Thursday, March 10, 2011

On Finding Your Niche & Knowing the End

It's Thursday, so I'm all gearing up for 30 Rock. I'm a late fan of the show, and I only watched the first episode years ago because I lurved Tina Fey.

The pilot was good, smart and snappy. And even though I didn't much care for Alec Baldwin back then, in that first episode, he had me giggling. Of course, now I think he's among the funniest humans on the planet.

But that was in the days of L O S T, and my life only allows for one to two (tops) hours of regular TV viewing a week. More = nothing gets done.

I'd drop in on 30 Rock from time to time, and it seemed funny. But it was hit and miss. Once L O S T ended, I started watching it more, and for the last two seasons, it's become clear--the writers have found their niche.

Making fun of NBC and "Politics as Usual," are home-runs for these jokers every time. Which brings us to the first part of my blog title.

I've written or started a MS in almost every YA sub-genre. (I don't have a dystopian or a paranormal.)

As of now, I think they're all strong and show promise--some are more works in progress than others. But I often wonder if there's one style that's going to emerge as more "mine" than the others. Like that comes more naturally or whatever.

Like will it be the Sci-Fi that's still unfinished? Or the angsty teen drama? Will it be the rom-com that's currently being shopped. Or the historical romance that's being revised? Will it be the mystery-family saga-series that needs revision?

TBD.

As for the other part of my blog title, L O S T just got better and better once they finally set a date for the last episode. Fans and critics agree that the second and third seasons floundered and introduced several characters and situations that didn't go anywhere and were ultimately dumped.

I get that as a writer. L O S T was such a novelistic-style show that it was impossible for them to write ad infinitum. They needed an endpoint.

Only one time have I written a novel where I didn't have a good idea how it would end. And it showed.

I floundered around for pages and pages trying to wrap it up, and it was just awful. I knew this, and thankfully I was able to fix it in a way that I think is satisfactory.

So what about you guys? Have you found your niche yet? Ever written without knowing the end? Care to share?

Have a great weekend! Til Monday~ <3

30 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

I'm pretty sure I've found my niche but that still doesn't stop me from floundering! LOL. I will forever flounder until something hits me and I can't let go of it. Loved LOST. Never watched 30 Rock. Might give it a go.

DEZMOND said...

I haven't written a book yet, but I have a feeling it won't be planned, it will just pour out of me, so I'm guessing I won't know how it ends until it ends :)
And I also don't get more than 2 hours of TV watching per week :( Poor us, Leigh, we are swamped with work and duties :(

Old Kitty said...

My current wip started of as floundering - especially as I didn't really know how to end it!! The longer I work at it though, the clearer some things are. I think I can finally see the light at the very end of the tunnel - it's a tiny not so bright light but it's a start!! I have a long way to go - I hope not to go the way of Lost - as in get lost in the middle bits!!! And if I do - to find the way out!! No - they are not all dead and stuck in purgatory!! No, no, no!! :-)

Take care
x

Clarissa Draper said...

I should watch 30 rock but I'm like you, I can only watch so many programs before nothing gets accomplished.

I usually know the ending before I start but I think it's needed in the the mystery genre. But, someday I'll write not knowing the end.

Pk Hrezo said...

Well after a fantasy, a romance, a thriller, and 2 contemps, I'm back to fantasy... and I daresay it's my niche. It just feels like home. But I don't rule out trying others either (got a dystopian idea in the works too.)

I just started watching LOST. Hubby and I are watching the series on DVD and it's really good.... a little dryg out (cux it's a TV show) but I love the way each character brings something to the table and the audience just got thrown into the inciting incident.)

Can'twait to see how itall turns out. Not just the ed of LOST, but what your niche genre is. ;)

Anne N Kenny said...

You were a LOST fan? Why didn't I meet you years ago? I was one of THOSE people who picked up on the clues and if I missed something, rewound back to the scene.

Sometimes I wonder if I should try my hand at something else. Fantasy seems like a tough sell to agents despite its popularity elsewhere.

Carolyn Abiad said...

IDK. As in...maybe I should be working on a murder mystery (not really), but right now I'm in an alternate universe, so I don't have the time to find out. I do know I like to use mythology, and that's kind of hard to work into rom-com. :)

Lola Sharp said...

First, I LOVE your new header. :)

Floundering happens. I often write w/out knowing my end. Or I think I know my ending but everything changes while writing and I come to a different ending than I planned.

My 'niche' is to be true and organic to my characters and their stories. My 'niche' is layered characters with a strong voice...but I know no genre boundaries.

Hugs,
Lola

LTM said...

@PK--me, too! LOL--I mean on the niche part. I already know about L O S T. I bet it's nice watching the show straight through like that. Probably catch more hints and clues. Thanks, honey~ :o) <3

Colene Murphy said...

