Linda’s prompt for today was “ask someone else” and, well, son is still sleeping and I don’t really want to look up a word, so I am going to use something that came up last night while I was going to bed: mystery.
Now, this is a bit of a nonfiction piece because, well, it is. It’s a mystery to me why others seem to have all the luck or that “something” that I don’t. People say, “as a writer, your life is full of rejections until you find the one that wants it.” Well, that is true, to a certain degree, but it also calls into question who is doing the deciding. It’s no different than me trying to explain to people why I can’t even get a job saying “would you like fries with that” or “paper, plastic, or did you bring your own bags?” There is no rhyme or reason to things anymore.
I have thought about what I read and write a lot lately. How do you describe it? It’s a mystery to me. Yes, Reflected Echo touches on dystopian life but is it fully dystopian? No, it’s not. Is it a coming-of-age story? In a philosophical way, yes. Is it YA? Only because of her age…a ten year old could read it, understand it, and possibly enjoy it. Is it an adult fiction with a teenage protagonist? Yes, adults would enjoy it. In fact more adults read YA than teenagers. But, is it what people expect to read when they hear Dystopian? In today’s Hunger Games, Handmaids Tale, and 1984 definition…no. So, I am left with a mystery about how to market a philosophical literary fiction that touches on a variety of genres. Sigh!
I was having a conversation with a fellow blogger last night about a story of theirs that was rejected. It’s a mystery to me why they didn’t take the leap, have some faith in themselves, and turn it into the book they knew was sitting in front of them. It came down do placing an idea into a category again…YA vs MG. I hope the blogger takes the leap, because it would make a great MG book. But, what do I know?
I read a lot of online “magazines” and, many I have submitted to and been rejected from, and it’s a mystery what people are really looking for. Yes, there is a reader for every writer, and it is just a matter of finding each other, but isn’t that what magazines are for? I remember reading magazines to discover new writers, new ideas, new dreams, and new ways of telling stories. Now, it seems as though magazines are looking for the one-trick pony. Steampunk is now only cyberpunk or has vampires in it (in steampunk!).
Many authors are one-trick ponies. They carve a niche in a genre and let the money roll in (like Rice and Rowling). Many authors are not. Many of my readers often talk about King and look at the breadth and depth of his “horror” career…there was the killer dog, killer car, killer husband, then his short stories of children looking for a dead kid and discovering more about themselves in the process, there was the sadistic kid who terrorized a former Nazi, a love story. Some of my favorite authors are not one-trick ponies, but is that supported today?
Ah, the end of a year and the beginning of a new one brings so many more mysteries. It’s a mystery if I will ever answer any of 2018’s mysteries that I wrote about here, it’s a mystery if I will ever figure out how to make things work in 2019, and it’s a mystery if I will ever stop asking why things are a mystery.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to write a mystery story to submit to a new online magazine that is launching in February.