Monday, June 13, 2011

Ha! And They Said it Would Never Work

You may have noticed I’m going on a historical-fiction binge. Now that I've decided it's my genre, I need to read as much of it as possible.

Looking at the hist-fics I've read, I made an unusual discovery.

Ever since I started Sacred Fire, people have consistently criticized two elements of the novel:

1.      My characters believe in their religion. The general consensus, for some reason, is that Romans worshipped their gods but had no faith in them. I wrote about this here.
2.      The novel starts with my main character as a child. They said it makes the book sound like a YA novel.

Now I am filled with a sense of triumph and bewilderment. Almost every book I’ve read is religious, and almost all of them start with their MC’s as kids. Why did everyone feel so strongly about this? They made me feel like I was breaking the mold (or digging my grave) when I was actually following the trend.

Examples:

Pope Joan
Mother of the Believers
The Jewel of Medina
Helen of Troy
Daughters of the Witching Hill
The Red Tent
The Birth of Venus
Daughter of the Forest

The moral of the story is stay true to yourself. Don’t let others poo-poo your ideas, because they might be wrong.

The other moral of the story is to know your genre. Before I started Sacred Fire, I should have been familiar with the trends.

7 comments:

  1. I second guess myself all the time, but the bottom line is to go with your gut. Maybe you'll start a trend of your own, even if it is new to your genre!

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  2. Go with your instincts. Trust your characters.

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  3. Trusting your instincts is key! I think when I read your book, because it's not a genre I normally read, I was unconsciously applying the rules of the genre I'm familiar with (YA). I'm glad you've found your instincts were right!

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  4. Have you read Nefertiti by Michelle Moran? The main character in that begins as a child and worships her gods devoutly throughout the book. It's one of my favourites.

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  5. I haven't read that... I read Madame Tussaud and Cleopatra's Daughter. I know Nefertiti was pretty popular. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  6. P.S. Michelle Moran is going to be at the conference, so I'll be able to get my books signed by her, maybe even talk to her. Yay!

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