Holiday writing

I sure am enjoying writing over the holidays! My novel is coming together nicely as I start working on the climax and nearing the end. I have to do some layering, going back to add scenes and amp up the plot. Some of my characters need added depth. I’m not sure they have a realistic balance of strengths and flaws to make them believable. Especially the MC.

I have to check descriptions. Probably I’ll have to add some. I’m sure I’ll have to add emotions to scenes. I always have a little trouble with that. I know I need more suspense. Wow, I have work to do! And I haven’t even started working on ridding the story of filter words, repetitions, passive voice and being verbs.

I’m hoping to finish the story in the next couple of months. Then to start edits before I submit it to beta readers. I’m happy that a couple of writer friends have volunteered to beta read it in addition to some others I have.

Here is a scene I wrote the other night. I’d love it if you’d make a comment about it.

A group of angry men gathered under a tree in the Johnsons’ yard. Anger boiled over onto the women who served meatloaf and scalloped potatoes. It boiled over onto rowdy children who played chase around trees and stumps and through and around the legs of the adults.

                “Wade, you said yourself we caint keep doin’ nothin’. Nobody else’ll help us. It’s up to us to fix things around here.”

                “You got that right, Josiah. I’m sick of the law ignoring us. They don’t care when it comes to river people.”

                Other piqued voices joined in and everyone was talking at once. A man near the center of the crowd raised his hand and shushes spread through the group until all was quiet.

“Pa Eli is speaking,” someone said. All eyes turned toward the small, grizzled man.

                “Folks, anger and bitterness will get us nowhere,” he drawled. Heads nodded, and he continued. “We gotta consider the truth, and we gotta have a plan.” He perched on a tall stump and contemplated his audience. “The truth is, people who got no rights are interrupting our lives and taking what’s ours. We’ve asked for help and got nothing. We gotta take matters into our own hands.”

                Fists pumped the air and affirmations articulated the mood. Once more, all grew quiet when Pa Eli opened his mouth. “One thing we gotta remember—people, good and bad, have value. We have to be careful to protect the innocent.” A long hesitation punctuated the importance of his statement.

“Our creator gave us soul to balance us. We have emotions to stir us, a will to move us, and a mind to guide us. We don’t need to get all riled up and act stupid. We have to use our brains to get us going in the right direction.”

What genre?

I’m working hard on a novel, and someone asked me what genre it is. I don’t know! How do I figure that out? I want it to be a romantic suspense, but I don’t know if it has enough romance to be romantic or suspense to be a suspense. So then, what is it?

I wrote a middle-grade novel about a girl who takes off to find her grandpa who disappeared. She has all kinds of experiences as she treks across the country. On top of that, some strangers are after her. So, is it an adventure? Or is it a mystery since she doesn’t know where her grandpa is, why he disappeared, or who is after her?

Then I wrote a YA novel set in the 60s about a girl with a bunch of brothers and a dad with a double standard. She runs away to join a hippy commune. I don’t think it’s an adventure. It isn’t a mystery or suspense. Not romance. Not paranormal or thriller. A character is in the Vietnam war and there are hippy characters, but I don’t think it has enough history to call it historical fiction.  Drama? I guess. I don’t know what else.

I read articles about how to identify the genre of a book, and most books are easy it seems. People write fantasy, thrillers, horror, and romance. They write cozy mysteries, paranormal, crime, and historical romance. So, I’ll just call my books realistic fiction. That’s what they are. Maybe someday I’ll write a romance or mystery, but for now, I’ll work to make my story more suspenseful and more romantic.