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Which genre?
JillWW
Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2015 8:38 PM
Joined: 1/5/2015
Posts: 3


Hi. I just joined book country and am looking forward to reading some of your works. I would like to start off by reading something that is in the same genre that I'm writing in. The problem is I'm not sure what that genre is. I think it may be fantasy, but after going through the different types of fantasy, I still couldn't figure it out. I'm writing animal fiction from the point of view of a cat. There's no magic. It's daily life mixed in with some myth and lore.

Mimi Speike
Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2015 1:21 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


I can hardly believe my eyes. I have written a story, a humorous, tongue-in-cheek piece with a talking cat MC. It's not the final version, much has changed about it. I usually advise folks not to read the current posting but, since my replacement is still two or three months away from ready, and the current iteration has exactly the same wise-ass tone, I am curious to see what you think of it. I have worked a lot more active material in there and broken it up into bite-size pieces. The title is Sly! The Rogue Reconsidered.

.

I will immediately look at your piece. This is exciting. Very exciting. What's the name of your thing?

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BTW, my story has no magic involved either. I make a strong case, I believe, for one genius of a cat improving his social position on his smarts alone in sixteenth century Europe. 

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I've been meaning and meaning to read Tailchaser's Song. Have you read it?

 

--edited by Mimi Speike on 1/11/2015, 1:52 AM--


Amber Wolfe
Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2015 8:32 AM
Joined: 7/24/2014
Posts: 539


Hi, JillWW. Welcome to Book Country.

 

To answer your question: yes, you're writing a fantasy piece. Since you're writing as an animal protagonist, from the cat's POV, and assuming this cat can talk, it's fantasy. There are a lot of novels out there from animal POV, and all are under fantasy. As for which genre of fantasy . . . I can't say. Maybe place it under Epic Fantasy, for lack of a better knowledge.

 

Now, some questions: Which age group are you shooting for? If young adult, then you could place the WIP under YA Fantasy. Also, what's the name of your manuscript? I'll take a look at it.

 

Amber


Mimi Speike
Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2015 12:53 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


Yes, it's fantasy, certainly. I don't think it's crucial to pinpoint it. I call my thing humorous fantasy, but if I were to describe it to an agent I would call it arch literary fiction of a screwball nature, or something of the sort. 

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I don't know how others do it, but I don't shop for reads by category. I've looked at that genre map maybe twice in all the time I've been on here. An interesting voice in the discussions is what grabs me, and the thing that really slays me is grand style, even in a throwaway remark. (King of that is the inimitable Carl Reed. Long Live Carl!) Or else I go for blind pot luck. I don't think where you choose to plop your piece makes all that much difference. Get it in the general vicinity and you're fine.

 

--edited by Mimi Speike on 1/11/2015, 1:24 PM--


JillWW
Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2015 5:21 PM
Joined: 1/5/2015
Posts: 3


Thank you both for helping me out. I never gave much thought to genre until I started to get involved with writing. I didn't know there were so many categories until I looked at book country's genre list.

 

I would love to read Sly, The Rogue Reconsidered. I like the title. That would be a good place for me to start reviewing with book country. It's funny you should mention Tailchaser's Song. I just checked it out of the library and will start it as soon as I finish the book I'm reading now. I read Catfantastic. Have you read that? I just learned that there's a series of Catfantastic books.

 

I'm so excited that you both are willing to read my work and a little overwhelmed. I've been working on it for a couple of years. They're short stories which I would like to put together into a novel. It's about the adventures of a feral cat in present day and I've written a few stories about the cat goddess, Bastet, which is interspersed with the other stories. I'm still trying to figure out how to make it a cohesive book, making sure that there's a story arc, the right pacing, etc. I'm now in the process of writing the last chapter.

 

 Each chapter is a separate Word file. Should I put them all together into one file? Would it be better to upload just two stories, one of my feral and one about Bastet? I really don't have a title. I refer to it as Molly Cat which could be a temporary title until a better one comes along. I'm always open to ideas and suggestions.


Jay Greenstein
Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2015 6:26 PM

At this point, I wouldn't worry too much about genre, other than in general. What's important is getting feedback.And in the end, the publisher, who knows the market as it exists when the story will be released, has the final say, in any case.

 

As for what to upload, you start with what an agent of editor would look at first, page one, and you supply enough to render an opinion, and produce meaningful advice on the writing. Forget the plot. If the writing doesn't grab your audience on page one and begin entertaining them, they won't turn to page two. And that continues on every page. Plot matters, of course, but only if you can keep the reader around to appreciate it.

