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Those Genre Fences

I did some soul searching with my accountability partner, Jenna, and I think I finally realize why I can’t get any momentum built up on the Maya story.

I can’t decide what genre the story should be in.

You might be asking, how on earth could you have written 70+K in a story and you don’t know what genre it’s in?  I find myself asking that same question. *wg*  It comes back to Romancelandia, the tall white-picket fence I tend to sit on, and which side I think this story’s going to jump down to become.

I’ll always write a “romantic” thread, sometimes smoldering and boundary-pushing, but other times, quiet and gentle.  In the first draft of the Maya story, I tried to make the romance smoldering, and it came out forced.  I *despise* forced.  I’ve toned things down considerably so it is more natural.

It’s not a traditional romance “thou shalt have hero and heroine met on page one” kind of story.  In this second major draft, a lot of plot is going on around and in the main story line.  The hero and heroine don’t even get on page together until around the 86th page.  The focus of the story is NOT them getting together.    They don’t even have relations *cough* until after the 200 page mark, and then just the one time, a feat for me.  (I dare you to go count the sex scenes in Rose, say, or Beautiful Death, or even Survive My Fire, a mere 20K!)  The romance is much less “in your face” than I would typically write, but I didn’t do it deliberately — it just happened as I worked through this draft.

Now the ending…it’s so crucial.  I have two paths.  The path I know is “romance.”  The path I don’t know is “not.”  I don’t want to take the easy path, whichever way that is.  Part of me says take the path less traveled, explore that new way, but then I wonder:  is this just me wanting to kick the genre fences down?  I do get that way sometimes (while according to the Chinese horoscope I’m a dog, I feel a lot of empathy for horses which don’t like to be penned in stalls).  I don’t want to make a choice just to be obstinant, n0r do I want to play safe.

I think the more compelling ending would be the non-romance path with a cliffhanger.  It would lend extreme urgency to the next book (although I have no idea what that plot might be).  Yet is that the *right* thing to do?

I have to make a decision.  Today.  Because I have two days off next week and I’m going to bust my metaphorical balls to finish this revision before I go back to the Evil Day Job on Wed.

Opinions?  Discussions?  Would you rather see a “happy ever after” or “cliff hanger” type ending?

7 thoughts on “Those Genre Fences

  1. Oh, geez – don’t ask me. I shouldn’t even offer an opinion, since I’m SO all about the HEA… although a cliffhanger with a hint/promise/suggestion of an eventual HEA would do it for me too… sorry, that incredibly unhelpful, isn’t it? 🙁 Maybe you should ask Gregar? 😈

    Don’t worry, though – I have faith that you will figure it out and proceed to kick its ass!

  2. Since I’m not a romance reader by nature, I’m going to encourage you do the one that works best for your story. Which, judging by your gut feeling, seems to be the cliffhanger. Just my two cents.

  3. Cliffhanger. But you knew I was gonna say that, didn’t you, Sis. *sheepish grin*

    I can’t help it. If a HEA doesn’t fit, it’s gonna come out sounding forced. I’m not saying that the story as a whole can’t eventually have a HEA ending, but this first installment doesn’t have to. Sure, you won’t be able to stroll the manicured rose garden paths of Romancelandia, but when the thicket closes around you, take comfort that you’re at least forging your own way, which means you may well be the first person to ever go that way. It makes you a pioneer, an explorer, the Indiana Jones of the literary road.

    And who would you rather hear about, Indiana Jones or Miss Immaculetta Petticoats?

  4. Sis, you’ve read that first draft version with the HEA. What’d you think of it? Was it forced or believable?

  5. Well, it was believable enough then, because it was still a cliffhanger. But this new version? I dunno. I haven’t read it…heheh…so I’m not sure if the same or similar ending would fit.

  6. My vote would be for cliffhanger. But that’s just me. :mrgreen:

  7. Repeating May’s incredibly wise words: I think I found a way to have my cake and eat it too. Not romance, but romantic, and a cliffhanger to boot. Now I’ve just got to finish it!

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