Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Plus Genre Smashing with Tara Tyler, Marvel Movie Trivia Answers, and Ninja and Alex News

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts today are Sarah Foster, Joylene Nowell Butler, Lily Eva, and Rhonda Albom! Please stop by and thank them for helping today.

The IWSG admins will have a really cool surprise for you guys on the three year anniversary next month – don’t miss it!
And at the Facebook IWSG, we’re dropping Saturday and moving News and Promo Day to Friday.

As for my insecurity today…

I sent my latest manuscript to my critique partners Tuesday night!

After making all the adjustments suggested by my test readers and fine-tuning it a few more times, it was ready. I’m happy with the writing. (Yeah, after three books, I’m finally getting a handle on this grammar and structure thing.) Now, will the story be good enough? Was the original idea, sparked from a song’s storyline, really enough to sustain a novel length story?

All I can do is wait…

Be sure to visit others on the IWSG list!

Genre Smashing

I'm trying to keep this short - it is IWSG day after all. I'm very happy to be here at Captain Ninja Rockstar Alex's megablog talking about...

Sci Fi and Fantasy - Why are they smashed into one big genre?

The major genres in a bookstore are...

FICTION - - - MYSTERY - - - ROMANCE
THRILLER - - - SCI FI/FANTASY

How can they do that? Sci Fi makes me think of robots and space adventures, Star Wars or the Matrix! And Fantasy is totally about faeries, magic, and kingdoms, like the Hobbit! How can they callously throw Sci Fi and Fantasy into one genre??

Well, here's my theory. The biggest element that separates these two from the others is they are both out of this world! Literary fiction, mystery, romance, and thrillers are "realistic" fiction, usually based in a setting of the here and now (or historical). Sci Fi and Fantasy are prodigies of imagination, inspiring infinite possibilities, without the limitations of reality. Writers of Sci Fi and Fantasy stretch the minds of readers. And we usually incorporate pieces of the other genres, too. The fantastic magical or technological settings set them apart!

That and the fact that if they split them into two genres, the sections would be much smaller...

Do you all have any theories of why Sci Fi & Fantasy are grouped together? Out of the top five, which is your favorite genre?

Thank you so much for having me on this busy day, Alex!
NEW! Try this BEASTLY SURVEY and find out which beast you are!
(And don't forget to enter the new August giveaway!)

BROKEN BRANCH FALLS (MG Fantasy)
by Tara Tyler

Available at Barnes and Noble ~~~ Amazon
Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Find Tara -
Ninja News 
Melissa Bradley has been battling cancer and all the crappy stuff that goes with it for the past few months. The bills are huge and Melissa is struggling. A friend of hers set up an account at Go Fund Me for people to make donations. If you know Melissa and are able, she could really use some help.


Joy Campbell is hosting the Who’s Your Hero Blogfest on October 20. See her site for details.

Available now - Queen of Hastinapur by Jai Joshi





Book Trailer!
Induction Day ... Book 2 in the Butterman Time Travel series by PK Hrezo


Alex News

Voting is open for a few more weeks at the EFestival of Words AwardsCassaStorm is nominated for best science fiction, so if you enjoyed it, please register and vote HERE

Jeremy Hawkins is doing a Summer of T-Shirts series, and on Tuesday he featured my favorite t-shirt. Do you think you know what it is…?

And the awesome Stephanie Faris graced me with the Wonderful Team Member Award. Thanks, Stephanie!

The list of those who have worked hard to support this community is long, but I’m just going to focus on one person. Tina at Life is Good is the kick-butt heart and soul of the A to Z Challenge Team. She keeps the rest of us in line with tough love. And this past month, she was in the hospital for over two weeks and is still trying to recover. Plus Monday was her birthday. Tina, we love you, we miss you, and you are awesome.

Movie Trivia Answers

Marvel movies!
1 – Vampire trilogy - Blade
2 – Actor who started in one series and then hit it big with another series – Chris Evans (Fantastic Four-Avengers)
3 – Blind superhero - Daredevil
4 – In X-Men 3, Jean Grey becomes…Phoenix
5 – Worst rated film of the past twenty years – Elektra (10% on Rotten Tomatoes)

More trivia coming soon!
And movie reviews.
And maybe it’s time I announced another blogfest…

Do you know why the genres are smashed together? Signed up for Joy’s blogfest? Who do you think is a wonderful team member? Get any of the trivia right? And what is your writing insecurity today…?

181 comments:

Murees Dupé said...

Good-luck with your manuscript. Critique partners always scare me. Don't worry, I know it will be great. Wishing you the best.

TBM said...

Best of luck Alex! And sending positive thoughts Melissa's way. It's wonderful of you to share the the link for the fund. And I never understood why sci fi and fantasy are lumped together.

Rhonda Albom said...

I am honored to be one of your co-hosts and don't envy your waiting time. Keep busy and don't think about it, as skill that some people (like my hubby) have, but I have never been able to master. I am sure it will be awesome, and even better with a great group of critique partners. Consider yourself lucky to have them.

Sarah Foster said...

Good luck with your critique partners! It can be scary but they can help see things that you can't. I think getting a story idea from a song is really awesome...I usually find ideas in the strangest places.

Thanks for letting me co-host!

stu said...

I'm with Terry Pratchett on this one in thinking that they fundamentally are one thing, a broader kind of imaginative fiction.

Good luck with the critiques.

