Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Paranormal Chick Lit?

The past year -- which is the length of time I've been seriously working on my various fiction projects -- has been stressful, exciting and confusing. I've learned so much from all the generous and talented writers I've met through various paranormal and RWA lists. It took me a while to understand just how many different categories of fiction there are.

Do I write Paranormal Fiction? Paranormal Romance? Fantasy? Fantasy Romance? Time Travel? Science Fiction? Futuristic? Chick Lit? Women's Literature? Mainstream?

I can't really say I write traditional romance, because -- as I've been informed many times, in contests and in discussions -- I don't have one heroine/one hero and a happy ending. My heroine just doesn't like to be tied down to one man. (Not to say that I won't write a traditional romance at some point.) In my current WIP (a contemporary paranormal w/romance elements, suspense elements and a modern tone that lends itself to chick lit), my main female character actually has equal affection for two different males. She might even have sex with both of them -- I don't know yet -- she hasn't told me.

So, maybe I'm writing paranormal chick lit?
Well, except that my heroines tend to be around age 30, and even though they live in urban settings, they aren't very interested in shopping. In fact, there's nary a mention of shoes in anything I write.

Well, what's the difference between chick lit and romance? And what about the paranormal stuff? Good questions.

I can only speak for myself. Seems to me that the focus in romance is, well, romance. The story revolves around the relationship between the H/H and the nice outcome. In chick lit, I think the story revolves around the unfolding/growth/journey of the main female character. She probably has romance and sex, or she might go off and climb some mountain (literal or metaphorical), but the focus is on her.

I'm influenced by Laurell K. Hamilton's series of Anita Blake books. She has an interesting cast of characters, and various relationship/mystery elements in each installment. If I remember correctly, the Anita character didn't have sex for several books (of course, now she's making up for all that lost time). She couldn't decide between the 2 men in her life for quite a while. Her books don't fall into the category of "romance," but her relationship with Jean-Claude is pretty damn toe-curling for me.

Maybe I write mainstream contemporary paranormal fiction w/romance and suspense elements. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Well, wait a minute. Did I mention that my book is written in first person, with a tendency toward flow-of-consciousness, introspective dialog and an intention of being humorous?



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