 

So if, for example, you have lots of backstory in the first chapter, where the author explains things to the reader in the form of a historical lesson, that has to be addressed first, because it's history, not story. But if that is addressed it will effect the way you think about presenting a story, and have a cascade effect throughout the entire project.

 

So while the inclination is to say, "Read my wonderful story and tell me how you liked it," in reality, the question a new writer might better focus on is, "Did you make it to the third page before you threw it against the wall?"

 

Bear in mind that having the reader do that is no big deal, and no reflection on your talent and potential as a writer. As Mark Twain so wisely observed, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” And we all come to writing with a whole lot of "just ain't so" because our schooldays training catered to the needs of business, in order to ready us to enter the job market with skills useful to an employer. And other than when writing the stockholder's report, most business writing is nonfiction, and meant to inform, not entertain.

 

 So stop worrying and upload a chapter or two. And when someone does a critique remember several things.

 

1.A critique isn't a review. It focuses (or should), not on what works, because we're expected to be brilliant. The goal is to point out what you can improve, and tell you how.

2. Critiques hurt, simply because having put so much effort and emotional involvement into the work, any comment that discuses what the one giving it views as a problem is going to feel like someone has called your favorite child ugly. So the thing to remember is that someone you don't know took time they didn't have to give, to help you become a better writer. And those words apply only to what the story looks like on this day. And for that favor, even if you disagree with what's said; and even if the advice is dead wrong, the one giving it deserves a thank you.

 3. The thing to remember is that we all both write both crap and gold. And no matter how good something is, someone is going to blow a big fat raspberry.

  4. In line with the above, with work, study, and a bit of mentoring, we can change the ratio of gold to crap for the better. So what counts isn't if you're there or not, because writing is a journey, not a destination. What counts is that today, you write with just a bit more skill than you did yesterday. Keep that up, and live long enough, and...

 5. It's always best to prepare for a critique with a nice glass of wine, allowed to mellow in the stomach before reading—perhaps several glasses. In fact some, suggest the entire bottle and to hell with the critique.

 

 Sorry this is so long. What can I say? I write novels, so I can't say hello in less than 10,000 words.

 

 Hang in there, and keep on writing.


Mimi Speike
Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2015 7:37 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


Jay says: If the writing doesn't grab your audience on page one and begin entertaining them, they won't turn to page two. And that continues on every page. Plot matters, of course, but only if you can keep the reader around to appreciate it. 

.

Truer words were never spoken.  And, I am vey excited to read your cat story. Fantasy with dragons doesn't turn me on so awfully much. Throw in a cat and I'm on your side immediately.


--edited by Mimi Speike on 1/11/2015, 7:41 PM--


Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manager
Posted: Monday, January 12, 2015 9:36 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Hi Jill--so glad to see you jumping into things here on Book Country!

 

Let me know if I can help you find your way around. Excited about your WIP--can't wait to check it out when you post!

 

Lucy


JillWW
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 8:13 PM
Joined: 1/5/2015
Posts: 3


Thank you for all your encouragement. I like the idea of having a couple of glasses of wine while critiquing. Please don't apologize, Jay, for writing so much. It was fun to read.

 

It is logical to start at the beginning and  upload my first chapter, but I need to rewrite it. Now that I'm so close to reaching the end, I realize that I need to redo the first part. So, I'll finish my last couple of chapters and then rewrite the first before I upload it. I'm slow.

 

Mimi, I downloaded your story, Sly, the Rogue Reconsidered. I started reading and writing a few things. Then I clicked on Save for Later to come back to it. But now I can't find it. I keep getting the story without any of my comments. Please help.What am I doing wrong?

 

 



Mimi Speike
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 9:33 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


Jill, I just don't know. But I never enter straight into BC. I write my review in a word doc on my desktop and copy and past when I'm done, because the wrong manipulation of my mouse can send me backwards to a previous screen and I haven't always been able to recover what I've written. So now I play it safe, write off line and safe often.

 

--edited by Mimi Speike on 1/19/2015, 9:34 PM--


Amber Wolfe
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 9:36 PM
Joined: 7/24/2014
Posts: 539


JillWW, I suggest emailing or messaging Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manger. This sounds like a bug that should be fixed. She should be able to help. Or maybe contact Book Country Support. Under 'Learn', you'll find 'Contact us'. Go there, and you'll find the phone number and email for Book Country Support.

 

Hope that helps.



Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manager
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 10:11 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Hi Jill--will you email us at support@BookCountry.com so we can try to figure out what's up?

 

 


 

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