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm sure you'll get some great feedback from your critique partners. Congrats on finishing another novel, btw.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I do think it's possible to write a book based on a song. I've had the idea myself. And sounds like your ms is off and running...Good Luck!

Jennifer Hawes said...

I think sending a ms off to CPs is a big insecurity for all writers! Then sending it off to AGENTS, well, I just find myself in the fetal position;-) My fave genres are mysteries and thrillers, but I will read anything as long as the story is unique and the voice is strong.

Sandra Almazan said...

Some people say Star Wars is fantasy set in space, while Star Trek was pitched as a Western in space. The genres are closer than most people think.

Congrats on finishing your book, Alex, and congrats to everyone with news!

Liza said...

I'm sure the feedback from your readers will be great. The more you practice...right?

Donna K. Weaver said...

Since I'm not much of a horror fan, it also irks me that horror is thrown in the Fantasy/SciFi mix.

But I like your explanation.

Mina Burrows said...

Sounds like you're almost done with your novel. That's awesome!

Go Tara! I love the book concept and cover.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Murees, I have some excellent ones, so I'm not too worried.

Rhonda, thanks for co-hosting, and I have a lot that will keep me busy while waiting.

Sarah, thanks for helping this month!

Sandra, very true.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome you finished your manuscript and got to the stage of sending it to your critique partners. That's a big accomplishment.

Mason Canyon said...

Good luck with your manuscript, no doubt you nailed it, and good luck with the awards voting. Neat trivia, couldn't guess a one. :) Interesting thoughts on Sci Fi and Fantasy.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I don't think you've got anything to worry about when it comes to writing. Can't wait to see what you've cooked up when it gets published. As for Chris Evans...yeah he's my favorite actor. He can be in as many Marvel franchises as he likes. The man can do no wrong.

Arlee Bird said...

The whole thing about genres can be a tough one. My writing tends to blend genres and maybe is too out of the norm. I've been a bit insecure about that. I just really need to proceed and not think about it too much. Genre labeling is just a convenient way to categorize things, but sometimes I think it confuses the issue.

C'mon Tina! We need you at A to Z!

Lee
Tossing It Out

Tara Tyler R said...

so excited to be here today! thanks so much!

congrats on getting your MS to CPs! that's a huge accomplishment - and i've been inspired many a time by songs!

and per the last post - love MJ's song inspiirations! great choices!! so glad to see her getting out and about!

thanks again!

Carolyn Brown said...

Best of luck with the critique of your new work and I hope Cassa Fire goes well in the voting!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats on sending your manuscript to your critique partners.

Since fantasy ends up with paranormal and all that other stuff, I think it should have its own section.

Christine Rains said...

My insecurity is about waiting too. Great guest post by Tara today. I think the two genres are stuck together because decades ago, there were much fewer books in those genres. Have a great hump day! :)

Jo said...

You know I am rooting for you and your new manuscript Alex. I echo your good wishes for Tina as well.

No idea why the lump those two categories together but no matter what, they are my favourites.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm sure your ms is going to be great, Alex.

Hmm, another blogfest.... Maybe some kind of end of summer blowout? :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Bish Denham said...

And you thought you wouldn't keep up with the writing... Way to go, Alex!

I think it's about time they separate the two genres. When hubby goes into a bookstore and looks on the shelves he's turned off because mostly what he sees in fantasy (looking at covers) and what he wants in SciFi. He doesn't want to have to sift through the former to find the latter.

Pat Hatt said...

I got the last one right, even with 50 guesses lol

Not sure why they are grouped together, has to be a out there fiction thing, I guess.

Good luck with the critque

Cathy Kennedy said...

Best of luck on your newest manuscript, Alex. I have fallen out of grace with the IWSG the past two months. Yeah, it's totally my fault...sort of...anyhow I linked back up today. Hopefully, I won't make THAT same mistake. My favorite genre is either Mystery or Thriller. I'm not sure which I like the best. I guess it depends largely on my mood.

Brian Miller said...

ha. so are you anxious awaiting the response from your crit partners? i would be...i love to see what they like, what they didnt...it stings at times but it is all part of the process....

i figure they lump sci fi/fantasy together so i dont have to walk far to keep looking ...haha

kaykuala said...

To have completed your manuscript is a finality.You could nail it down even though it could be so elusive. A finality is a success story! Wonderful write Alex!

Hank

Suze said...

Alex, I'm so happy for you that your manuscript is out with readers. Congratulations!

J. A. Bennett said...

Sci-fi and Fantasy are two of my favorite genres! I wish there was more so they could have their own section! And Alex, I wish I was still doing IWSG, but I'm happy to tell you I really benefited from it even though I can't do it anymore. thank you!

T. Drecker said...

Oh, so one figures this structure thing out someday? :) Congrats on getting that MS out, and here's hoping for the best.
I've always found it a little silly that scifi and fantasy are clumped together but believe it has to do with the amount written earlier. Today, it makes for a monster pile.

Jennifer Lane said...

I think your theory about why the genres get lumped together is a good one. It might also represent ignorance about what these genres are. These aren't my favorite genres (I gravitate more toward romance and fiction) so I might consider them the same if I didn't know authors like you!

Good luck with unleashing your manuscript! I'm close to getting my ARC out and that is indeed nerve-wracking.

Loni Townsend said...

Waiting is one of the toughest parts of writing. I hope you stay sane, Alex.

