I thought everyone wrote in just one genre, but once I started writing books, I discovered I am interested in a few. What genres do you write in, or like to read? Have you got any really weird and obscure ones?
I have written a lot of travel journals
The best were done during the times in my life when things got a bit mad. Though Charles Bukowski called writing “a form of madness”, I also think it is a form of exorcism, and writing journals has definitely got me through the tough times.
Forward-wind to today, and I realised that those journals were crying out to become books. When the journal is about travelling to interesting places then sure, turning that into a book is fairly easy to do. But when it is about a more personal period in my life, then it’s a much greater challenge to make it generic enough to be of interest to a reader. So, that is my task for the next few years, because I have quite a few journals from the mad and bad years that I think are worth turning into books.
But as a result of all that untrained, sometimes uncontrolled, writing mania, I have developed a particular style of writing that I have come to fall back on, and I soon realised that it has strayed from the path of good writing a bit. I talk about that issue in my post called, How good is your writing style?
As I shared in my post What makes you a writer? , I no longer write poetry. I did it for about two decades almost every day incessantly, it helped me to stay sane. That was also before the advent of computers, so I now have a huge black box full of poetry notebooks. I will never get them all transferred into a computer, and I have to accept that fact, as much as I have to try. So far I have digitised two of them, and both of them are audiobooks as well as e-books. I prefer writing prose these days.
Roman à clef
It turns out that most of my writing is memoir genre at some level, this includes the travel writing, but I recently discovered I enjoy writing in the genre of Roman à clef, which is a kind of fictional writing based on memoir. Because it is fictional, it gives me a lot more freedom to elaborate and stretch the plot, and so I can get a bit fancier, and because it is based on autobiographical experiences the events are already there, they require no imagining.
I made my first attempt at Roman à clef last summer 2019 while travelling through California and Oregon. I wrote about the period of time just before I left England in 2007. It was a difficult period in my life, I was hitting a mid-life crisis, and my life as an impresario and party-animal was tilting. I needed to change my ways, and I was not at all ready to let the good times go. As a result, I was having some problems. Life got messy. Perfect material for a later book!
Though it was a time in my life which still makes me shudder to look back on, it also serves as a good example of where writing acts as a form of exorcism. Using Roman a Clef style, I set about penning a fictional story around the real-life experiences and while I did so, I applied a bit of self-therapy.
It rolled out my fingers, only took me a couple of months, and then the first draft of the book was done. Pen to paper with not a computer in sight because I like to write that way when I travel, and I was spending most of the time in a tent anyway.
The first draft was a surprising 120K words long and some of the extraneous fat will need to be stripped out, so it should reduce. I am aiming at about 80 to 90K words in the end. It is currently half-way to being transferred into my computer from the notebooks that I wrote it in.
Interestingly, I did not need to fictionalise very much at all. It turns out that I don’t like to stray too far from the truth even using Roman à clef as I get bored when I do, and if I did a thing in life, then I want to write about it. Plenty of things happened back then that are whacky enough so that I did not need to make anything up, but there is another problem with that – a lot of people probably won’t want me to write about them. Haha. [sudden serious face] But that is something I have to consider carefully before publishing, I guess.
I love writing humour and developing psychotic characters. I think the psychopath in me gets to play on the page. I have written one book so far called Pussy Productions. That was great fun to write. I suspect the name puts some people off, but I decided it needed to be called that since that was how it began and the whole story revolves around the fictional London porn company. It’s really not all that trashy, well not very often.
I absolutely adored the characters I came up with and really enjoyed developing them. Even better, I have started to get ideas for a sequel to it, though I am not sure when I will get around to writing that.
Education and Self-help
I spent a decade learning meditation. I still do it, but I reached a level where I no longer had to go at it like I was trying to get a doctorate degree! I hope to write a book about that journey soon.
Then during that time I set up and ran The Temple Space with Jodie, and we were doing all sorts of relationship and personal-journey workshops. It was good fun, but in the end we were both called to do other things.
During that time I was also learning and indulging in a lot of Eastern style Tantra, and I have written a book about that, or I should say co-written with my partner in crime Jodie who joined me on that journey. The name is a bit cheeky, but we called it,
Really the book deals with relationships and communication, it’s got some great knowledge in there and can help anyone reach the point where they are able to talk with their partner about their true desires and feelings and both get what they want. The secret, if there is one, is in the communication. Communication is everything!
Tantra is great, but there is a lot of myth surrounding it and a lot of rubbish that is touted as Tantra, but that really is not.
I enjoy writing non-fiction, adult educational books, but I find them less interesting to do than the travel journals and the humour/fiction I write.
Dystopia & Science Fiction
It’s in there, I just haven’t got round to writing it yet. I planned a trilogy, it is worked out to the n’th degree. In fact, when I started taking my writing a bit more seriously, it was the first idea I worked on.
It is set in Wales, in the present time, on a camping trip or rather it starts there, but I won’t say anything more on that because the plot needs to remain obscure, and currently I have so many other projects I promised to do first, that I actually have no idea when I will have the time to get to finish it. Probably about 5 years time, seriously, I have easily enough other books that are finished but just need tidying up, to cover the next decade.
Content is not an issue for me, time is, as well as where the hell I am supposed to put the damn commas!
OK well, this has gone on long enough today. Thanks for reading this article, hope you got something from it. Why not post into the comment section what genres you like to read or write in, have you got a really obscure thing you like writing about?