Thursday, September 2, 2010

Genrebreaking II: Wandering Farther Into the Wood

I've dabbled in some creative nonfiction essays, and that has worked out more or less well, but rambling on about something I want to talk about is easy (if not necessarily graceful). I've gone much deeper into the genre woods this time, looking for refreshment and challenge. I've started a fantasy novel!

Now, to be fair, I started this novel ten or twelve years ago and stuck it in a drawer. Any number of reasons - I'm not fiction-trained; being a poet means I lack the stamina for a full-fledged novel length work; I wasn't sure where it would lead me and that made me nervous (because fiction, after all, needs a plot, whereas poetry doesn't, really).

In any case, it's been nagging me for awhile now. The poetry muse is quiet for now since I can't quiet my brain, but all sorts of fun snippets for this story keep colliding in my brain, creating interesting scenarios, sparking plot that actually moves it forward past the murk that stopped me from writing it years ago.

I fully expect the book to be god-awful, at least in its initial form. I don't know if a first draft of it will ever even get done. But I very much want to give it a go and see if I can make a real story live. A REAL book, for all the folks who lift up their noses suspiciously when I mention my other books are poetry.

I've looked into some things to keep my eye on (like the Snowflake method of keeping track of things - this story got unwieldy fast, and became too much to hold in my head). I'm tracking a lot of craft-of-writing blogs that focus on fiction, and some cruel/funny literary agent blogs for tips and tricks. So far I have an interesting mash - we'll see what comes of it. It's far more interesting than a personal diary would be, and I dont feel the need for it to be perfect on the first strike like I do when working with a line of poetry.

And so the book, which will likely never see the light of day, is tentatively titled Warborn: Book I of the Warmaiden Chronicles, and I'm tickled to be working on it until the poetry side of my brain reasserts itself.


  1. Woo-hoo! You go, girl! I take my hat off to you. (Being clear I am no novelist myself - haven't the patience, nor many other necessary things such as plotting ability).

    I don't know why it is, but many poets make great fantasy writers too; why shouldn't you be one of them? Perhaps it's because they like to read fantasy; I do, so will certainly read yours when and if.

  2. Rosemary - Thanks for the vote of confidence! I am a huge fantasy fan & reader (in addition to horror, murder mysteries, psych thrillers, etc.), and I'd be honored to join the ranks. I'm also really interested to see if I have the sort of stamina necessary for this sort of project :)