What Is The Correct Genre?

literary GenresMy present project, Norman in the Painting, needs a specific genre. I called it a suspense with paranormal elements but someone said that category didn’t fit. A suspense novel involves imminent danger, high stakes, and threats. Usually the readers and characters know the perpetrator, but the problem is to avoid the impending doom. Waves of frightening peril increase in intensity and lead to the crushing climax, and then at the end  all is resolved.

Multiple threats and murders happen in Norman in the Painting, but the focus is not the arc described above.

Mystery seems like a generic description since mysterious elements are in many books in other genres as well. Specific mystery novels have a puzzle to solve, The protagonist has to find out whodunit in a crime that readers do not see happening. Clues are sprinkled throughout the story and the main character’s clever investigative skills unravel the complicated case.

Norman nor Jill have to track clues to know who did what. They have a problem surrounding their relationship that is not under their control. They have to figure out what to do about it.

A romance novel has a hero and heroine who meet, have conflict at first, develop into a romantic relationship, and then live happily every after. Norman in the Painting ends with a slim possibility of Jill and Norman being happy ever after because of the dangerous situation they agree to embrace. It’s less than a 50/50 chance they will be able to remain together. The required expectation that they will, eliminates my novel from the traditional romance genre.

After exploring all the possibilities, I’m back to my original category: a paranormal romance, which gives the novel a freer ending.

What genre is your novel?

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Antanagoge Rhetorical Device

AntanagogeAntanagoge is a rhetorical device that means: putting a positive point on something negative. (2) answering the charge of an adversary, by a counter charge.

Example: She always forgets my birthday, but she gives me gifts during the year.

He lost his job, but he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family.

What Did You Do Today?

cloudy day walk 2What did you do today? Traditionally on this holiday, people dress in colorful clothes, children hunt for dyed eggs, and families have a meal together. I wore dark clothes and walked for an hour enjoying the clouds, the thin mist, the perfect weather, around 60 degrees. I had a different view than the one pictured here, but it’s close enough.

Then I drove to my 90-year-old parents’ home, rang the doorbell with my knuckle since I had some chocolates in one hand and a mini live orchid in the other. We chatted for a couple hours, planned an outing for next week, and I drove home, happy with my perfect, cloudy day.

Paul Levinson's Experiment with "The Other Car"

Paul Levinson headshotHere is a repost from Paul Levinson’s blog on March 31, 2015. I enjoyed “The Other Car” as an inspiring break from working on my taxes. Since I’m writing a novel about alternate realities, Levinson offered another view of how characters/people could become aware of them. The story is available on Amazon for $.99. The year-long experiment he describes below will show income comparison results between selling a story to a magazine as he usually does and self publishing directly as an ebook on Amazon. The link to his blog follows:

Paul Levinson’s Infinite Regress: The Experiment with “The Other Car”: Hey, I don’t usually talk much inside baseball here about my science fiction writing  – how and why I make decisions to get my stories published in this place or that, or try to get them published – but I thought you might enjoy a little of the story behind the story of my recently published The Other Car, which I put up as an ebook on Amazon about two weeks ago.

First, as some of you may know, this is the not way I’ve ever published my short stories.  All of the 40 short science fiction and fantasy stories I’ve published since 1991 – you can see a list of most of them here, at the Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base  – were published the good old-fashioned traditional way.  I sold the story to a magazine – whether print, or more recently, online, or both – for a payment per word, usually 5 to 10 cents per word.   For example, my most recent sale of this sort was for my 5500-word story, “The Wallet,” to Sci Phi Journal #4, which was just published last month.   The Sci Phi Journal paid me 5-cents per word for this story.
THE OTHER CAr without look inside_zpsq8abky65
“The Other Car,” which I just wrote a little over two weeks ago, is coincidentally almost the same length, and is in the same slipstream, new weird, science fantasy corner of the science fiction genre.  I describe it as follows:

James Oleson is beginning to see everything in perfect duplicate – two identical models of cars which are the same down to scuff marks and license plate, two old philosophy books with the same torn pages and inscription in old ink, and twin mail men. Is he losing his mind, or experiencing the birth of a new alternate reality via binary fission?

I decided, as an experiment, to publish this right away as a short story ebook on Amazon Kindle.  I got my friend, world renown illustrator Joel Iskowitz, to do a cover – see below.   The satisfaction to an author in getting a work immediately out to the public is enormous.   But would I make anything close to the money I would have made had I sold “The Other Car” to a magazine?    I priced the short story at $0.99, and as an author I by no means see all of that money, but so far “The Other Car” is off to a pretty good start.  Here’s where it was about a week after its publication on Amazon, on its Top 100 science fiction short story list: …

But the story still has a long way to go to reach what I would have earned had I sold the story for 5-cents a word, let alone 10-cents or more a word, to a magazine.   I’m going to give this experiment a year, and see where I stand then on the story’s earnings.  I’ll be sure to report the results right here.

In the meantime, I’ll list reviews and any other good news about “The Other Car” that may come along, right here as well:

  • 28 March 2015: 1st review of “The Other Car” on Ignite Books – “the end was stunning”
  • 28 March 2015: 2nd review of “The Other Car” on Amazon – “my draw dropped”
  • 28 March 2015: “The Other Car” on SFSignal‘s “140+ Excellent Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror eBook Deals – All Priced Under $4 Each”
  • 31 March 2015: “The Other Car” on Speculative Fiction Showcase‘s “Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month for March 2015”

Meet Your Happy Chemicals by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD

chemicals in the brainI ordered this book, Meet Your Happy Chemicals by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD. The following is a summary of what the back book cover states about four brain chemicals. I thought learning about the chemicals would be useful in showing how our POV character or the antagonist could be deficient in

one or more of the chemicals, which could explain some of their behaviors.

Dopamine makes us jump for joy. Dopamine feels great so we try to get more. It rewarded our ancestors’ will to explore.

Endorphin helps us to mask pain. Our ancestors survived from predator attack because endorphin caused them to feel good. Exercise triggers endorphin so we can safely reach home. Laughing or crying triggers it too.

Serotonin is stimulated by the status aspect…the pride of associating with a person of a certain stature. It triggers our need for respect.

Oxytocin is stimulated by touch and by social trust. It flows when we stick with the herd and create social bonds. Herds protected our ancestors from harm.

In my WIP, Norman in the Painting, my protagonist, Jill, has a need for more dopamine and endorphin. Her inner fears cause her to love running. Her goal is to run three miles every day. The endorphin rush makes her feel safe. Her lack of dopamine causes her to have no desire to explore. She spent most of her years close to her hometown and has no interest in travel. I’ll make sure she will produce more dopamine that will help her grow in her character arc.

The antagonist has a severe deficiency in oxytocin and serotonin.

Does your character have a chemical deficiency?