I've read about the mashing of SciFi and Fantasy into one genre. They said it was because men read scifi in magazines, and then this weird new style came out called fantasy. They didn't know where to put it, but a couple pieces got accepted to the men's magazines and they ended up grouped together, even though they are completely different.

Al Diaz said...

I got two out of three. Good score, hahaha.
I am sure your manuscript will only come back better because you got yourself some awesome critic partners. :)

L.G. Smith said...

Didn't know this latest novel was inspired by a song lyric. Very cool. I'm sure your crit partners are gonna love it.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

That's as a good a reason as any I could think of. It is odd, though. They're quite different genres, and don't even necessarily appeal to the same people.
I'm sure your ms is great and your cps will love it! :)

Karen Walker said...

Waiting for feedback can be hard, but it's nice that you feel good about your writing now after three books, Alex. Love that your new book was inspired by a song lyric. So fitting...

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

That's as a good a reason as any I could think of. It is odd, though. They're quite different genres, and don't even necessarily appeal to the same people.
I'm sure your ms is great and your cps will love it! :)

Catherine Stine said...

Interesting that your novel idea came from a song line. Ideas can come from the oddest places. I am still, after completing an MFA in creative writing, STILL learning things about punctuation and grammar. Ack!

Al Penwasser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Al Penwasser said...

Fantasies are about magic, faeries, and kingdoms? Whoops.
I better let Mrs. Penwasser know. She'll need to ditch that French Maid's outfit.
And I guess I shouldn't wear that cowboy get-up anymore.
Rats.

Shell Flower said...

I'm sure your new manuscript is great and is about to get even better. Good luck with that. I agree, Sci-Fi/Fantasy are all about imagination. That must be why they are smashed up! Oy, and I didn't know any of that trivia...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michael, thanks, and I think my wife thinks the same thing about Evans.

Lee, just write and see what happens.

Tara, you're welcome!

Madeline, a summer blowout sale!

Bish, I agree!

Pat, how could you miss?

Cathy, welcome back!

Brian, I'm anxious because I want it back now!

JA, that's all that matters.

Loni, that's interesting.

LG, the whole song. In fact, almost every line ended up in the story.

Catherine, that means there's hope for the rest of us!

Al, you two just go for it.

Jay Noel said...

I'm all for books that mash up various genres. For sure.

And best wishes with your new work. Looking forward to learning more about this secret project that isn't supposed to exist. Ha!

Bob R Milne said...

Wow, 3 years on the IWSG, eh? That's amazing.

Congrats on your progress with the latest book. Can't wait to see it.

DAVID WALSTON said...

My favourite wednesday of the month, eless wednesday is a payday!

E.E. Giorgi said...

good luck with your test readers, I'm sure the story is fantastic! as for genre smashing... heh, I wrote a police procedural with sci-fi elements, so what can I say? I think that with the advent of the e-book we're bound to see more and more genre smashing, and it's good: we're not restricted to physical bookshelves anymore, so it's good that we explore! :-)

Mark Means said...

With three books under your belt, you shouldn't have too many insecurities. Though, as I have always said, -some- insecurity is good if only to help keep us "honest" :)

Congrats to Tara and wishing her much success!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I can't believe you're insecure about your books, Alex. I mean, you're YOU. The Captain! Your skills are unlimited! Can you hear the crowds cheering? Yay, Alex, Yay, Alex... Yay, Alex.

Crystal Collier said...

Wahoo for PK and everyone else.

You know, it's amazing. No matter how many books you've written or how many people tell you they like what you've done, putting something new out there is always scary--even if it's only to your soft audience. =)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I could say that the genres are smashed together because there are so many books that meld the two genres. But I think the real reason is that most people don't know the difference between science fiction and fantasy.

J.L. Murphey said...

Fiction- lump all the fictions together if they don't know what it's about.

Emma Adams said...

Receiving critique notes is always nerve-wracking, but I'm sure you'll be fine. :) Good luck!

Emma Adams said...

Receiving critique notes is always nerve-wracking, but I'm sure you'll be fine. :) Good luck!

Michelle Wallace said...

Congrats on completing another manuscript, Alex!

I really have no idea why the genres are lumped together. Maybe because both require a major S-T-R-E-T-C-H of the imagination.
I DO know that I have the greatest respect for anybody who writes in these genres. The world-building is quite daunting!
I'm all signed up for Joy's blogfest.

Nicki Elson said...

If that spark of a story idea was compelling enough to get you to commit the time to writing it all out, I'm sure it's made a mahvelous tale!

Fantasy is my favorite genre to read yet it's a very rare thing for me to be drawn to a SciFi book...so I have no idea why they're mashed.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Alex,

Congrats on getting to the end. I'm sure the story will be worth it if you've managed to write all of it from your original inspiration.

Melissa has been a real trooper. I admire her spirit. Hoping Tina gets well soon.

As to Tara's question, I'd guess that since Sci-Fi & Fantasy stories are oftentimes out-of-this-world, maybe that's why they've been thrown together.

Thanks for giving the blogfest a shout out. Much appreciated.

Marta Szemik said...

It's sounds like you're going to have a great third book, Alex!
My prayers go out to Melissa <3
My insecurity this month is anxiousness.

J Q Rose said...

When you think about ALL the genres could be listed under mystery. Think about. The ending is a mystery till you read to the last page no matter if it's romance, thriller, sci-fi, mystery, etc. Best wishes on your new novel. That's great news!! My insecurity is re-writing on my blog today. Thanks again for being at the helm of IWSG.

jaybird said...

