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29 Days of Writing: Day 8 - Joelle's misc
January 17th, 2011
10:01 am
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29 Days of Writing: Day 8

8. What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

Best start with a disclaimer: I'm not up on all the tags/boxes/labels people stick on things, so my answer might only be generally accurate.

For what I like to read, my broadest answer would be fantasy in general, with occasional forays into science fiction, and the very rare dabbling in horror, usually in the form of short stories only. For a more specific answer, there are subgenres of fantasy I very much dislike: urban fantasy in particular and historical fantasy as well; if it's too heavy on the 'historical,' as such books are always about human cultures, which means it's not anything interesting to me. The reason I read some science fiction is the same reason I prefer certain types of fantasy: the nonhumans or aliens are what draw me to both genres.

My very favorite subgenre to read is animal fantasy/anthropomorphic fantasy, and that itself runs a wide gamut between books like Wind in the Willows and the numerous novels by Brian Jacques, where the animals often dress like humans and are nearly stand-ins for humans, with all sorts of human objects in their homes and cultures (never mind the origin). On the other end of the spectrum (the end I prefer) are books like Watership Down and The Incredible Journey and Sirius, which are much more realistic in presenting the limitations and non-human attributes of their animal characters.

So of course some of you (assuming anyone is reading!) may be wondering why I don't write my favorite subgenre, instead of the high fantasy/epic fantasy genre my works generally fall into. I suppose the Geren novels could be classed as epic fantasy, but Hope's Passage and The Chronicles of Delarun and some hopefully upcoming other stand-alone novels don't fit that very well, being more focused on a single person or place, and not a wide-spanning good-versus-evil sort of confrontation. They might be better classed as just High Fantasy, not epic. But why don't I write in my favorite subgenre, just my second-favorite instead?

I think that's simply due to perfectionism, and in a certain sense, to Providence. If I ever get that 18th-anniversary essay down, readers will see how my work might have actually ended up more linked to the animal fantasy subgenre, if I'd run with one of t'DoL's 'earlier incarnations' earlier in my life. But once I hit latter high-school and college years, my learning in biology rather threw a wrench in the works--I didn't know enough to do it right, and I dreaded doing it thoroughly wrong. So I didn't do it at all. People are less likely to call me out for getting hyarmi wrong than for messing up a canine or feline viewpoint, after all!

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