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Writing a story and touching on so many different genres has been both surprising and intoxicating as I’ve learned just how much I am capable of achieving when I put all my energy and skills into making it work. Drawing in romance while so much horror is taking place, then interlacing it with sci-fi and urban fantasy, adventure, thrills and action, has been such fun, and continues to be as I rapidly reach the halfway mark of Avalin: A Vampyric Legend.

Having a week off (due to work) didn’t, thanks goodness, block my creative flow or ideas, and the story is, in fact, more powerful than it was when I put down my first 11 000 words. It continues to flow and weave and expand as I write every scene and every charged conversation, and all the fears I had about having enough to write has slowly dissipated as the word count grows.

My characters have come to life as I’ve created them one word, one conversation, and one scene at a time, and now they are truly alive within my mind and heart so that as soon as I sit down and write they grow and evolve effortlessly and powerfully. My vampyres are strong, wicked, and brutal, and along with these traits my two main characters also have a passion (some of their kind would call it a weakness) for human females, particularly for the main character, a beautiful, intoxicating woman called Avalin whom they discover holds the key to their race’s salvation. When they find her they are hypnotised by not only her physical beauty, but also by her humility, kindness, and insatiable passion, which the two main characters are only too happy to share with her. She teaches them about love and the fierce courage and determination of the human spirit and that vampyres don’t have to destroy humans in order to survive.

As the story progresses the reader discovers a place where great darkness, mystery, and fear exists on earth, where vampyres have been living for centuries, hidden and ever watchful for the answers they seek. They live out of sight, traversing our planet, looking for a way to make right the wrongs their kind has suffered for over a thousand years. Some of these vampyres are not capable of any form of passion and compassion because they believe all humans weak and pathetic and only good for breeding and feeding on. They don’t care who they destroy along the way, how many women they ravish and slay while they try to solve the riddle of their race’s gradual and inevitable demise – unless a miracle occurs, that is. But, fortunately, not all the vampyres are this cold and cruel; the two main male characters are considered mere youths by the elders (although they are both over nine hundred human years old) and incapable of having any kind of success in their search. But because of their willingness to be open to understanding humans, to listen and take the time to painstakingly research and follow their instincts, they soon discover everything they need to save their world from extinction.

Politics, scheming, vengeance, revenge, murder, lust, greed, the hunger for power and control – all of these traits are present in this predatory race, and so as it turns out vampyres are not so different to humans in this regard.

And in the centre of it all is a woman who has lost everything, who only wants to her life to end because her grief has become too much for her to bear, but then suddenly finds a reason for living again when two mysterious strangers enter her world of despair, bringing with them an insatiable hunger and a tale beyond her imagining.

As I said, so far I’ve managed to combine all these aspects smoothly with no hitches, so my conclusion, therefore, has to be that genre fusion does indeed work, and personally I find it makes for a much fuller, more intense story, and nigh impossible for the reader to become bored.

Now I do realise that most stories have a ‘main’ genre thread throughout the tale, but my experiment is to not focus on just one but give each genre equal time throughout. One or two themes might dominate a few pages or chapter, sure, but overall I don’t want the reader able to explain the genre of the book in less than twenty to thirty words.

Image courtesy of Emil Bacik

As of this morning I’m at 20 399 words (and hoping to be at 25 000 by day’s end), and by the end of this week I will be well on my way to the finish line. I’m super excited about this book because I’ve been working on The Sword Bearers series for so long it felt welcome albeit extremely bizarre to suddenly shift focus and pace and genres to do Avalin: A Vampyric Legend. I’m loving every minute of writing, and I can’t wait to have a completed novel in my hands by the 30th of November.

If you have any thoughts on this, and if you’d like to share your NaNo progress, I’d love to hear from you.

 

‘Smoke Dog’ image courtesy of Darren Foster

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