You did the work, now it's time to rest. Until the revisions come back! Best of luck with your new manuscript.

Liz Blocker said...

I think Tara has it right - that's one of the best explanations for why sci-fi and fantasy are grouped together that I've heard!! I also think that many books combine the two, since sci-fi naturally lends itself to a totally different kind f world.

Good luck with your critiques, Alex!!

Tina said...

Wow. Thanks for that, Alex. Thank you. Means more to me than you'll ever know. (People are already staring at the girl with the wheelchair and oxygen in this public free wifi place, so who cares if I'm crying too...)

Sci/fi and fantasy can be shelved together but they are SO not the same genre. Says the sci-fi writer.

Tina @ Life is Good
On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

Melissa said...

Waiting on crit feedback can be nerve wracking. Good luck!

Lots of news as always. Prayers going out for Melissa and Tina.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jay, my last two books weren't supposed to exist either...

EE, good point.

Mark, I want to stay honest.

Thanks, Joylene.

Dianne, and there is a difference.

Joy, you're welcome!

Tina, you are most welcome!!

S. L. Hennessy said...

Writing is hard, but getting critiqued can sometimes be harder. But we've all read your work and you have to know how great it is. Trust your critique partners and your own skills. And just FYI, I can't wait for you to finish this one so I can read it.

M Pax said...

Hope we see your shiny new book soon.

I think sci-fi and fantasy overlap a lot. Not all fantasies use magic and not all sci-fi is set in the future or in space.

M Pax said...

Hope we see your shiny new book soon.

I think sci-fi and fantasy overlap a lot. Not all fantasies use magic and not all sci-fi is set in the future or in space.

farawayeyes said...

Finally ready for the IWSG.

Trivia, Ha,ha,ha.

Glad your book is finished and out there. I'm sure it will do well.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Good luck with your manuscript being read by others! It always makes me nervous too, but I do like getting a response so I know what I can improve or if I should maybe go another direction.

I think Fantasy and Sci-Fi are grouped more often. They do have similar aspects, but are very different, especially from a writer's POV.

Chrys Fey said...

Good luck, Alex! I know when everything is done you're going to have a great book for us. :)

Birgit said...

Going to the typical bookstore and seeing the average person that works there and combine that with the execs who make the decisions but may not open a book never mind reading one, it is of no surprise they lump the 2 in. Just because they work at a bookstore does not mean they read. When I venture into a used bookstore I notice, often, that each have their own area, it may be side by side but they are not lumped in. Thta is my take. If they would actually know what it means-SCIENCE fiction then they would understand that it is based on science. Fantasy is just that...fantasy. Funny that 100 yrs ago people laughed at others who claimed one could travel to the moon and we accomplished this. Science Fiction represents the future whereas fantasy, to me is from the past in some sense. Centuries ago people believed in dragons, witches and vampires but now, with technology and a better understanding, we know they do not exist except in our minds and creative works. I hope the ladies start feeling better and congrats to you for sending your book off-good luck!!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Good luck with your manuscript, I would be biting my nails if my Crit partners had my MS. I have always wondered why SciFi and Fantasy are clubbed together.

Chemist Ken said...

You've already got three successful books out there already. How can you be insecure about the fourth one? :)

BTW, saw Guardians this week. It was great, although I still think it's only the third or fourth best Marvel movie. My daughter, however, claims that this is the best Marvel movie.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Alex!

My fingers are crossed that your critique partners LOVE it! I'm glad to hear you feel so confident!

Tara!!!!
I like your theory. -- You're everywhere! Its awesome!

Elektra did stink on ice so I guess that would be right. Its a shame cause she rocked that outfit. :)

BLOGFEST? Did you say BLOGFEST?

Heather

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I knew 3/5 trivia. Really good for me. Congrats on sending the book out. I think with steampunk and dystopia fiction the line between scifi and fantasy is getting a little blurry. I wish since it is two genres smashed together they would give it double shelf space.

Gwen Gardner said...

Always so much going on. Thanks, Alex, for keeping our community apprised. I'm sure your new book is going to be awesome!

Lexa Cain said...

Yay for sending your ms to your CPs! Good luck with the FofW award. Even worse than lumping SF and Fantasy together is that Amazon lumps Horror with literary. Say whaaa??

Yay for Tara! I'm adding hr giveaway to my Friday Freebies this week.

Thanks for spreading the word about Melissa.

L.G. Keltner said...

I'm sure your critique partners will love your newest novel! It's amazing how inspirational music can be, isn't it?

It always bothered me that sci-fi and fantasy are lumped together the way they are. They share a few similar elements, and I've seen some stories that blur the lines between the two, but on the whole, they're definitely different genres. Oh well. They're both enjoyable genres, and the sci-fi/fantasy shelf will always remain my favorite shelf in any bookstore I visit. If I have to pick an absolute favorite genre, it has to be sci-fi. Fantasy comes in a close second.

I hope Tina has a speedy recovery!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

SL, thank you!

Mary, very true.

Birgit, those are some great observations!

Ken, just not sure on the story with this one.

Heather, she did look hot in the outfit. And I have an idea for a cool blogfest...

cleemckenzie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Melissa. May the treatment be successful and may she recover from her disease quickly as possible.

I did join Joy's Hero Hop this year. Still scratching my head over who my heroes' going to be.

I got #4 and that's it.

LuAnn Braley said...

Fantastic news about the manuscript!

