Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Genre Game



I’ve been thinking a lot about genres of late. And those thoughts became very concentrated when, this week, I needed to choose a genre for my 2016 NaNo novel. And further crystalized when I found that mine was not in the drop down list, a list of 19 plus that little luxury - which I dared use - ‘other’.

I suspect there are many novels that get themselves whacked into the literary fiction or mainstream genre because they have nowhere else to go. And I also wonder what wonderful books get overlooked because they’ve been categorized in such a way.

But I digress, I really wanted to talk a little about my newly discovered genre, the one I suspect has been looking for me all my writing career, and that is the novella-in-flash - the genre that tripped me up when I entered the Bath Flash Fiction comp. earlier this year.

It is a startling genre. Nothing like a traditional novella which is described as, and I quote, ‘a work of written fictional narrative prose that is longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel’. And startling in a way that each mini chapter is akin to a complete flash story. And you all know how I love writing flash fiction, how I have neither the patience nor staying power for a blockbuster novel, how I love to capture the essence of a story in as few words as possible, and how I am always in haste to ‘git ‘er done.’ Yes, in a flash - pardon the pun.

I have read (as recommended by Bath) a number of flash novellas now. And they have all startled me. I can think of no better word to describe them. They are unique, punchy, disorienting, curious, questioning, and oft times breathtaking in their delivery. The judge (Meg Pokrass) of the Bath Novella-in-Flash comp. describes them as ‘like stars in the sky.’ So yes, startling in its truest sense.

As NaNo approaches, I have completed the first steps of registering my novel as 3 Novellas (draft cover below), with the intention of submitting the results to the Bath Novella-in-Flash comp. - deadline end of December.

  

Whatever happens, my mouth is now watering with thoughts of where these works will take me. So NaNo - for my 10th time - I’m ready for you.

Read about Meg Pokrass here:  http://megpokrass.com


National Novel Writing Month, as always, is here:  http://nanowrimo.org

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