Friday, September 17, 2021

Writing in Multiple Genres. The How's and Why's By Connie Vines #RR88, # BWLAuthors, MFRWAuthor, #WritingTip

 This month's topic:

What do I like to write?

"What calls to me?"

Native Americans say the story already exists. The story finds the Story Teller.  It is the Story Teller's duty to give it life.

I was reminded of this when I was facilitating a work shop given by Larry Sellers, Lakota Actor (Cloud Dancing, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman), Native American Historical Consultant, and Fellow for the Newberry Library Center in Chicago. The workshops were attended by the students enrolled in the Title IX Indian Education Program. 

Larry Sellers as Cloud Dancing, "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman"

During a break, we were discussing a project he was developing and he was answering my questions about his experiences in Native American Boarding Schools.

"You must write the story," he said.

 My dismay followed my swift retreat into panic, must have been visible on my face. 

Larry chuckled. "No have no choice."

He was right.  The story prodded at me. I encountered someone, then another someone who had a story to tell me. We went on vacation, I was given a carved buffalo by a craftswoman to help me on my journey. . .it took me five years to complete, Tanayia--Whisper upon the Water. 

The book was the most emotionally draining novel that I've written to date because I felt as if I'd lived the story. 

Other stories I have written have been fun, quirky, and a mini-vacation for me. My, Sassy and Fun Fantasy Series of novellas: Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow (currently available).

Also, my YA/MG and Children's nonfiction articles: Medicine and Magic in Ancient Egypt.A Candle in the Dark.  topic: the Salem Witchcraft Trials and written in diary format,  (Benjamin Franklin Education Series).  and biographical articles about historical figures: Bill Pickett--First Rodeo Bull-Dogger, and numerous others.

I've also been involved in three projects (boxed sets) with other authors. I enjoyed the interaction and the way our stories linked together.  

I completed an anthology "Gumbo Ya Ya". This was a challange because I covered different genres in each story. And each book had a different tone.  "Marrying Off Murphy", "Love Potion no. 9", "A Slice of Scandal", "1-800-Fortune". 

Book Trailer on my YouTube Channel:

Current projects:  2nd novella in my Sassy and Fun Fantasy Series, 3rd story in my Rodeo Romance Series, and I'm outlining several others.

Sometimes the 'story' is very determined.

I wrote the YA/MG article about the Salem Witchcraft Trials was written in diary form. The editor said she hated diary stories. However, she brought the story as it was written. And later became part of an Educational Series.

It took me five years to find a home for my Native American novel. It garnered awards and a National Book Award, nomination.

I write in multiple genres. I write contemporary, historical, paranormal/gothic, and quirky stories.  Where am I the most comfortable?  Where it's the least painful, of course.

My historical stories are painful to write. Why? Because times were hard and life was difficult.  And, since the writer is the venue for the story, the character's pain is also your pain.

For those who recall the movie "Romancing the Stone," the scene where Joan Wilder is crying when she types The End?  

Well, it's more like sobbing through the entire novel and feeling drained afterward.

Will I write another historical novel?  Perhaps. The research is so all-consuming but family history does nudge at me...

I hope you enjoyed my post.


Please visit these authors and read about their thoughts on this topic:

Marci Baun

Victoria Chatham

Skye Taylor

Connie Vines

Dr. Bob Rich 

Judith Copek

Rhobin L Courtright


  1. Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow was a fun read and I loved Love Potion #9 in Gumbo Ya Ya. By writing different genres writers can really stretch their writing muscles.

  2. I write in a variety of fictional genres and tried my hand at a few others. The stories do swirl in the head. Usually, mine are complicated. It’s nice when the story requires very little research. It’s rare, but nice. LOL

    Fun post.

  3. I think for a good story the writer must be emotionally involved in the story as well as the in the writing process! And you are right, some stories are very determined -- they continual prod the mind.

  4. I'm definitely going to download Whispering on the Water. I can relate to your panic at the thought, and also the insistence of the idea that kept propelling you to do it. Some of the books I've written have been like that. The Candidate was one and Worry Stone the other, grew from a personal and compelling experience of someone I knew who shared it with me. Then little things happened here and there to reinforce the story. And both were also the most emotionally draining books I've written. So, now I'm going to go pick you your story of the heart and kick back for a great read.


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