The genres are smashed together because people have this need to categorize things into big boxes. Even if little boxes are more appropriate, people get tired or lazy; and most people think bigger is better. Bushwah.

Oh, and I suck at trivia. I maybe get one right out of every 5 sets. :p

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Way to go Alex!

I agree with Tara about the grouping in stores.

Julie Flanders said...

I'm sure you'll get great feedback on your ms. Good luck!
And always great to see Tara pop up. :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Best of luck to PK's new book. High sales!! I gave the same question to the last fae in my LUCIFER'S ORPHAN trilogy, and she chose the boy she loved. "Hell, I don't even LIKE most people!" she said.

I know your CP's will love what you gave them to read. Now, off to the blood wars.

Andrew Leon said...

That's always the question or, at least, one of them: Is this idea good enough for a whole novel?

Holli Moncrieff said...

I can totally relate to your nerves over sending off your novel for feedback, Alex. I recently went through the same thing, which is what my IWSG post is about today.

It's always nerve-wracking to send one of our "babies" into the world, and it's disheartening when our vision just doesn't translate for someone whose feedback we respect and trust. I wish you much better luck than I had!

planetpailly said...

I think one of the reasons Sci Fi and Fantasy are joined together i that, depending on who you ask, the line separating them can get pretty blurry. I've met people who insist that, because the science in Star Wars is fairly thin, Star Wars should be considered Fantasy or perhaps "Science Fantasy."

S.K. Anthony said...

How awesome that your manuscript is in CP's hands! Their feedback, good or bad, will make a huge difference. Pretty sure it will be great, though . :)

I think the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres are group together exactly because of that. The "out of our normal" world created is what makes them both stand out . . . even though individually they're both very different. Eh, what do I know? It was great post either way lol :D

Caffe Maggieato said...

Congrats on sending that MS off to your CP's! Looking forward to anniversary happenings. Wow three years. You guys rock! It's um ... comforting to know insecurities can last this long. :P

ilima said...

Waiting for feedback on your MS is ALWAYS nerve-inducing. Hang in there! I'm sure it's brilliant. :)

Leovi said...

Yes, there are songs that can lead to a novel and complete saga!

Maryann Miller said...

Wish I could tell you why the booksellers lump sci-fi and fantasy together in the stores. Maybe because readers tend to cross over from both? I know my husband enjoyed both genres.

Alex, a long time ago I told you I was not a sci-fi or fantasy fan, but that might be changing. Have you hear of the project "Netwars"? The author is a guest on my blog today, and I was forced...er...encouraged to visit the project website. Gosh, I kinda liked it. :-)

Debra McKellan said...

I think the general pop. doesn't take the two genres seriously enough to be separate. It's actually kind of frustrating. I had (what I thought was) a stupid conversation with someone who asked what I write. When I said Fantasy, they kept saying, "Like Star Wars?" Nooo. But then I finally said like LOTR, and they understood. =\

Yay, I got 3/5 right! I totally forgot Chris Evans was in Fantastic 4...Actually I forgot about Fantastic 4. hahaha

Lanise Brown said...

Ah, I just read the answers for the movie trivia, lol. I was mostly right except for question #2. Broken Branch Falls looks cool. And congrats on the award!

Kirsten said...

It takes a lot of courage to give your story over to critique partners, but no matter what their feedback, the best part is that you will benefit from their comments. Congrats on getting to that point! And,if the story is anything like your previous work, I bet they'll love it.
My theory about SciFi/Fantasy is that they grade into each other, and to avoid having to make the distinction, bookstores have chosen to group them together. :)

Carrie-Anne said...

Agent Bree Ogden wrote a blog post awhile ago lamenting how many people seem to think sci-fi and fantasy are one and the same. She used pictures to show the big differences, and said she's really into sci-fi, not fantasy. Apparently a number of people with fantasy books were querying her, under the mistaken idea that her interest in sci-fi meant she also liked fantasy.

Elephant's Child said...

Good luck with your manuscript.
I think the Sci-fi/fantasy hook up is laziness. And spacesaving in book stores. And wrong.

Jeff Chapman said...

Best of luck with your new manuscript. I know how you feel. We can't declare something is good until someone else tells us it is.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Thank you for hosting IWSG, Alex. I'm not good at trivia, so thanks for supplying the answers.
My biggest insecurity is receiving reviews of my work that are not helpful but make me feel insecure in my writing ability.
I don't write about it, though, because I prefer to take the ostrich approach.
Aloha!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lexa, that makes no sense.

Mine as well, LG!

Andrew, I'll find out...

Holli, I'm sorry. At least I'm not concerned about the writing itself.

Planet, but it's in outer space, in a galaxy far, far away... And I've always thought it was more western than fantasy.

Caffe, that made me chuckle...

Maryann, I will come visit!

Debra, it wasn't that memorable...

Gail, the not helpful ones just suck.

M.R. R. said...

I know the feeling about waiting. Hope everything goes well there. And I think sci-fi and fantasy get shelved together because some elements (like time-travel) can belong to both genres.

Lisa said...

I agree with Tara's definition of scifi/fantasy. Seems logical to me, and is the truth... I don't have just one favorite genre, but do tend to favor fiction over non... I'm thinking of Tina too, and glad she's out of hospital! I have to go now and take that beastly survey!

Kim Lajevardi said...

I hope your critiques partners give you lots of love and very helpful feedback.

