Notes from An Alien

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Tag Archives: Murder Mystery

Blog Conversation About “Genre” Writing . . .


Our last conversation was about “serious writing”, on May 2nd, 7th, and 9th… Genre Writing

It ended because the last post had no comments…

So, here I go again, starting up a new conversation :-)

I’ll begin with the word history of “Genre”:

1770, “particular style of art,” a French word in English (nativized from c. 1840), from French genre “kind, sort, style” (see gender (n.)). Used especially in French for “independent style.” In painting, as an adjective, “depicting scenes of ordinary life” (a domestic interior or village scene, as compared to landscapehistorical, etc.) from 1849.

If you did a Google Search on “Genre”, you’d have a merry time trying to sort out all the opinions…

Sure, authors often stay within certain well-established genres; like Murder Mystery, Police Procedural, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Alternative History, etc., etc., etc….

Still, my favorite fiction writer, C. J. Cherryh, usually wrote in either Sci-fi or Fantasy (though, she ably warped them at will…); plus she has a series, the Morgaine Cycle, that is both Fantasy and Sci-Fi…

So what is this slippery “quality” of fiction that has well-walled-off communities of writers and readers, as well as many examples of strange and wonderful hybrids of all types; and, certainly, some works that can’t be corralled into any specific category…

Being the kind of writer I am, I can easily go out on a literary limb and say: One could consider each author’s unique style their own particular “Niche” in the book world…

Oh, my, now I have to show you the word history for Niche:

1610s, “shallow recess in a wall,” from French niche “recess (for a dog), kennel” (14c.), perhaps from Italian nicchia “niche, nook,” from nicchio “seashell,” said by Klein and Barnhart to be probably from Latin mitulus “mussel,” but the change of -m- to -n- is not explained. Watkins suggests that the word is from an Old French noun derived from nichier “to nestle, nest, build a nest,” via Gallo-Roman *nidicare from Latin nidus “nest” (see nidus), but that has difficulties, too. Figurative sense is first recorded 1725. Biological use dates from 1927.

So, following my maverick logic, we could consider:

…the author’s “nook” of “style” for their writing; or, the “nest” of their “kind” of writing; or, their particular “sort” of “recess” in which their writing happens…

Too strange to consider…? Or, fruitful of thought…?

What are your thoughts and feelings about “Genre”…?

All it takes is one comment for this conversation to continue :-)
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Author Interview ~ Max E. Stone


It’s my great pleasure to welcome Mr. Stone back to the blog—his first interview here was great; so, let’s get this one going… One Minute There by Max E. Stone
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Max, did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

All I knew was that I always liked to write. I started at nine and at that time it was just a hobby to me. I liked to create stories that, to say the least, scared the crap out of the adults in my life. It was a teacher of mine who told my parents that I could actually make a career out of it. My parents nurtured that gift and I kept going with it; still am going with it.

I know you’ve been super busy with a new launch—tell us a bit about One Minute There.

Sure. This story is the third installment in the Warren-Bennett-Johnson series, which is about a diverse group of families that are interconnected. In One Minute There, Detective Bennett’s step daughter has run off, leaving both her daughter and a trail of blood behind; a trail that, ultimately, the authorities pick up.

What made you write this particular story for the series?

The character Melissa, Detective Bennett’s step-daughter. There were so many different facets and issues with this young woman—reasons for why she is and what she is—that I had to continue and, to a certain degree, explore.

Was there any particular scene that was hardest for you to write?

There’s a scene where Melissa is having a mental breakdown and, in the process, someone close to her almost dies. That was beyond hard to write because I started feeling what Melissa was feeling. I was crying and gasping for air. It took me awhile to get myself together enough to continue the story.

Woah—intense  Are there certain types of scenes, in general, that are difficult for you to write? Love, Murder, _______?

I think love scenes are hard, at least for me, because its about balance. You want to make it hot but not just plain vulgar; intense yet not taking up too much of the story. For that, and for drafts in general, I write everything out and let someone else I trust read it, just to make sure I’m saying what I want to say in the way that it should be said so it will reach the reader. It’s working pretty well.

Did you use any real life in One Minute There?

Yes, I did, especially with conceiving the character of Melissa. Her breakdown was a direct result of abuse and trauma in her childhood caused by her biological father, a psychotic billionaire who used both his hands and his money to terrorize his family, his daughter in particular. While this may not have been my life, I believe that, since the story and those characters came to me, it must have happened to someone

So, Max, do you have any advice for the aspiring writers out there?

I’m just getting my footing and learning the business myself. Thus far, what I’ve learned is that you can’t give up. There are quite a few naysayers out there who will try to deter you from what you love. Just keep going with it. As for your writing style, read a lot, especially in the genre you’re writing. Get acquainted with those styles even while you’re crafting your own. Also, educate yourself on the business of writing as well as marketing. Read up on it and network with other writers. Both are very valuable tools.

What’s next for you?

Currently, I am in the middle of crafting Black Cradle, a story that goes into deeper detail on what leads to each Warren-Bennett-Johnson family member’s current state. This will be released in August. Also, my second book, The Bleeding, is in audiobook production. Noah Michael Levine will be narrating. He’s amazing! You can check out his other titles for audible

Hang on

………

Yep, he’s very good—changes his style for each book

Last question—where can readers find One Minute There?

It’s available on Amazon:
USA
UK

Max, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview!

Thanks for having me!
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