Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thinking Outside the Box

So, I write women's commercial fiction. I like to think I know the genre pretty well - I've been reading it for years and years - and I haven't planned on going outside it as a writer (because I feel so comfortable in it).

Well, I'm currently writing a series, which I've never done before - very exciting! I just started writing the third book, a Christmas book. It didn't start out to be a religious book, but the further I get, I'm realizing the theme is turning in a particularly spiritual direction (unlike the previous two books). I'm letting the characters/plot lead me where they wish, at this point.

Now, for the "thinking outside the box" part: If the first two books in the series end up not getting published (a realistic possibility), I'm going to do something different. I'm going to take this third book, which is virtually a stand-alone book, and try to market it as Christian fiction - find an agent who specializes in that genre! I think it's a creative solution to a potential problem with any series (which is that if Book 1 doesn't sell, then logically, neither will Books 2, 3, 4, and so on...).

As you can tell, I'm excited about this prospect. But the most important thing for me is that, either way it falls (in regard to publishing), I'm still staying true to the original plot that "wants" to be told. I love thinking outside the box!


  1. I think the best writing emerges out of strong belief--religious or other kinds. It's funny to me, though, that there's a separate genre called "Christian fiction." For much of English literary history (and other literatures, too), religious elements were simply part of any work. Most everything written in the Middle Ages (including Chaucer) as well as Shakespeare's Hamlet, and tons of stuff from the 17th-19th century would have to be called "Christian fiction" now. I find that interesting.
    Very best of luck with the series.

  2. Hi Traci, I love your blog! Thanks for the resource that you share with us.

    I was wondering, would you mind sharing a paragraph or something you've written? Your post is a teaser and now I can't wait to read a sample of your material. Happy holidays, Nathalie :)

  3. Gayle - excellent points, about the "Christian fiction" throughout the ages. I find this "new" genre amusing, as well. The only reason I haven't approached it before now is because I found it too confining (there is a specific "formula" to it nowadays, that a character must usually wrestle with a spiritual issue, then get it resolved by the end of the novel).

    Nathalie - thanks so much for the kind words! So glad you found the blog! I've glanced at yours as well (will spend more time with it later) - very impressive bio! I loved your description of your "first publication." Too cute!

    I'd love to share a snippet of my writing. I'll dig around and see what I can come up with. Thanks for asking, and happy holidays to you, as well!

  4. Wise thoughts....and Christian fiction is enormously popular so if that is what results from the series then you will have another genre to pursue. Good luck on publishing ALL!