I believe there are probably numerous reasons why Sci-Fi and Fantasy are lumped together, but primarily I believe it is financial. While there are die-hard fans of each genre, publishers and book store owners are probably hoping to capture new fans and cross-over fans via placement. They're banking on the similarities overriding the differences for those target groups. At least that's my theory.

Jennifer Hillier said...

My writing insecurity for today is that I will never finish this synopsis! Writing a 350-page book is SO MUCH EASIER than writing a 5-page synopsis. Help me.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Congrats on the award and getting a tighter grip on that grammar and structure thing Alex. It's the technology that makes something Sci fi to me.

Juneta Key said...

Good Luck and Congratulations on new book. Thank you for starting IWSG I have met and interact with a log of wonderful writers. Thank you.
Juneta at Writer's Gambit

Jai Joshi said...

Thanks for letting people know of my book release, Alex!

Good luck with the critique group and your manuscript. As you're the author of a successful novel series, I'm pretty sure you've got a good handle on "structure", haha! I just love your modesty.

Best,
Jai x

Haneen I. Adam said...

I think writing a book inspired by a song it totally worth the while, music is pretty important to my writing :) good luck with your project, I hope you get great feedback.

J E Oneil said...

I got most of the trivia! Not number five, though. I blocked Elektra from my memory.

My writing insecurity? The whole thing!

Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

Happy to finally return to IWSG. I do believe we may have to start using this for our family dinner fun. :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

Congrats on completing another book. You rock!
Play off the Page

Cherie Colyer said...

Congrats on getting you latest book done. Thanks for sharing all the ninja news. I love seeing all the great news.

Liz A. said...

One of these days I'm going to join the IWSG. Although, could I limit my insecurities to one day a month?

Li said...

Kudos for sending yet another book out into the wild!! :-)I've often wondered why sci-fi and fantasy were lumped together as well. Of course, at one time our local bookstore also threw in Manga and graphic novels. It was a mess.

Stephen Tremp said...

Best wishes to you and Tara! Good to have those critique partners. Better to catch stuff now than later in the game.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kim, sounds like a good theory to me.

Jennifer, I feel your pain...

Juneta, that's awesome.

Jai, you're welcome.

JE, that's probably a good thing....

Liz, please join us.

Sara Harricharan said...

Best of luck on your manuscript! Grammar and structure always give me a headache.

Sci-fi/fantasy always grouped together, I think because of the otherworldly aspect. It's not the 'normal' that we're used to, it's something different, there are other creatures, powers, places, etc involved, and whether it's by explainable science (sci-fi) or you've-got-to-believe-in-it magic, it's still that other worldly thing. At least, that's what I always find in common when I read both sides.

Emilyann Girdner said...

Congrats on the new manuscript! That's so exciting.

And Tara's new book looks awesome. What a cool cover.

=)

G. B. Miller said...

My insecurity is super basic: money.

I want to make the jump to self-publishing but money is stopping me from actually doing it. Not to pay to have published (yech) but to get a good cover and at this point, a good formatter. I have a couple in mind, but money is what's stopping me from doing so.

I think once I can clear that particular hurdle, then my writing should pick back up again.

Father Nature's Corner

Patricia Lynne said...

Sending a story to crit partners is always nerve wracking, but I bet they will love it and have plenty of ways for you to make it better. =D

Mark Koopmans said...

Yes, Tina is awesome - and "break a leg" when the crits/reviews come back :)

Mason T. Matchak said...

I think sci-fi and fantasy get grouped together because too many people can't tell the difference. :P

But seriously, I think it's because they're the genres where readers expect to read about something distinctly not "real life". Mystery and romance are usually set in the real world, and literary fiction pretty much has to be. Thriller/horror is different, but not quite as much. Of course, this is just off the top of my head, and I could do better with a deeper analysis, but still.

Also, I know what you mean about sending your work off to critique partners. O_o Even if it's people you've worked with before, people you know like your work, it's still nerve-wracking.

N. R. Williams said...

I think your theory of SciFi/Fantasy is spot on.
Nancy

Sher A. Hart said...

Congrats on submitting!
SF IS fantasy, isn't it? I think they even call it science fantasy now. Just a subset of the larger fantasy genre with limits: pseudo-scientific explanations for the fantasy elements.

I'm late because I spent the day fighting hackers at sherahart.net. I don't think it's over yet.

Cathy Keaton said...

I get SO scared when my WIP has to be critiqued by my CP's! I'm sure yours is fine. Even if it's not, your CP's are there to help you, so long as they are trustworthy. You can fix anything!

oldmomsunite said...

Ahh, sending your story to critique is always gut wrenching. But, I am sure they will love your book and help you find anything that needs tweaked!

Laura Marcella said...

I remember as a kid thinking it was silly that science fiction and fantasy were combined. They should be separate sections. Perhaps next to each other, but still on their own genre shelves!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Samantha Geary Jones said...

Okay, now I need to know which song's storyline sparked your latest ms idea?? Love Tina, she's amazing:) Cool book trailer!

Cheers!
Sam
IMAGINE epic music event

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Of course your story is going to be swell!

I was about to say something to a fellow IWSG about hawking their wares in a post and see that you have some stuff there too... :P

I suppose it's okay as long as we say something about our insecurities????

Empty Nest Insider said...

I'm sure your latest story will be another huge success,
Alex! Congrats on your awards! Happy belated birthday, Tina! Way to go, Tara!

Julie

Donna Hole said...

