists!


unnamed-2Title: King’s Folly

Author(s): Jill Williamson

Publisher: Bethany House

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5

Jill Williamson’s newest epic fantasy does not disappoint! The settings are descriptive, the plot clips along at a good pace, and the numerous individual Point-of-View character voices are racially and culturally diverse, unique, and interesting.

The Five Realms are on the edge of total destruction, Continue reading