Friday, February 10, 2012

What are YOU destined to WRITE?

I had an interesting discussion this week with my hubby. I told him I was *thinking* about writing a memoir. I mean, I've definitely got the life experience for it. Not to get too deep or go off on a sob story (because really, we all have them) but we've dealt with some pretty extraordinary things.

Dying child brought back to life, toddler surviving cancer, living with a world class athlete... to name a few. I swear sometimes my life feels like a soap opera... only I'm short losing my memory and finding out I've had a long lost twin my whole life.

So yeah, why not write a memoir?

I don't think I'd enjoy it.


I love fantasy. Being transported to a world that takes you away from the real world. I like to escape the mundane things of every day life and feel what another character feels. To me, that’s what reading is all about.

No offense to books like The Kite Runner, which I’ve read and did find amazzzzzing, but I really don’t *enjoy* reading books that make me… well, feel. It's difficult to know how horrible the world is outside of my little bubble. Because let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard enough to just survive inside the bubble.

So no, I don’t think I’ll ever write a memoir. Unless that long lost twin shows up and tells me I’m supposed to *winks*

How did you choose your genre? Do you write what you like to read?? Did you have to sit down and think about it? Or did you always know? And have you started writing one thing only to do a complete turn around and write another? 

Red. Head. Out. :D 

33 comments:

  1. Your picture brings back memories. My oldest son spent weeks in the NICU for a collapsed lung. It was one of the hardest times of my life.
    As for what I like to write, I prefer fluff with a bit of steam and sweetness. Ha! I like to write creme puffs. Hehehe... yeah, I know I'm not that funny.

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  2. Morgan, if your twin shows up and turns out to be evil, you are OBLIGATED to write a memoir :)

    My writing style developed over years, as I grew up and learned to embrace who I am and the things I love. I love humor, adventure, fantastic worlds, ordinary people who do extraordinary things, and the occasional heartfelt scene of romance and/or drama. I love dialogue above all, and characters interacting with each other is one of my favorite things to write. So, eventually, I just started writing all the things I love into my stories. I've never looked back!

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    1. Laaaughing... If my twitter account starts posting evil tweets, you know it's my evil twin! :D

      And from what I've read of The Year of Lightning, your story has ALL of those elements, Ryan!

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  3. Honestly, I've wanted to write a fantasy novel since I was like, twelve. but I tried then, and it was crap, so I told myself I couldn't do it. Then a year or so ago I started blogging, reconnected with a friend of mine who had been writing for years, and thought I'd give it another shot. Surprised to find people kind of liked it, and I kind of liked it. It's not perfect, but hey, what first MS is? I'm just excited to call myself a writer. I love fantasy "fluff" as you call it, no matter how deep or shallow it is. Escaping into another world is sometimes just fun and needed :-)

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  4. Wow that would make for quite a memoir… don’t suppose your husband is also a writer who could be persuaded to put it all on paper?
    And good question… I’m not really sure where my writing inclinations came from since I like to read a mix of dark, steamy, and funny books and appreciate both the chance to escape to worlds where everything is carefree and light as well as the chance to learn about worlds full of more darkness and pain than I’ve ever known. I try to use a mix of those three elements. I think that more than anything else I’ve been influenced by the books which stuck with me the most (White Oleander, Beloved, Little Bee to list a few off the top of my head… and I guess those are all pretty depressing… also gotta say I’m a fan of Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns…)

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  5. I am 100% on board with you here. Reading for me is escapism and there's no WAY I want to be taken back to the time in my life that my dad was battling cancer. Why would I want that? It was hard enough living through it once, so I really don't ever get the urge to pick up a book about a character who has cancer, or who has a sibling/parent/whatever with cancer. Not my idea of escapism. For some it's exactly what they're looking for and that's great, but I know myself. And apparently myself is like yourself in this matter :-)

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    1. Yes! I'm so glad you get it... I don't like to re-experience hard emotions that I've felt in real life... that's why I read... to get away from it. I'm so glad you understood the point of the post! Thank you, Jaime! :D

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  6. I write middle grade and children's, so, yeah. I like fluff too (by your definition). I enjoy reading books that make me feel deeply, but those aren't usually the books that I reread and reread. The books that are on my favorite's shelf, and the books I like to write, are very escapist and lighthearted, full of love stories and magic :)

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    1. "Love, Stories, and magic" <----exactly :D Like Shannon Hale. She nails this so well.

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  7. Wow Morgan,

    So very glad to hear baby made it and is doing well... our first was in NICU for two weeks and they had a "Memory Wall" next to it... it broke my heart...

    (takes a moment) ok, so on the memoir, and this coming from a dude who's co-writing one... I would say hold off and only because I can sense you're not feeling it....

