I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things, both with writing and blogging, and I appreciate those of you who’ve stuck around.
The writing is going ok; I’m chugging along at about 43,600 words… But my mind is still bouncing all over the place, with ideas for stories bombarding me and begging for attention.
I reread Jane Eyre over the week, and it made me think about genres – specifically, how well we know, or need to know, the genres we’re writing in. The WIP I’m working on now is a historical fiction, set in late-Victorian London.
I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction; in fact, I’d be hard-pressed to name the last HF book I read. And instead of reading books from the genre, in order to gain some knowledge over the style and conventions, I’ve actually been reading books from the era, i.e. Thomas Hardy, Louisa May Alcott, etc. I feel like this is a better way of assimilating the culture, language, behavior, and other such characteristics of the era rather than reading it second-hand, as it were, in an HF novel.
I wonder if that works across genres though; I mean to say that if I were writing a crime novel, for example, I would be more likely to read some true crime books rather than going through novels in the genre. For mysteries and thrillers, I would be more apt to turn to Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, or Poe stories.
I know authors tend to write in the genre they most enjoy reading, but is that always necessarily the case? I mean, as long as the writing is good, plotting and pacing make sense, who cares whether you follow the conventions of the genre or not, right?