Congrats on getting the ms off to the critters Alex. That is fabulous.

Elise Fallson said...

I wish I had something to send in to critique partners....*le sigh* but i'm glad to hear your book is coming along. :) Not sure why the genres are smashed together, but it totally made me think of Gallagher and his Sledge-o-matic, lol! The strange things that go through my mind. :)

rolandclarke.com said...

Well done getting manuscript done. Critiques are so worthwhile they are worth any grief they cause. Better than book reviewers blasting us.

As fir sci-fi and fantasy, I'm with Arlee Bird in that I tend to blend genres. My current series of shorts starts realistic, moves into sci-fi and adds in fantasy as saga unfolds.

Oh and my crime has fantasy brush strokes sometimes.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

GB, hope so! We have some formatters and cover artists listed at the IWSG site that might be reasonable.

Mason, good point.

Sher, I'm sorry!

Cathy, I trust them.

Samantha, I will reveal that eventually!

Elizabeth, sure! It's your blog.

Roland, much better than reviewers attacking it.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Good luck with the manuscript critique!

I've always wondered how science fiction and fantasy could be lumped together - Tara's theory makes sense.

Leovi said...

It's a good theory to mix Sci Fi and Fantasy and fantasy, very good Tara!

Stephanie Faris said...

Thanks for mentioning me! You really have done an amazing thing here--bringing so many people together. Plus your blogs are always SO supportive of other bloggers. I'm in awe!

Toinette Thomas said...

If you put all that time into you writing and editing and have also worked with test writers, you probably have nothing to worry about. I'm sure you have a story worth telling, and besides, songs have inspired other stories.

I've also been confused about why sci-fi and fantasy are clumped together, but Tara makes a good point. All the other genres are reflections of what we know as reality, while sci-fi and fantasy both exit outside reality. Perhaps that's why they are clumpped together. I don't necessarily agree that if the sections were separated that they would be smaller. I think breaking up these genes would force book seller to discover new authors to fill their shelves with.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me know of the glitches. Every aspect of me and my life seems to be a work in progress.

Medeia Sharif said...

Great post from Tara. I usually say "speculative fiction" when I tell people I'm reading something unrealistic (although the awesome writing makes it feel real).

I love that stage when I can send something to beta readers. It makes me feel ever that much closer to my goal of having a finished manuscript as I wait for their feedback which I'll eagerly use.

Rebecca Bradley said...

Good luck with the feedback Alex. It's scary stuff but you'll be fine.

Deniz Bevan said...

Hope you hear great things from your crit partners!

Ha ha, a beastly survey. Off to try it!

annakindt said...

Science fiction is actually a form of fantasy in the broader sense of that word. In science fiction, imagined future science takes the place of the magic of high fantasy. Another reason to group fantasy and sci-fi together is because so many of the greats of sci-fi/fantasy have written both. There is even one series--- Darkover by Marion Zimmer Bradley--- that has some books with 'science fiction' on the cover and some with 'fantasy'.

As for my favorite genre--- sci-fi/fantasy.

Cate Masters said...

Good crit partners are worth their weight in gold. Good luck!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I read most fiction genres and I love sci fi but rarely read deep fantasy. I think the similarity is in the world building exercise that accompanies both.

Brandon Ax said...

Waiting is the hardest part. At least though you have moved to that point and so have made good headway into ringing out your next novel.

Bob Sanchez said...

Good luck with your manuscript. If your group is like mine, I'm sure you'll get solid comments.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephanie, thank you!

Toi, that is a really good point.

Patricia, there is a lot of that.

Susanne Drazic said...

Alex, good luck with your manuscript!

VR Barkowski said...

Best of luck with your manuscript, Alex. I'm always nervous when I send my stuff to my critique partner. She is gentle but brutally honest. I couldn't ask for better.

Don't be too concerned, though. I think you've got this writing thing down.

VR Barkowski

DMS said...

Awesome that your ms is out to your critique partners. Scary- but it will help you move forward. :)

Awesome to see Tara here! I loved her reason for sci-fi and fantasy getting grouped together.
~Jess

Kimberly said...

Congrats on getting your MS out to crit partners! I can't believe IWSG is about to celebrate 3 years - that's amazing!

I love sci/fi! It has to be my #1.

Michelle Athy said...

Crit partners and betas are amazing, as I'm discovering these days. Best of luck!

Helena said...

Okay, I know I can be thick, but I followed the link to vote for you, Alex (so glad you're winning!) but couldn't figure out how to vote or where to click. Any advice--like a brain transplant?

As for genres, my own fave is thriller (plus lots of nerdy history and biographies). I agree with your reason for the combining of fantasy and sci-fi: because they deal with worlds made in the imagination.

Lynda R Young said...

You have nothing to worry about. So far I'm seriously enjoying your new book.

Beatrix said...

INSTAGRAM GRAM IS DOWN FOR TRADING INHOUSE SECRETS SO ADVERTISING REVENUE WILL BE SCREWED FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

ha ha.

:0p

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

VR, you'd think so!

Kimberly, mine as well!

Helena, you have to register with the site and then it will let you vote. Yeah, sorry it's a hassle.

Lynda, that's good to hear!!!!!

Liz Fichera said...

Totally agree with your SciFi/Fan theory. I think that says it perfectly.

P.S. Hi Alex! Hope you've had a great summer.

Jennifer Chandler said...

