My current WIP, The Hostage Heart, is a story very near and dear to my heart. I have been working on it for 7 years and am currently on my 7th version of the story (I thought it was 5th, but I just checked and it's 7th). When I say "version" I mean each story is drastically different than the others. But this time, I think I finally got it right. And I say that because I outlined this time around.
I'm currently 54k in and having a blast pounding out this first draft. However, as I've been writing, I've also been wondering--what genre is this WIP? Clearly, it is first and foremost a romance, because without the love story the plot would not really exist. But what kind of a love story is it?
The Hostage Heart is set in a fictitious land, reminiscent of medieval Europe. It has that royal, almost fairy tale-like feel to it. However, there is no magic. No fairies, elves, or dragons. No fantasy elements of any kind. There are also no sci-fi or dystopian elements either.
I took the question of "what the heck is this genre?" to the awesome people at iWriteNetwork. The general consensus seems to be that this WIP doesn't have a clear genre. Many of the authors suggested I add an element to make it clearly fit into another genre. Maybe a dragon. Or put it on another planet. Or have it 100 years in the future and make it dystopian. They were all really good suggestions that would make for an interesting story.
I seriously considered this for a few days. Maybe I should add fairy tale elements and go with that. Maybe I should just add a dragon or two and make it fantasy. Make it could work to have it 100 years in the future or on another planet. But then I realized something. I could add any of those elements to this WIP and it would have a clear genre.
But it wouldn't be the book I wanted to write.
And really, if I'm not having fun writing it, the others definitely aren't going to have fun reading it. And what would be the point?
So I'm plugging along, continuing to write the WIP in the undefined genre. And after I'm done with the first draft, I'll step back and see if I should add some other elements to clearly define it. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. But for today, I'm keeping it as is.
One day, I'm going to find an agent that wants to sell the books that I want to write. And that is going to be an awesome day. I'm going to hold out for that agent, and not start writing books just because a particular agent wants to sell something of that nature. Writing is a passion, one I hope to eventually make money at. But that's not why I'm doing it. I'm doing it because it makes me happy. Because the days where I pound out my 2k are better than the days that I don't. Because I enjoy it.
I don't know if this WIP can even sell written as it currently is (after I polish it up and make it pretty, I mean). If I end up getting a zillion and one rejections all saying it isn't marketable without adding some other element, then I'll seriously consider doing just that. But for now, I'm not going to stress. I'm not going to worry. I'm just going to write, and love every second I am doing it. Because I am writing something that I love.
What do you love to write?