    You know what I would do, though... you do writing exercises, right? Well pick a part of your life, write it, stash it somewhere and in a year or ten... you gather all the many chapters, read them and see how you feel...

    'Nuff said.

    Bald.Head.Out :)

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  8. Another blog recently posted a similar theme, but more along the lines of killing off your MC because that's what happens in real life. I commented there, and will repeat here, I don't want to read about real life! I don't want to feel depressed when I finish a book. I'll read a newspaper if I want that. Although I wouldn't call what I like to read (and write) as fluff, but it definitely has fewer calories! :)

    And I don't really know why I picked myteries when I actually read just about everything. Hmmmmmmm???

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  9. A world class athlete? What kind?

    And so sorry to hear about your children's suffering. :(

    Well, the first MS I wrote was YA Dystopian. It was...my first one :) haha. Which means that though the story line is good, I've learned a ton and there's a reason why it didn't find a home.

    My second and third (I wrote them at the same time) were YA Contemp and Adult thriller. The contemp I wrote b/c I heard it was easier to find an agent if you weren't querying a series and b/c I had a fairly nifty experience that turned into a good story. The thriller, while good, I didn't want to write adult. (I wanted it to be YA which my CPs told me it wasn't)

    Then as I was querying the Contemp YA I started writing my YA Fantasy, and holy jebus! The whole thing came out in 10 days. 60,000 words in ten days. It just...worked. SO, for now anyway, I'm a YA Fantasy writer (or at least I will stick to the voice that my YA Fantasy has). It's getting some bites, so...we'll see!

    I'm with you, fluffy is good :)

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    1. And I'm terribly sorry this was so long...haha

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  10. You bring up a very valid point. I think a lot of writers these days are trying to aim towards what is considered lucrative at any one moment, and it just doesn't work. You have to focus on what drives you and find your voice from there.

    I've done a lot of different genres - I'll listen to any idea that pops up and turns my crank. As I grow older, though, I've started focusing more on urban fantasy and horror...I like the freedom they give me to play with a lot of different archetypes and such. I think we've gotten so used to seeing fantasy tropes and horror cliches a certain way, and it's a really attractive proposition to take those same cliches and decimate them, to urge them to do different things. I also am always drawn to things that I feel can be a good metaphor for things I've been through or emotions I've felt and I find a lot of that in fairy tales. I'm not interested in ever doing a memoir, but when I work with this genre and mold it into urban fantasy, I find a way to filter my personal experiences into something much more interesting.

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  11. Write a memoir!!!! Just because your life is so fascinating to me! You're seriously such an awesome person (and I am sorry about your kiddos--so hard!) I understand exactly what you're saying though. This new book is taking control of me! I've tried to quit writing it because I seriously freak myself out while doing research on haunted houses and stuff! I have this weird fascination for the macabre, but then I can't stand it if its toooo scary (and I'm such a wimp when it comes to actual horror movies), but at the same time I just love this story and know it needs to be told! Great post, as always.

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  12. Oh, Morgan. I'd read your memoir. Yet, I feel I already know you so well, I wouldn't have to read it. Uh, that sounded creepy.
    Ok, next subject. LOL.
    I love reading a lot of different genres, however, YA piques my interest more than anything. I love all things paranormal but will find myself enraptured with something fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, etc...
    My writing started off with a dream that so happened to fall under the paranormal romance category. It sort of just sticked. Now I'm writing an Urban Fantasy which is super fun. I have a dystopian idea and another urban fantasy in store for the world. I've toyed around with a vampire book but that has sort of been done. Yet, mine has a special twist to it. *shruggs*
    I guess what I write is what comes to mind. I don't have to fall directly into one specific category. But I've always been pretty diverse. Even during high school, I tended to befriend all the cliques in school. Made me sort of a nomade with a few sturdy friends. I hung out with the goths, the preppies, the dorks (if you will).
    If I had an idea for a fantasy, I'd pretty much go for it. Anyway, I'd love to write a MG novel too. We'll see.
    I don't ever want to completely fall into one genre. I think that would limit me. Make sense?

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  13. I'm actually doing a post on this in a couple of weeks. I'm going to link back to this because I think what you say is so right for some people.
    I am fielding my opinions right now. Writing the stories that are coming to me and not berating them for not being the genre I choose to write in the beginning.
    Jessica Khoury talks about this in my interview with her and how she started in high fantasy and ended up dystopian. http://www.sarahbelliston.com/2012/02/debut-author-interview-jessica-khoury.html

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  14. First off, I'm amazed by your strength and I think you are majorly blessed to have those challenges in your life because you are strong enough to handle them. I love you girl!

