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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Autumn: Earthly & Unearthly

First, I wish you a delightful autumn. Drink in the scents of fall, feast your eyes on the bejeweled colors, and savor the tastes of the season.

Autumn stories tend to fall into two main categories: earthly and unearthly. 

Earthly autumn stories are much the same as those written for any other time of year, with only seasonal, weather and holiday changes. These provide backdrops for wonderful themes and plot twists. 

Unearthly stories are cut from a very different cloth. Usually the world of the paranormal – whether light or dark – comes into play. For those who write in this genre, there are few ‘musts’ or restrictions, and just about anything goes as long as the integrity of the story is sound. We can indulge in exotic world building, travel on an alien space ship, use stone circles to pass through time portals, and allow witches to brew potent magic potions.

The standards for authenticity vary depending on which genre we choose to write in. Some authors have a passion for research and accuracy, and express it in their novels. Loops exist where an author who writes thrillers or murder mysteries, for instance, is expected to have impeccable knowledge of FBI guidelines, morgue procedures, CSI skills, ballistic expertise, as well as knowing just about everything a practicing attorney would know about wills and child custody. 

This is not the only genre where an author is held to an extremely high factual standard. Historical romance can be just as demanding. There have been many heated debates about how historical fact should be woven together with a fictitious story.

The paranormal writer, on the other hand, can get away with – murder. Of facts and procedures, that is. Mermaids can steal humans away beneath the sea, only to find the human can breathe by way of magical infusions, time travel can be a mode of transportation, curses can turn people into insects, and a mischievous djinn or ghost can interfere with life and love. Humans can even mate with extraterrestrials and vampires are immortals.

To many, the paranormal world may seem delusional or a haphazard product of author fantasy. While it can be, much of it is based on ancient legends and tribal teachings that morphed over time. It is not as haphazard as it may seem. The beautiful painting below is of the goddess Night, painted in the 1880s.

There is a genre suited to everyone’s style of writing, and stories to entertain every reader. 

Where does your writing fall on the scale of absolute fact or fantasy? Earthly or unearthly? 

As a reader, how do you feel about the different degrees of factual accountability depending on the genre?

For this author, as long as a story is compelling, well written and structurally intact, it can be enjoyed.

GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity. You can buy Gemma’s books on Amazon and visit her website To follow on Twitter: @Gemma_Juliana


Fran Lee said...

I love earthly and unearthly...and everything about autumn!

Rose Anderson said...

As a reader, I'll get into both types if the author imbues their tale with enough facts to suspend my disbelief over the fancy.

As a writer, I love adding the fanciful to the facts. Making the impossible plausible is the best thing about writing. Great post, Gemma.

Tina Donahue said...

I love paranormal stories - lets the imagination soar. :)

Cara Marsi said...

I love both earthly and unearthly. I love writing a little magic into some of my stories. I've written one paranormal romance and it was fun to just let my imagination go wild. I love time-travel romance.

jean hart stewart said...

As a writer, I've written a lot of different genres. As I reader, I enjoy almost anything is it's well done. Nice post, Gemma

Melissa Keir said...

I love the fantasy nature of paranormal stories...the what-if and the open possibilities. :)

Judy Baker said...

I love ghost stories, especially when they are filled with suspenseful romance.

Gemma Juliana said...

Thanks to each of you who commented yesterday. I went out for a while, thinking I'd be back soon, and it ended up being an all day outing.

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