writers / writers resources

#IWSG February: What I love about my genre

writers groupThis post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s question – What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I write in two genres because they satisfy different needs.

  • Thrillers–I love the strong, superhuman characters that are flawed. Their fights are often as much with themselves as with the world they’re trying to save. Who can’t relate to that? Well, I’m one out of two: I am flawed!
  • Historic fiction–This genre fills my lust for research. I easily lose myself in long-gone worlds but when I try to share this passion with others, their eyes glaze over (I mean, who watches five hours of YouTube videos on stone knapping?) But, when I fictionalize that data, adding dramatic events, realistic settings, a story arc, and intriguing characters, even I enjoy it better.

My love of thrillers (especially the superhuman characters) has led me to fantasy where excellent authors build unreal characters who are as real as those I admire in my thrillers.

I look forward to reading your thoughts!

More IWSG articles:

Steps taken for my writing and publishing

What would I change if I could

Am I surprised by my writing?


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

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76 thoughts on “#IWSG February: What I love about my genre

  1. Pingback: #IWSG March: Goals | WordDreams...

  2. Hi Jacqui – I’m into historical and educative things … with a geographical, or geological bent – hope you get to read Vancouver … that takes you back over time. Down in Sussex, when I’m back in England … we have stone knapping talks, and shows … as flint is prevalent down there and they’re always finding artefacts. Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a reader, I’ve always been interested in historical fiction, specifically WW2 and the holocaust. I’ve read tons of stories on these topics and the differing perspectives have been enlightening… and astounding at times.
    That being said, I don’t think I’ll ever write historical fiction.
    The suspense/thriller genre is also a favourite… both reading and writing.
    Though when it comes to writing, then suspense rules more. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do justice to the thriller aspect. We’ll see.
    Stone knapping? That caught my attention…
    Hope you’re well, Jacqui! *waving*

    Writer In Transit

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a reader, I enjoy almost every genre, but as a writer, I’m drawn to horror and dark fantasy. I think part of one’s artistic development is listening to the voice inside that guides you to your milieu, and then to enjoy being there and try to contribute something interesting to the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It is increasingly hard to devise new spins on (very) old monsters, but for me, it always starts with an emotional question: What are you trying to say about the human condition and/or the present state of the world, and how does the monster become an effective metaphor for that? It starts with a social, emotional, philosophical, or political agenda: There’s something about the world you want to express, and the monster and/or supernatural conceit becomes the vessel for that. Because if you don’t have that, you’ve just got a bunch of people running from a scary creature, and we’ve got Scooby-Doo for that! The best monster stories, from Godzilla to Night of the Living Dead to It, have some kind of sociocultural or sociopolitical underpinning that give them depth and thematic resonance. For me, a horror story that lacks that component isn’t worth writing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m reading the latest Catherine Coulter Brit in the FBI book. It brings to mind a new horror–drones. And with them robots. They do everything you mention in good horror (political agenda, something about the world to express, supernatural conceit). I am horrified by them!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I always admire multi genre authors and especially commend historical fiction authors where despite the fiction part, the research involved for the historic part is intrinsic. Good for you Jacqui. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I used to confuse them with mysteries, even detective crime (like you write), but I’ve got that straight now.

      BTW, your link in your avatar took me to your old blog site (the WP.com one) rather than your gorgeous new one. But I found you by following Twitter!

      Like

  6. Stone knapping? I have no idea what that is but that’s awesome you’re passionate about it! I don’t know if I’m patient enough to do all the research to write historical fiction. Which times in history interest you the most, Jacqui? I do enjoy reading and watching Outlander. I’m grateful women have more rights these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What I like about being a poet is that I can excuse most things as, “I’m a poet.” If I wear odd socks, don’t polish my shoes, or wear a large hiking hat into Starbucks, it’s all okay, because, “I’m a poet and am here to challenge your perceptions of cultural norms.”

    also it lets me write any damned thing and call it, “art.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Once again you’ve confirmed that we could talk. Stone knapping is right up there with my fascination for a conversation about handedness and its connection to brain lateralization. For once, I’d love have someone who’d argue some points with me and not walk away mumbling about a forgotten appointment. Thanks for the post today, Jacqui.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thrillers aren’t that different from fantasy except that the characters are real and the plot is based on the existing world (whatever that is). Otherwise, goals, motivations, passions–they’re the same.

      Like

  9. I like flawed characters in any genre and in literary fiction because I’m interested to see how they develop as they face conflicts that challenge precisely the flaw they must overcome or correct in order to resolve the ultimate crisis. And because I am so flawed a person, I have no idea how to write about perfection.

    Great post, Jacqui.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too love those flaws but for a slightly different reason. I don’t really care if my characters correct their flaws; I just want to see how they thrive/survive despite them. And, my reason is the same as yours: I am flawed and can’t change that so how can I use it to my advantage?

      Like

  10. Had to google stone knapping. I’ve pulled down some pretty serious youtube sessions. Just this morning, I learned how to pick a lock about eight different ways, so I’m all set if you need me to break into anything or whatever. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love poetry, it draws me naturally as it has the potential to say everything with just one symbol but my characters always know how to overcome flaws even when they are in deep dumps…hope and light attracts them. Poetry is open to interpretations, which makes me most secure with the words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I learned to be a writer (because I’m not a natural!), I figured that out. Genres are quite different, as is literary fiction (what they consider not a genre). Thanks for visiting, Misha.

      Like

  12. I love it when a book inspires me to research, learn more about a topic. When my imagination has been so fired up by fiction I want to explore the reality of a subject. Now,what is stone knapping…I’m intrigued and off to google!

    Liked by 1 person

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