Conventions of the Game

I’m inspired today to talk about literary and genre fiction. While I read both all the time, they have conventions when writing, that I wasn’t always aware of, or paid attention to. This led to some indulgent, long-winded prose on my part. I’ve turned off a few readers/editors with my indulgences. Now it’s time to get myself together.

My background is writing and studying literary fiction along with art. As an undergrad, we, the students, weren’t permitted to delve into genre in our fiction writing classes, which was the professors prerogative. Needless to say the mundane is explored with a greatness. There are elements many find boring that’s not part of genre fiction. With genre it’s best to get to the point and keep it moving. No indulgences, or trail offs-put the streak in front of the reader. Stop discussing the sides.

This is also a paradox. In learning to write screenplays and scripts, there is a convention to start off with an ordinary world (not to say that the world can’t be action-oriented), but I got myself confused in content. To me, I needed that start for stories in a more common way. That’s me mixing all the techniques in my head, and them coming out like a hot mess of a mess. Ordinary is not necessarily mundane, I should add. In mundane, one could be caught up in the details of dried, chipped paint on a wall. ordinary means removing said paint off wall, and not being caught up in the details.

Case in point: I wrote a eight page science-fantasy script for a good friend who is going to draw the story. I rewrote it several times because it was indulgent. I knew what the protagonist was going to do, and why, but I needed to show what got her to that point without being immersed in all the points of all her woes. So I cut out a gang of mundane stuff, and put the steak on the table. I sincerely think that with only eight pages to tell the story, I wanted each page to count for something, and have the reader know what’s important. it made writing the story ver, very satisfying to resolve.

Now why can’t my prose be like that? Do I need to set a page limit for myself? Maybe I need to write more comics. They are one of my reading loves.

As always, happy creative endeavors.


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