Congrats on sending out your new manuscript! Waiting on feedback is nerve-wracking. Looking forward to next month's surprise! Oh, and a big THANK YOU to all the co-hosts for this month! ~Jen

Beverly Fox said...

Alex- I'm sure you've improved over the course of your three previous novels and I'll bet you'll be happily surprised by the feedback your critique partners give you. Congrats on the award (much deserved, needless to say) and great choice in who to pass it along to!

Great thoughts, Tara. I myself always thought they got lumped together because the publishing agency historically didn't take them seriously enough. It's more difficult to make that argument now that the bulk of blockbuster movies are fantasy, sci-fi or graphic novels- I gotta assume the massive fan power and potential paychecks would make anyone take those genres seriously. So I have no idea why they're still lumped together and your argument makes sense.

A friend of mine recently used Go Fund Me to raise money for her little kitty cat's vet bills- it's a great resource and I will hop on over to help Melissa out right now!

Mark Noce said...

Yeah, it can be a bit nerve-racking, but the plus side is that your crit partners will help make you book even better:)

Sherry Ellis said...

I started reading Tara's new book. It's cute!

P V Ariel said...

Hi Alex,
Its really good to be here after a long gap.
I am so sad that I missed lot of event here at this place. Great news are coming in,
But sad to note about our dear Tina's sickness, you reminded us of her wonderful activities here and around blog pages especially at A to Z page, I pray for her for a speedy recovery, May God help her.
Here comes my Big Congrats for getting the prestigious award of EFestival of Words Awards-CassaStorm. and ha good to know about the upcoming book and the fears expressed here. People like Alex having fear, how and what will be our position and fear LOL
Take Courage
Good Wishes My Dear Friend
I Joined again and my stuff is on the way at IWSG LOL
Have a good day
~ Phil
\

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Alex,

Congrats on finishing your book!!!!! Yet another amazing accomplishment!


Thoughts and prayers for Tina and Melissa!!!!

Have a great weekend...

Intangible Hearts said...

Congrats to PK and I like your theory about how fantasy and sci-fi kind of go outside the boundaries of normal thinking but personally, I think they should be separated.

Robin said...

Congrats on your novel being ready for CPs. I am *thisclose* to being there. Frankly, I think I could use the feedback - even it means another round of major editing/revising.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Liz! I have.

Beverly, good point about the movies! All of the top ones fall into those categories.

Phil, glad you're back.

Robin, do it!

Tara Tyler R said...

so many awesome comments! i love the opinions on sci fi/ fantasy! thanks again for having me, alex!!
(took me a while just to read through them all!)

Cynthia said...

I understand the feelings of insecurity that come with receiving a critique. It's best to give time to allow for something to sink in...

...Reading through your post, I just wanted to add that I'm sorry to hear Melissa isn't feeling well.

Sean McLachlan said...

Whenever I send a manuscript to beta readers I always wonder what embarrassing typos they're going to find! My wife, whose native language is Spanish, is the best at finding them. While she's fluent in English, she still reads it more carefully that native English speakers.

Leovi said...

I wish you good luck with CassaStorm definitely going to win!

Shah Wharton said...

Sure your MS will be another winning novel. :)

I'm just about to look at Joy's blogfest.

I think what binds the two genres is speculation. Those tales come from our imagination, fed by but outside of the world around us, including the scientific ideas, and the plain fantastical. Essentially, there are no limits. All the other genres, at least in their basic mould, are grounded in reality with absolutes and finite themes.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend Alex! And best of luck to Melissa.

shahwharton.com.

Milo James Fowler said...

Hope your readers give you plenty of helpful feedback. I've never understood the deal with SF/Fantasy either; so many publications out there will only accept one, not the other.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I think sci-fi and fantasy get smashed together both for time and a lot of fans enjoy both. Not like mashing together non fiction and fictional horror. That would be weird. Hope your critique partner gives a thumbs up Alex and congrats on the award. I think I got two right on the movie trivia. Good since I think I answered 3 questions. Great job Tina on helping out.

Sarah E. Albom said...

Good luck with your manuscript!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tara, always happy to host you!

Sean, I'd definitely use her talents often.

Milo, that is true!

Sheena-kay, that would be weird all right!

Carrie Butler said...

Hmm... maybe it's because fantasy geeks and science fiction nerds get along so well? ;)

(I'm both.)

mail4rosey said...

My favorite genre is non-fiction, but it never makes the list of faves. Ever. :)

Here's to hoping you don't have to wait too long on your feedback, that the word you get back is good, and that the constructive criticism that comes w/it, is truly helpful.

PK Hrezo said...

I'm late to the party but THANK YOU so much for including my trailer!
I agree with your ideas on SFF as one. It only makes sense. It's all unrealistic, and there's such a fine line between them--mostly the use of science or futuristic speculation in sci-fi. But then fantasy uses magical elements that can very much resemble science in many ways.
I'm sure your story is awesome and I can't wait to check it out and find out what song inspired it. There are so many songs I"d love to write a story from.

Tara Tyler R said...

really enjoyed reading all the thoughts on sci fi/fantasy! lots of great opinions and speculation!

thanks again for having me, alex!

Blue Grumpster said...

I know. I looks at my pathetic car and build an entire story around it like I'm James Bond's unwanted brother.

Jean Baldridge Yates said...

Dear Alex,
Wow! You have packed so much into one blog entry it is impressive!
I barely know where to begin, as all your recommendations are always good ones.
Thank you so much!
jean :)