Shouts to Zoe and my amazing girlfriend for planting the seeds necessary for this post. You can check Zoe out here, and you can’t check my girlfriend out at all. She’s mine.
“I know that a lot of our work fits into a few easily defined genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc. But there are many more sub-genres out there, and lots of different constraints and benefits to each, as well as conventions that are integral to them all (who would read a fantasy story with no quest or hero/anti-hero? unheard of.)
taking this line, what is your favorite genre to write? What makes it more preferable than another type of work?”
I then asked respondents to check out my answer here.
In order to fully expound upon this topic, I think that it is necessary to take you on a little trip down into the (sweet and nougat-filled) recesses of the creative center of my brain. I’ve always been into cartoons, comic books, and video games. I try to pick up new and different things when they arrive on the scene, and gladly spend my money on them (that being said, FINAL FANTASY XIII hits MARCH 9th, 2010! Glee!).
My creative output was always influenced by the things that I enjoyed most. Unfortunately, there was always something blocking that output. My high school art teacher said that drawing and painting cartoons wasn’t “art”. Writing workshops in college reacted negatively to fantasy and sci-fi work, instead gravitating toward cliched and culturally taxing “southern lit”.
Instead of continuing to do my own thing, I mistakenly embraced the truth of these people, creating things that, while relevant in those particular spheres, were not enjoyable to create. To put it blankly, I ain’t like that shit. It has only been recently, and with the help of some truly talented people that I’ve met, learned that its okay to craft things that I enjoy, and that while it will be a struggle to find a market for it, the rewards will be worth it.
So now, I don’t write heavy cultural pieces set in 1940’s Mississippi. Unless there’s a werewolf somewhere in it.
That being said, there are many genres that my work could fit into, and many genres that I am willing to try and write some work in.
Fantasy is my first love. I love swords and armor and dragons and quests (blame RPG’s), and its thrilling to me to be able to craft these characters and put them in a world that may be based on some existing thing, but is mostly all my own creation. So I guess the allure is the ability to play God to a greater extent, and in exactly the way that I want.
Zoe put me on to Steampunk, which I knew was a genre but was more familiar with it in the context of a late 90’s comic book that tanked. Nonetheless, I liked the setting of that work, and it’s something that I think I’ll get a little excited about writing in the future. Kind of like Walter Mosley did with his later work.
I’ll always enjoy writing science fiction as well, but it’s not a love of mine like fantasy is. I think i want to try my hand at urban fantasy but give it a contemporary horror type feel, like L.A. Banks or Valjeanne Jeffers do. I think horror and supernatural work has a lot of potential, and would be exteremly challenging for me to write.
If there are any writers out there reading that aren’t on BSFS and haven’t seen my question or answered it on there, what kind of genre do you place yourself in (like are you a “fantasy” author? “Sci-fi”?) ? What makes it preferable to any other? You don’t even need to really justify it if it’s just passion that drives you.