    And as for picking my genre, I write what I enjoy. I started with fantasy, but contemporary has become my new passion, but I didn't know it would be until I tried it. So maybe something new is worth a shot :)

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  15. Hey, I tagged you in a post of random questions! http://selahjanel.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/ive-been-tagged/

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  16. I write what I like to read: fantasy. And I love to get really serious myself; I think the best stories are the ones that make the reader laugh and cry by turns.

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  17. I write what my characters tell me to write. At this stage it's a Fantasy epic.

    :-D

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  18. I was reading through a Wikipedia article on Dean R. Koontz yesterday. I found it fascinating the themes that he visits again and again, the types of characters, blah blah blah. Anyway, the point is, I would bet that much of your life seeps into your novels no matter what genre you write. Don't you think it would be fun to see a similar Wikipedia page on you one day? This great analysis of your body of work and what it says about you and your life experiences?

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  19. I get what you are saying. I like to read books that have a lot of levity. I prefer to laugh. I prefer to think of love stories and kissing and happily ever after. I wrote for the NaNoWrMo (got the min. # of words, but not something worth re-working). That's all I've written that is fiction. So, I can't truly answer how/what genre I am drawn to writing. --I think I've found I'm a pretty good personal essayist.

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  20. I agree, I want to read stories that take me away from real life. I've read a few nonfiction books, but for the most part I avoid them. Living life is enough for me.

    When I first decided to write, I never gave much thought to what genre I was going to write in, I just began telling the story that was in my head. I've read a lot of fantasy in my life so fantasy is where I started.

    I love to read horror, romance and paranormal books as well. I have story ideas floating around in my head that incorporate all of them. The ones that bug me the most get my attention first.

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  21. Even as I kid, I just enjoyed reading books that took me to some place new and different, that was in some way different from everyday stuff. I think writing just followed suit.

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  22. It seems like we all read to take a vacation from real life. And if you DID write a memoir, it would be on my TBR list :) But just lie we read to get away, if you're like me, I also write to escape for a bit. And the cool thing is we can incorporate some of our life experiences int our fiction when the muse demands...you just never know what will happen when the fingers hit the keyboard.

    BT, we're in the same campaign group. Whoot :)

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  23. That's why I love fantasy too (plus, very little research required!)

    BTW You've been tagged! Check out my blog for 11 random questions to answer about yourself.

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  24. I know exactly what you mean! Books like The Kite Runner (which I've also read, and yes it was amazing) make you feel so much that ISN'T happy. When I read (and write) it's because I want to escape the harsh realities of the real world (I don't mind the harsh realities of a fantasy/dystopian world!). I really respect people who write about that kind of stuff, but I'm not sure I could. I've contemplated writing a fiction piece based on a really difficult experience I went through, but I'm not sure it would be emotionally healthy to dredge up all those forgotten emotions, you know? So maybe not!

    PS - Wow, you've been through a lot!

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  25. Sometimes I feel like people who write memoir are really just writing it for themselves. For therapy, for validation, for healing. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but even though it *feels* inspirational to readers, I think the author is the one who benefits most.

    I had a friend once whose favorite book was "A Child Called It." She read it over and over, mostly because she felt like she could relate to it, so maybe my theory is all whacked and there are readers who NEED those gritty, heartbreaking memoirs.

    Me? I read it, and it just made me depressed about how depraved some people are. Same thing with Kite Runner. I really didn't feel any better about the world.

    I love reading books (usually fantasy), that take me to those lows, but bring me back up in the end. Make me feel like the world is new and bright, even if bad things happen...Maybe I'm just a diehard optimist that can't handle anything else ;)

    Also, we're in the same campaign group!
    The Writer Coaster
    christinetyler.net

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    1. Your life story definitely sounds memoir worthy, but it's understandable that you feel that way. I might read the occasional memoir or a book that I know will make me tear up (like the Fault in Our Stars), but my main goal is to escape problems that can affect my life. I don't mind books that take me to dark places like the prison-scape of Incarceron or the arena in the Hunger Games, but with stories like those, I know they're fantasy and that in the end, everything is going to be okay which makes all the difference.

      I also tagged you (http://averymarsh.blogspot.com/2012/02/followers-campaign-games.html) but wow, three sets of eleven questions? Don't feel too obligated to answer mine. ;)

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  27. Oh that picture brings back memorys for me as well. I hope all is well, now? Anyway thank you for stopping by to say hello and to answer your question I always wanted to write fiction until 2 life changing events happened. My brother was murdered and my stepson died of suicide. The voices would not leave me alone until I told the stories:) I am working on a picture book now and having a blast.

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  28. Hi Morgan, I'm stopping by from the Campaign from both the YA and Fantasy groups.

    I've always known that I wanted to write fantasy. I don't consider it fluff, though, since I tend to write dark fantasy. I write to feel something besides the everyday things, something that will show me that there's something bigger than my own little problems. What better way to do it than fantasy? :)

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