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I’m feeling a little confused right now, both about my “real” life and my writing life.  A lot of stuff seems to be happening.  Very little of it makes any sense to me.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say for this month’s IWSG post, but then I saw the optional IWSG question:

Quote: “Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don’t write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be.” 

Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Oh, that’s an easy one!  I always know I’m writing science fiction.  I have never been interested in writing anything else, not even for a moment, not even once!

At various points in my life, writing teachers have tried to convince me to be more flexible.  They’d ask me to try something different.  Sometimes they would insist, as teachers do.  “You never know,” they’d say.  “You might like it!”  But I did know.  I was not going to like it.  Not unless I could sneak a Sci-Fi element into the assignment somehow.

I’ll admit I was surprised to discover how much I enjoy writing short stories and novella length fiction.  When I was young, I assumed I wanted to write Sci-Fi novels.  But by writing in shorter forms, I can tell more Sci-Fi stories.  And that’s the thing I want most.  That’s the thing I’ve always wanted most: to tell more and more and more Sci-Fi stories!

And you know, with all the weird and confusing stuff going on right now, it is nice to feel confident about at least one thing.  I write science fiction.  That’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to write.  That’s the only thing I ever will want to write.  I may be questioning a bunch of other stuff about myself right now, but I can at least feel confident about that one thing.

15 responses »

  1. I’m in a similar place in my personal life, trying to decide if it’s time to make a major transition. So I think I know where you’re coming from.

    I’ve long noticed a bias against science fiction from the writing establishment. Sci-fi stories rarely seem to do well in general writing contests. And there are many warnings about being sure you want to write science fiction, because once you do, you’re stuck in it, at least under whatever name you published under.

    But I’m like you. Nothing else has ever had the slightest appeal. (Well, except for fantasy, but that’s the same genre as far as the business is concerned.) And it’s not like we can’t tell mystery, romance, war, tragedy, or comedic stories in the speculative settings we build.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling confident about writing science fiction. You should. You’re good at it. Looking forward to your next book!

    Liked by 2 people

    • J.S. Pailly says:

      Yeah, I’ve heard those warnings about being “stuck” writing science fiction for the rest of my life. I usually say something like, “Gosh, I hope so!”

      And you’re right: science fiction can easily mingle with other genres, and personally I think a bit of Sci-Fi weirdness can make those other genres way more interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Rauner says:

    Real life seldom makes sense – that’s why we read and write stories, isn’t it? They can be more satisfying because there are plots, character arcs, and neat stuff. Do you ever watch any of those ghost-hunting shows? They’re boring. They make no sense. I write scifi too and, sure, it blends into fantasy, but I never wanted to write anything else. Write on, fellow insecure friends.

    Liked by 2 people

    • J.S. Pailly says:

      There are times I really wish life could be more like fiction, with clear beginnings, middles, and endings, and all the rest.

      I don’t really mind ghost stories, or fantasy, or romance or mysteries or any other genre. I just don’t want to write any of those things. I rapidly lose interest unless I can incorporate something sciency.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. emaginette says:

    Nice that you could sort that out early in your career. I tend to roam from genre to genre. It turned out it was all under the speculative fiction umbrella. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Liked by 2 people

  4. chemistken says:

    My genres are firmly fixed in fantasy and science fiction, but my stories all have to contain humor and some craziness. Without that, my words would be bland. I haven’t dabbled in short stories much. Glad you found your niche.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jane tims says:

    I write poetry, mystery and science fiction….. writing sci-fi is the most fun and escapism for the writer. I love finding my way through a world that does not make much sense!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sci Fi and proud! I don’t often read sci fi but I did love Dark Matter by Blake Crouch recently. Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. helenmatheyhornbooks says:

    There is a ‘flexibility’ in scifi in the worlds you create and yet a rigidity in that the science has to be real.(or seem real) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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