Good morning! And welcome to another Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day! I wait impatiently for these every month, so let’s get right to it, shall we?
October 5 question – What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?
This question is a tough one because I don’t think I really have a favorite genre. I do have a few genres that I don’t particularly care for, but as long as the book hooks me in and keeps me invested, I’ll read pretty much anything.
If I had to pick a genre that I tend to gravitate more toward when I’m out book shopping, it would probably be in the suspense/thriller realm. My mom calls them her twisted mysteries. I guess we’re both twisted readers because we eat that shit up.
It’s funny. As much as I read it, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a suspense writer. Have I written suspenseful things? Sure, especially here on the blog—in fact, all this month I’m writing about the things that go bump in the night for my 31 Days of Halloween Hooligans marathon—but do I know the rules of writing horror, thriller, or suspense fiction? Do I know the tropes of your standard mystery novel?
Do I follow them?
Is impostor syndrome rearing its ugly head again? Maybe so…
One aspect I do enjoy about suspense fiction—and truly any genre of fiction that has suspenseful elements—is the plot twist.
Like my mom says, we love our stories twisted, and any story that throws me a curve ball I wasn’t expecting (like the character I’d thought was the killer for the last 100 pages being the next to get murdered, the reveal of an even worse villain than the one our heroes just captured, “true love’s kiss” not breaking the curse) is a story I will stay up through the night to finish reading.
Of course, the twist can’t be so twisted that it veers completely off the track of where the plot was headed. It should be surprising but not so surprising that it comes out of left field.
One of my favorite television series of all time is The Twilight Zone, which is known for its signature twists at the end of episodes (a character realizing they’ve been dead the whole time, dreaming of a peaceful time you want to escape from a hectic and stressful life to only for it to be revealed that that escape is death). It has heavily influenced my writing, especially recently. Then, of course, there’s my literary grandfather, Edgar Allan Poe. I live for his twisted stories, which is ironic given how few of his characters manage to survive through them…
While my twists may not always be supernatural or criminal, I love including a surprise, keeping people on the edge of their seats, anxious to read what will happen next.
In fact, this blog’s tagline used to be “Love stories with a twist and other peculiar tales,” and I just may change it back as I continue my blog clean-up project, because I can’t simply stick to one genre, and that’s probably why my reading tastes are so diverse too. I’m not satisfied with a basic plot and cookie-cutter conflict, rising action, climax, and resolution. I want to be taken on a ride. I want to be hooked in and dragged over every bump, over every sharp turn. I want to experience the story as the characters do, scars and all.
So what types of stories do you like to read and write? Do you enjoy the plot twist too? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below!
Sidenote: I haven’t been the best IWSG participant thanks to my frequent blogging disappearing acts. I’m on a mission to be more consistent, both in blogging and in writing in general. So I’m not adding my blog back to the linky tool on the Insecure Writer’s Support Group page until I can contribute to at least three blog hop events. This is number two. One more to go!
And if you still managed to find me, I hope you enjoyed this post, as well as my “twisted” reading and writing style! 😉