So I’m nearing the end of my Creative Writing course with the OU. I believe I have found out how I like to write and what I like to write about. I have enjoyed my voyage so much that I have signed up for the advanced course and hopefully by this time next year I will be finishing a Diploma in Creative Writing.
Studying a course has given me the opportunity to say ‘Sorry family – I MUST sit down and write, I have paid for this course, I have to write for assignments, I have deadlines to meet.’ It has been a great discipline. I have written short stories, autobiographical pieces and the first two chapters of a novel. I have a style, a voice and am not confused about that. I even think I know who my reader will be.
But what I am confused about is classifying my writing. It feels so personal. I actually feel like I now have to put myself in a box with a label on it and close the lid as if saying, ‘There. This is Rachel Carter’s genre.’ Clunk … And I feel uncomfortable with that.
What’s worse is I’m not even sure what it is.
I write fiction that isn’t particularly about romance, crime, vampires (actually, never vampires), detectives, supernatural happenings, science fiction, history, travel, and may or may not contain families. I write about fictional people, doing real things. I like to make my reader think. I may have romance in one story, family in another, a single man in another, death in another. I like to use lots of expression, depth of character and consider the way we look at ourselves and at others. I may do geographical, medical or historical research for different stories or I may write totally about emotions, grief or love, drawing on my own feelings. Unless someone is tripping out, recovering from an accident or dreaming I don’t have witches, fairies or spacemen. I am not comfortable with pages and pages of romance or violence or suspense. I don’t want to just write for women. It’s just fiction…
In order to ‘find an outlet’ for my work and get useful feedback I have to classify it. Yesterday I looked for hours and hours at different genres and found Amazon very unhelpful. So, by process of elimination, I have decided on the glorious non-specific term ‘Literary Fiction’ . (I am working on some sophisticated philosophical tones to go with that!)
Right – That’s me filed!