Tag Archives: series

Cross-Genre Challenge: Action and Fantasy

The series of books I’m working on are solidly in cross-genre territory, which (I hear) is a wild and forbidding place in terms of attracting readers, and in terms of marketing.  On the one hand, the books are action/adventure: guns, fights, yachts, and international travel. I do a lot of research to make this stuff as accurate and believable as possible. On the other hand, most of my characters are not human, and the plot is driven by extra-terrestrial concerns. There is magic. In the later part of the series, I plan to have much or even all of the action taking place on non-Earth worlds.

Now, I’m writing these books because this story has captured my imagination for years. I’ve incorporated the things I love, and I love both action and fantasy. Case in point: the two major influences on my imaginary life as a child were Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. To me, this blend of genres is like ice cream and chocolate cake – both delicious on their own, but even better together.

What I’m concerned about is how to write the story so that the genre-crossing is delicious for other people, too. I want to make the blend seem natural, inevitable even, and not jarring and annoying. Not like, say, ice cream and tacos. Continue reading Cross-Genre Challenge: Action and Fantasy

Series Structure

The story I’m writing is a series, because of the sheer amount of stuff that happens (and the quantity of words required to tell it). It does include some natural book-sized endings and conflict arcs, as well, although I have not yet figured that out for all the pieces of the story. I’ve been thinking about series a lot lately, in trying to get my own more organized, and doing research about writing them. Continue reading Series Structure

Backstory and Where to Start

I’ve always thought about my story as taking place at a certain point in the timeline of events in the story world, even though of course I’ve developed a lot of backstory for all the characters. I was really starting in the thick of the action, right before a big showdown (relatively speaking – a book’s worth of events leading directly to the showdown). I’ve read that starting ‘in media res’ is a popular and effective strategy, and apparently that’s what I was drawn to before I ever started thinking analytically about it. The problem was, there was too much background to explain, to make it clear how the characters had got to this point, and why it mattered. Continue reading Backstory and Where to Start