Eureka! I’m Writing in a New Genre

I’m writing a book.

Yes . . . yes . . . you’ve heard me say it before. But I’m really writing a book. As of today I’m in the beginnings of Chapter 7 and the word count breakdown of my chapters is as follows (for any of you interested in numbers):

  • Chapter 1:    3673
  • Chapter 2:    3093
  • Chapter 3:    2546
  • Chapter 4:    3714
  • Chapter 5:    2155
  • Chapter 6:    2343

For a GRAND TOTAL (as of now) of 17, 525 words. I think I’m aiming for about 40,000 words.

As some of you may know, I’ve had a lot of book ideas floating around my head for the past few years. I’ve made a lot of false starts and stops. In order to get this far, and give myself the kick in the butt that I needed, I signed up for a course through the Long Ridge Writer’s Group called “Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel.”  Through the course, you are assigned an “editor/instructor” of sorts to help guide you through the process. I find that, having someone who I have to report to in some way helps me stay focused.

Of course, because you are supposed to wait for feedback, it means that my writing has kind of been random instead of regular. (Not that I listened to the rules completely. I wrote some sections anyway, but I still wanted feedback before I moved too far forward).  But, in general I think having someone respond has helped me shape the novel. I’m finally in the flow of writing and now the biggest challenge is finding time to focus on my other obligations in life.

Except that’s not really the biggest challenge. If you notice, the third part of the title of this course is  “Sell Your Novel.” That means that, now that I have turned in the first three chapters and am onto learning about revision, the next step will be learning about querying and sending to publishers and/or agents.

This is the stuff I find truly terrifying.

Part of the problem, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, is that my novel doesn’t fit traditionally into any specific label or genre. If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know how much I hate labeling in all aspects of life.  But, if I am going to try to get this published through a traditional route (that’s still a BIG IF) I need to play the game like a good girl and label my work.

I, of course, decided to focus on writing a good story and figure the rest out later.

However a miracle of blogging and social media has a brought a little clarity into my life. Earlier this week, after I posted my 100 Word Challenge, Sandra Tyler over at A Writer Weaves a Tale asked if I was interested in fiction and if I would be interested in joining a writer’s group on Facebook.  Sure, I thought. it can’t hurt, and it’s something I’ve been interested in for a while. I just have to stop being afraid to share.

So, I went over and joined the group. Sandra asked us to introduce ourselves, and I did that. Then yesterday, I read one of the other introductions, and discovered a moment of clarity. Shall I share? Here’s a cut and paste image of the Facebook conversation

Did you get that? NA! New Adult! It’s a new label for a genre that isn’t quite YA but isn’t quite A. Here’s a link to a post on Misha’s blog (My First Book) called “What’s the Next Big Thing in Genre Fiction” that explains NA in more detail.

So now I can say. I’m writing a book. It’s a New Adult Fantasy/Sci Fi book that questions the role of government and religion over women in a world where power comes from unexpected places.

Anyone interested in reading it?

27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Misha
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 10:25:02

    So glad I could help you out. And yeah. I’d definitely read your story. 😀


  2. Julia Munroe Martin
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 10:38:45

    I just heard about NA on someone else’s blog — so fascinated to hear more about this new emerging genre! And I’m so thrilled for your breakthrough in writing, Lisa. Your premise sounds fascinating!


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Sep 28, 2012 @ 10:53:54

      Thanks Julia. I’m definitely going to have to read up more and am intrigued to see where the emerging genre leads. Meanwhile, I’m glad you like my premise. Writing is simultaneously terrifying and thrilling, isn’t it?


  3. Kathryn McCullough
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 12:16:38

    Okay, Lisa, this is the best news ever! This IS the answer you’ve been looking for! Can you believe it? Jeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Pretty wild, right?

    I definitely want to read. However, I am CRAZY busy still for the next couple of weeks with some writing committments, but I’d ike to read it after that. Will you send me the first chapter? Or maybe post it on your blog?

    I’m so happy for you!!!!!



    • Lisa Wields Words
      Sep 28, 2012 @ 12:21:06

      Oh, I’m not sure I’m ready to share it that way yet, but we’ll see. How exciting that you have writing commitments. I want some writing commitments that have to do with someone besides myself. Sigh.


  4. Christine Grote
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 12:48:52

    Wonderful! You go girl. I can’t wait to read it.
    And I think you’re on the right track by focusing on writing a good book first.
    You’ll get there.


