Monday, October 13, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 8: Genre

Now Playing: Destiny OST - The Traveler and The Fallen

I forgot to mention something important yesterday o-e THE NANOWRIMO SITE RELAUNCHED. I've been wasting time in the forums, of course, and still planning for my NaNo novel. And I just...there's so much to much I have to figure out...and I'm entering that usual This Will Always Suck And You'll Never Be Published paranoia.

But yeah.

At least I got the synopsis down? It's unpolished, and skirts the dangers of character soup and too much back story/not enough character with some weird rhythm thrown in for good measure >.< But I like getting at least the general idea of the story down. Or at least the beginning of it...

This is what I have of it so far:

At the dawn of the 25th century, through advancements in technology and to accommodate the rapidly growing population, humanity has surged throughout the solar system, but the drive to explore neighboring systems continues. In 2402, the newly discovered Vanir system--some eight light years away---is believed to be harboring binary worlds with possible early life forms. A.I's and machines are sent to collect data. Nine years after their arrival, contact is lost. 

Amber Jackson is the first successful genetically engineered human, operating a fully cybernetic body. She is a specimen, a soldier, and one of humanity's greatest achievements. It is because of her illustrious life with the military that she is recruited for a mission to Vanir. Dr. Kathleen Monroe--director of Promethean Cybernetics and one of the modern pioneers of Artificial Intelligence--plans to find the reason behind the A.I's silence. 

It is September 2440, fourteen years since humanity lost contact with the A.I's in Vanir. Dr. Monroe, Amber Jackson, and a small crew within the UNSS Valkyrie leave the solar system in route to the binary worlds.

Link for the NaNo novel page.

But anyways, speaking of sci-fi ...

QUESTION 8: What's your favorite genre to write? To read? 

ALL of science fiction and fantasy is my thing--both as a reader and a writer.

The weight of these components vary per story. Sometimes there's a heavy focus on A.I's, spaceships, interstellar travel, world building, politics of kingdoms, magical rules, mythical creatures, etc, etc. Other times, it's as casual as one tiny thing that's hanging in the background. I always focus on characters and not the worlds, but I also don't want to say I don't write stuff like "other" sci-fi and fantasy. Mostly because I worry that statements like that are just unfair to the genres. It's not uncommon for other writers try and put themselves apart from sci-fi and fantasy, as if they're just considered too childish or simplistic or downright unattached from reality to be approached as character-focused, mature fiction. It's kind of like when Stephenie Meyer said her book The Host wasn't really like other sci-fi because it was a very human story and had no time travel or laser guns or yadayada. It's the same with some of Margaret Atwood's stuff, or Orwell's 1984 (professors throw fucking fits at the idea of it being sci-fi EVEN THOUGH IT SO TOTALLY IS), or even the kind of awesome I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream story. Even Philip Pullman--who has witches and talking animals in His Dark Materials-rejects the label of fntasy.

Human-centered, realistic, interesting sci-fi and fantasy is not uncommon!!!! There's endless possibilities and subcategories in sci-fi/fantasy, which is one of the reasons I love them so much.

...which is why this rant just happened.


I've been obsessed with these genres since I was very young. Fantasy came first, I guess because it was a lot more accessible to me. Harry Potter happened, and though I was too young to understand Lord of the Rings, I did get to see the last movie in theaters and was enamored by the world. My parents also bought me the His Dark Materials trilogy a little after the film adaptation came out, and though I didn't make it to the third book that first reading round, I adoredddddd The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife.

For a long time, I resisted  writing sci-fi because it intimidated me. All the works I knew from the genre had left great legacies and profound impacts in the real world. Or at least had a great amount of attention paid to the sciences backing them up. I was certain I could never write such great things.

Video games were what surprisingly helped me open up to sci-fi, as well as the TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It was because of finishing the Halo trilogy that I decided I wanted to be a sci-fi writer, and Terminator: TSCC geared me toward post-apocalyptic narratives with a touch of cyberpunk. That's how Redemption was born. After Mass Effect and reading the first book of Asimov's Foundation saga, as well as Ender's Game, I knew I had to try more of it--space opera, heavy, soft, military, cyberpunk, etc, science fiction.

I think the older I grow, the less I'm interested in "small" stories >.> I somehow work in fight scenes, chase scenes, large scale conflict, one or two explosions, etc. I don't really care about the social conflicts of a small suburban town isolated from the rest of the world. Because nOPE. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FLASHY STUFF :D BLOW SOME SHIT UP.

I promise, I'm not writing shitty Hollywood explosions for no reason...I care about my characters, I love complex development! I just also really love firework-like things.

Okay, I'm not doing much to support the "sci-fi and fantasy can be mature and realistic" argument butttttttt just because I'm not interested in super small scale stuff doesn't mean the genre doesn't have that kind of thing. And besides, if you can believe it, flashy stuff doesn't have to take away from the focus of characters and interpersonal conflicts. It's just happening along, y'know, machine gun fire or something.

There's so much to offer :D So I'll go to the grandiose corner and party it up there.


  1. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Two updates two days in a row? @_@Madness

    1. I gotta do something while avoiding essays o-e

  2. There's an old I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream PC game in which the author voices the evil supercomputer AM. He does a fantastic job.


"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.