I’m studying a unit at uni called ‘Writing Genre’, in which we have an overview of each main writing genre. Each week we study readings related to the genre of the week – which outline the history and the traditions of the genre – and are given a few well-written examples by other published authors.
I’ve discovered I have leanings; I like creative non-fiction, the literary appeals, as does (surprisingly, but not overpoweringly) speculative fiction.
We’ve yet to get to horror, gothic, crime, or romance (and I know there are still some major categories left out, like memoir, which is a unit in itself) so I don’t yet know what my proclivities there are, even as I suspect gothic will be right up my alley, and perhaps a bit of horror or romance. I cannot imagine myself digging crime. I’m just not that kind of reader, although I did enjoy the postmortem search for Jack the Ripper in Patricia Coswell’s Portrait of a Killer. Perhaps though my enjoyment sprang from it being non-fiction.
What is fun though is that our teacher has us practising writing in each genre, in our own time, and again in class, cold, where we then get to read our torrid flings to the rest of the class. And they are flings – enough to reveal whether or not you want to go further or commit.
I took food writing a step further, as I love to cook, grow and shop for food and have written some of my recipes down, and my diaries are spotted with what I ate where, and how. I borrowed a most excellent book called Will Write For Food, a how-to on the writer that is food. After a short peruse through relevant chapters, I came to the conclusion that food is not my passion.
And writing is all about passion, is it not? How else does one attach the tenuous thread of imagination to the hard work and little immediate reward that is required?
So with that revelation in hand, I’ve started a process of elimination; what am I not passionate about?