Today I gave myself a feelings hangover over a story I’m writing — less because of the content (though it is probably the most hardcore and dubious thing I have ever written) and more because when I ran it by my beta team, the initial response from both of them was that it was too derivative of a story. Which, I think, on one hand, is not necessarily a bad thing — I got my start with fanfic and I still write it now and then (as evidenced by numerous entries in this blog) — but was really the last thing I wanted to hear for this particular story. I ended up thinking so hard and getting so invested in trying to fix it that I ended up with a headache, sore eyes, and that queasy-vague feeling that upright wasn’t really the position I wanted to be in.
(Hello; how’s this for a first non-fiction post for this blog.)
At this point, I’m honestly not sure how much of this story is salvageable — or even if it is something I want to share beyond a carefully-controlled group of people. It’s the sort of thing that covers a lot of stuff I absolutely recoil against in real life but really enjoy exploring in fiction. While I don’t outright try to embrace going against the status quo, or writing/exploring things for their shock value, I’ve never really wanted to stay in a particular genre of writing, either. I think there are certain reoccurring elements that I return to a lot in terms of setting and style, but honestly, I tend towards short stories over novels, and I think part of that is because I can dabble in a lot of genres at once. I don’t honestly know how this looks to someone who just stumbles across my stories on Amazon, especially if I decide to publish the one I’m currently working on, because it is pretty downright dark and focuses on several touchy subjects together.
To date my Amazon collection are a few erotic m/m stories, a couple paranormal erotica m/f stories, and one strange fairytale beast that I would classify as a love story and a horror story both. I’ve heard people discuss using different pen names for writing in different genres, and while I can see the wisdom of that, I also am not sure how much I want to follow on that. Maybe it’s because I got my start in fandom, where the people I generally interacted with did run the whole gamut from humor to erotica to sometimes the outright bizarre or dark. I don’t really want to separate out what I write into categories — for one thing, I’m not really sure that Amazon would allow me that many pen names. ;)
So yeah, at this point, I’m still dealing with a lot of trial and error in how I handle everything. I don’t particularly think I will be one of the raging success stories — but I think if I could make someone feel as intensely as I do writing (like with that story today, the one I am slowly hammering more details into, the one that may or may not ever see the light of day), I think that’d be more than good enough for me.
… that’s a pretty trite paragraph to end this entry with, but what can I say? Sometimes the trite derivative thing works best.