  5. Stuart Nager
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 14:28:54

    Lisa: let me see where things stand at the end of next week (whether I get a full time job or will be reduced to just substitute teaching). If a sub, yes, I’d be happy to read it.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Sep 28, 2012 @ 15:41:33

      I wasn’t really looking for people to read so much as wondering if it sounded good enough to read. That said, I am honored that so many people are willing to read my WIP. However, I hope that you are too busy to help me pursue my writing dream, because you will be fully employed. In that position you will always have the power to help my other dreams.


  6. Sparks In Shadow
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 18:25:12

    Yay you! Sounds like an interesting genre to me, a very interesting idea, and an intriguing beginning to your elevator pitch. 🙂 (And thanks for helping me better categorize “Entanglement”!)

    I’ve read fantasy books before because I tend to read for writing quality without ruling genres out, but I’d be afraid to use the word fantasy in describing my own story because I’m afraid some might miss the realism. Some people won’t even read sci-fi. 😦 I wish I could afford some expert advice, but so glad you’ve got access to some as you move ahead with your book.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Sep 28, 2012 @ 18:29:49

      Ah, you’ve found my weak point still. I’m not sure its fantasy, because mine is realistic fantasy (it doesn’t have magic or fairies but does have abilities). I’m not sure its really scifi either, in the sense that its not technologically based, but there is scientific evidence supporting the abilities. I’m still stumped on that part, but I’m trying.:P


      • Sparks In Shadow
        Sep 28, 2012 @ 18:38:17

        I hear you. But that’s why it’s good to have access to industry advice that’s individualized for your specific story. Plus, since you’re aiming for a publisher, I bet they tailor their advertising to at least a couple of different kinds of readers. It sounds easy to sell to me, especially considering the times. Write it. Make it work and “they will come.”


  7. Christina Nabity (@bentrealm)
    Sep 29, 2012 @ 00:01:17

    I was also very excited to find out about NA in that facebook post, as evidenced by how many times I commented on it in the group.
    I’ve been thinking about trying out Long Ridge Writer’s Group for years but the program they keep wanting me to sign up for isn’t quite right for me, the one you’re doing sounds like it might fit better. Since Ia lot of what I’m writing is planned as novels rather than short stories & article writing, and other stuff is planned as things like comic books. It’s such a nice feeling finding a missing piece like that isn’t it?
    I also hate labeling stuff. It’s kinda like “it’s the thing I’m writing” is the most correct label and the rest is just guessing.
    I think that unless the scientific evidence that supports the abilities plays a heavy role in the book that it probably wouldn’t be sci fi, unless there are lots of other science bits in there. But technology isn’t the only thing that makes up science fiction. I’d leave worrying about what genre it is until after your 1st draft is complete if it’s giving you trouble defining it. Because you can add elements, sentences and descriptors during the 2nd draft to both emphasize and strengthen it’s standing in whatever genre it seems like it belongs in.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Sep 29, 2012 @ 13:12:53

      Thanks for that input, Christina. To be honest, this is the first time I included the sci fi tag in my description, and I don’t think it does suit. But, it was certainly food for thought. I have to, for now, focus on the writing. There are pros and cons to Long Ridge (which I got to after taking courses with its sister school the Institute for Children’s Literature). I’m happy to share them with you. Send me an e-mail if you want to discuss.


  8. Amy Morgan
    Sep 29, 2012 @ 08:31:48

    What a grat new genre and how perfectly timed for you. The Long Ridge Writer’s Group course sounds fabulous and I love the breakdown on the chapter word counts and the end goal. Would love to read some when you are ready to share!


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Sep 29, 2012 @ 13:11:00

      It did seem like fate, but there are still some things I need to clarify, like who publishes NA. There are pros and cons to Long Ridge, which I’m happy to share over e-mail. One of these days I hope I will have the courage enough to share a chapter. Of course, I just read a book that makes me say “I’m a fool to think I can write.” Sigh.


  9. TheIdiotSpeaketh
    Sep 30, 2012 @ 11:09:47

    Count me in! I’d love to read it! 🙂


  10. nrhatch
    Sep 30, 2012 @ 14:01:03

    Write on!


  11. Victoria-writes
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 05:56:32

    Whoop! You should read “Easy” by Tammara Webber – a brilliant NA book. Good luck, so exciting!


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