Jeffe Kennedy Blog
RITA ® Award-Winning Author of Fantasy Romance
No worries. I didn’t feel singled out in any way. You had me second guessing myself and worrying that Leslye may have felt the same way as you and your mentee. But your explanation made sense.
I still cannot comment on the blog from my PC. Since I have to use my phone, I sometimes type my comments as I listen so I don’t forget (obviously I am being too lazy to take notes) and I had typed out most of my reply before you read the etymology blog post yesterday. But went ahead and pressed send just to add my 2 cents to the flip side.
I still say too many people are afraid of romance cooties in their fantasy and sci fi. I love it is easier to find books with both now. In the old days you had to be lucky enough to stumble across it while browsing shelves.
Ooh, pretty title. I like it.
Glad you like the title! Totally agree on the cooties. And yeah – I don’t know that Leslye even noticed!
As a data point, I bet a lot more women don’t feel like they “deserve” something than white men. It sounds like that whole thing where women tend to not take credit for their successes, and will blame it on luck and/or the help of others.
If you go to practically any SFF workshop/panel that talks about plot, they’ll claim that the plot arc for Fantasy is “The Hero’s Journey.” (not saying I agree, but that’s what they’ll say). I think this claim has actually caused me quite a lot of problems/grief.
When I think of the genres that *do* have a genre-specific plot arc though, the only ones I can think of are Romance, Mystery, and Horror. (I’m not sure I agree that “coming of age” is a YA/genre-specific plot arc). I recently got into an argument about this with someone because I stated that a book can be a Romance OR Mystery OR Horror, but it can’t be two of those things, however, it can add on one or more of the other genre titles, such as Fantasy, SF, Comedy, YA, etc. (the argument was because I said you couldn’t submit Horror to a particular market because they stated only Romance/HEA, and the other person was trying to saying that vampire romance = Horror (which I considered a bizarre position to take, frankly), therefore the market took Horror). (subplots being a whole other thing, and that, yes, there can be romance within a horror, or vice versa, but only as a subplot, so not enough to earn the genre label)
I think there was a lot of Fantasy with romance in it (though not usually Romance) at one time (and certainly most fairy tale re-tellings are romances), but most of the authors I followed who wrote that combination when I was younger got pushed to UF/PR/YA or quit writing entirely since then. Hence my frustration at not being able to find very many of the type of books I want. Most of Robin McKinley’s books, for instance. Howl’s Moving Castle was terribly romantic, imo (I haven’t read enough of her other work to comment). Anne Bishop. Doranna Durgin. Diana Pharaoh Francis. The Wit’ch series by James Clemens. Mercedes Lackey. Of course, the first trick was usually to find books that let a female be the main character, and that was hard enough… There’s actually tons of romance in the Wheel of Time, which I think was part of its appeal. Newer examples are Naomi Novik’s fairy-tale books, Jennifer Estep’s fantasy series and Julie Czernada’s fantasy series.
I think you’re right on The Hero’s Journey – except that we can come up with so many exceptions!
All very interesting thoughts! Thanks for the insights. I heard the Horror plot explained as a person makes a decision that leads to a cascade of increasingly bad fortune. Makes sense to me.
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