Tracy Morgan is my favorite thing about 30 Rock, which is hard because of Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin being so damn funny! But...TM wins every time!
Only ever watched one episode of Lost which was a mistake because I didn't care for it but it was because I caught an ep. in, like the 3rd season middle so...confused didn't quite cover it...Might start from the beginning one day!

Summer Ross said...

I have written a lot of things where I have no clue about the ending- If I had to pick a niche- I don't know anything much other than poetry- I'm strong in it, always have been, but I like fiction. So I'm still waiting on the story sidelines to see what i can come up with. great post!

Talli Roland said...

It took me ages to find my voice, and I think to some degree, I'm still finding it. I do think it evolves. I know that I can't help an element of snark and sarcasm... :)

LTM said...

@Summer--thanks! And I think you've got a great way to work poetry into your fairy stories. I can see fairies surrounded by poetry--pretty~ :o) <3

Kari Marie said...

I have no idea what my niche is, but I'm new and I'm told it's allowed. (I'm a writing freshman this year).

So far, I'm a plotter so I have a vague idea of the ending when I start. I'm trying an pantster experiment right now for fun. We'll see which one suits me best.

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't know what my niche is either - I love steampunk, mysteries, romantic suspense, sci fi, fantasy, dystopian... It's hard!

erica and christy said...

I don't watch much TV, either, so I haven't seen 30 Rock, but hmmm - looking for a good show to watch on my laptop while I walk the treadmill...(sorry, never seen Lost, either)

I'm 21k into a WIP that I don't know the end for yet. I've been at 21 before - several times - but keep going back to change things when I hit dead ends. Probably a good indication that I need to know the end...
erica

Murr Brewster said...

I can't imagine writing a book without knowing how it ends. That was the only thing I knew about my novel when I started it, and it's been one big discovery getting from the beginning to the end. I once heard an author say you must know the end, and if any of your characters take strange turns that don't take you there, you must kill them. All righty then!

mohdhafifi said...

come here from Malaysia

Hart Johnson said...

Other than the Cozies, I think all my stuff has a fair bit in common, though it sits at a place where it can fall one way or the other between adult/YA, or between suspense/mystery. I have a couple other things I've toyed with and I may eventually get to them, but I'm in no hurry and those ideas don't pester me in the same way.

As for ending--Oh, yeah... I flounder like mad if I don't know where I'm going, and I TOTALLY think SHOWS that know when they are ending do a better job once that is defined. (I loved Lost, but yeah... season 3 was a little wonky)

walk2write said...

My short stories are all over the place, but my first novel is going to be history and mystery with a little nature lore thrown in for good measure. Not even sure how I would classify it.

The only TV I watch these days is a little news in the morning and a movie now and then on the weekend. Too much other stuff to think about, and my brain cells aren't getting any younger!

Jennie Bailey said...

I always forget that 30 Rock is on. I have so much backlogged on the DVR that I can't tape another show. When I remember to watch it, I love it and tell myself I'm going to tune in the next week. Did I? Um, no. As for writing, I have found my niche, but I branched out for NaNo last year. I think it's important to write outside your comfort zone sometimes! But writing without knowing the ending - that's a little too far outside of my comfort zone! Haven't tried that and I don't know if I can...Have a great weekend!

Michelle Merrill said...

I may not always know the end exactly, but I usually have an idea. I can't start a book without knowing a little bit of where it's going to end up.

My niche...well, I am stuck in either paranormal or fantasy. For now, both :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm still finding my niche. I started with YA fantasy before trying my hand at YA urban fantasy. Next came YA paranormal but I didn't finish editing the book. Instead, I stole a subplot for a YA contemp I'm planning to write. The only thing I have figured out so far is that I like to include danger and romance. ;)

Al said...

I usually start a story with a beginning and an end. Then I fill in the middle

Stephen Tremp said...

I know the end and the beginning. Its the middle stuff I need to develop and I go along. And that's how I write. the first few and last few chapters, then I outline the middle and start filling it out.

Tracy said...

Ah, LOST. Yeah, the whole season with the Tailies was just a waste of time. That and I could have used a little more Boone time, but whatever. . .

I think I've found my niche. I've always loved paranormal. You know, those stories that happen in THIS world that could mostly be anyone's life but there's something preternatural that happens or exists in the story to keep it from being real.

That being said, I did not realize until recently, that it's the romance between characters (especially steamy scenes) that I do best of all. Maybe we're never really meant to find it 100%. That's what keeps us growing, even after publication?

LTM said...

@Stephen--sounds like a great approach! That's about how I do it~ :o) <3

Kittie Howard said...

I think we're constantly learning from life's experiences and that genres can change, like hem lines, and good legs still look good. (I know, kinda duh! but, hey, you know what I mean!)

Madeleine said...

I'm still dabbling in genres :O)

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