June 4, 2012

So, what genre of book should I write?

One of my ’20o Things I’d like to do during my life’, is to write a book.  A bestseller would be wonderful, but just writing a book and having it published would be a goal.  Perhaps far-fetched, but a goal nonetheless.

When I think about some of the genres available today, I wonder which I would choose:  romance, mystery, horror, detective, sci-fi, reality…

Romance is not quite my forte.  One of the most popular of all romance style romance, are Harlequin Romances.  Now, I’ve never personally read one myself, but I don’t really think a lot of guys are drawn to romance novels.  Perhaps it’s because we all think we are romantic enough, and don’t need the help of books!  Perhaps we think they are too ‘girly’.  Who knows what the real reason is.  Most guys don’t read romance, and probably even fewer actually write them.

Or maybe I should think about a mystery novel.  Mystery is such a broad term, and a lot of people do read these kinds of novels.  I must also admit that mysteries are not quite something that I find interesting enough to read.  Perhaps it’s my lack of imagination or lack of desire.  A mystery needs to be drawn out, and the final conclusion must be suspenseful and surprising.  As I’m more of a logical person who looks for inconsistencies, mysteries don’t really excite me enough.  Sorry.

Horror.  Now, that would be interesting.  I love a good horror story.  Not the ‘blood and guts’ type of horror, but one that scares the bejesus out of you!  When I was younger, I suppose it kicked into my head that what I saw on T.V. or at the movies or read about was not real.  I can’t really remember the last horror movie I saw or book I read , but it has been a long time since I’ve been ‘scared’.

I like something that gets the heart pumping.  The anticipation of the unknown.  One of my favourite writers, Stephen King, has done a lot in the genre of horror.  At least, that is how I would classify his writings.  My most favourite of all time, is “IT”.  When I really started reading Stephen King’s novels, was when I had a lot of travel time between home and work.  Being able to read on the bus or train to and from work/home, gave me a chance to read, and not fall asleep!

Later on, I found out that my mother and one of my brothers was also ‘into’ Stephen King.  Once I finished reading “IT”, I began reading more and more of Mr. King’s works.  As intriguing as they were, as time went on, and I came to Taiwan, I fallen behind in my reading of Stephen King novels.

Now, detective novels are cliche.  “It was a dark and stormy night.”  How many times we’ve heard this statement as a beginning to a detective novel?  As much as I’ve enjoyed watching ‘Columbo’, ‘CSI’, ‘NCSI’, etc., I don’t think I really have the detective instinct for writing.

Again, a good detective story must have a lot of twists and turns, and in the end, a surprise.  The case is solved, the guilty party being apprehended and the story is done.

I must admit, that I’m not too ‘up’ on who the greatest detectives are.  Sure, there’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his writings about Sherlock Holmes.  I have read several of his stories – who hasn’t?  And besides, who can possibly compare to the legendary Doyle and his stories?

Sci-Fi.  Now that’s something that perhaps I could write about.  However, after the “Star Trek” series (Star Trek, Voyager, The Next Generation, Deep Space 9), and others like Battlestar Galactica, etc., what is left to write about?

Gene Roddenberry did a great job during his life with the ‘Star Trek’ franchise.  He did write other series, such as ‘Andromeda’ and movies like ‘Trek Nation’, among others, none was as legendary as ‘Star Trek’.  Even today, over 20 years after his death, ‘Star Trek’ is still shown on T.V., the movies are still in circulation, and basically, the whole idea of space travel and meeting other beings in the universe, is slowly becoming a reality.

Granted, at the time of this writing, we humans on Earth have not met other beings of other worlds and galaxies, but the idea is still something that we as humans, are striving to accomplish.  Some of the ideas and events and ‘inventions’ of  the ‘Star Trek’ series, have slowly become reality.

In the 60’s when the original ‘Star Trek’ series was produced, there was no such thing as cell phones or computers as they are in use today.  I think that Gene Roddenberry was not only a pioneer in new technology, but did give us the impetus to expand our lives and see beyond the present.

Reality is a tricky one.  It takes a great writer to write about everyday life.  Writing about one’s life, or the generation, or ‘the times’, is tricky.  It’s almost a type of history book.  If written good enough, writing about reality can be a look into the past.

There are many writers who wrote about their lives and times, but perhaps one of the most notable would be Charles Dickens.

Charles Dickens was an English writer.  Born in 1812 and passed away in 1870, is an acknowledgment that life was not a long-term idea.  However, he did write and publish many books and novels during his time on Earth.

One of the most famous writings, must be ‘A Christmas Carol’.  Having been alive during Queen Victoria’s reign of England, he grew up in the ‘Victorian Era’.  Life was difficult.  You were either a rich person, or a poor person.  Having grown up in the Victorian era, Charles Dickens was able to write about the life and times of people like Oliver Twist.  A child who was an orphan, and eventually becoming part of the ‘upper society’.

Times were a lot different during those days of the 1800’s.  Anyone who has watched the movies or read the books of Charles Dickens, has an idea of what life was really like during the 1800’s.  Who would we read about to appreciate life in the 1900’s?

When we think about the 1800’s, most people would agree that life was difficult.  From 1800 to 1899, our thoughts and ideas would not change a lot.  When we think about the 1900’s, since this is our time period, we can see that there were a couple of world wars, conflicts between nations, racism, new technology, the barriers between the upper and lower classes becoming less split, the colonization and strengthening of other societies…  The 1900’s may have started as an 1800 society, but ended as a 21st century society.

The population of the world has increased.  Baby boomers are the lawmakers now.  There are those that live in conditions similar to the vast population of the 1800’s (poverty, homelessness), and those that are ‘super rich’ – not needing or wanting of anything.

With the advent of the ‘baby boomers’, many of us want to make our mark on the world.  As with the peoples before us, only a few will be able to relate what society was like during the 1900’s.  It will be a few years before someone will be recognized as the writer of the 20th century.  Not every writer this century will be able to relate what life was truly like for the average person.

Could I do that?  Not likely.  I’m sure there are other writers out there, in our vast population of over 6,000,000,000, who can show the readers of the 21st century, what life was like during these times.  It would be wonderful to one of many people to talk about life in the 1900’s, but I doubt that I am.

So, back to the drawing board, so-to-speak.  What kind of book could I write?

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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