Where does that ultimate stage of the journey begin? Many authors break into the business writing some type of genre fiction. It’s a great way to start. Plot foundations are in place. There is a ready audience. Reviews and even awards can be won.
Genre writing, however, can also be a trap. Plot patterns can become a crutch. Characters can conform to fan expectations and genre conventions. Easily renewed contracts make genre boundaries safe and reliable.
Genre writers, I find, can get so stuck in their comfort zone that they can’t find their way out of it. The larger scale of breakout level plots becomes intimidating. Their characters stay small. It’s as if authors’ imaginations have atrophied. What is really happening is that they are afraid. [Read more…]