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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guest Post on "Making the Genre You Write In Your Own", by Gabriel Madison

Today I'd like to welcome Gabriel Madison, author of the Young Adult vampire e-book entitled Dayling. Gabriel stopped by today with a special post for all you aspiring writers. Take it away Gabriel! 

Making the Genre You Write In Your Own
by Gabriel Madison

When I was in art school, I decided to make a short vampire movie based off of a character I had in my first Urban Fantasy manuscript I wrote for my senior project. My professor liked the idea, but I was concerned it would be a little too Anne Rice. He told me there isn’t really much you could do with a vampire story, because it’s been told in every way it can be told. You can only put your own creativity in it.

When I decided to write my Young Adult vampire novel Dayling, I thought about what my professor said. The reality of writing today, is no matter what genre you write in, the story you are telling have been told before, it’s up to you as the creature to take your genre and make it your own. I didn’t want a typical vampire novel, but I didn’t want to go too far away from the mythology I loved just to try and be different. I decided to take things about the vampire mythology I loved, and try to use my creativity to present the story in a new way, without going too far.

When I created Dayling, I wanted it to have all the vampire lore I’ve loved since I was a kid, but with a new take on it. In my story, vampires aren’t made, but they are born. For the first eighteen years of their lives they are known as Daylings, because they can walk out in the sun, eat normal food, age like humans and basically behave like humans. They are a little stronger than humans, and their strength increases as they get closer to their eighteenth birth day. After they turn eighteen, they become Nightlings, creatures more close to the vampire lore I loved.

When I got into the Young Adult Paranormal/Urban Fantasy genre, I realized with all of the vampire stories out there, I had to think of a way to tell my story without it being confused with other Young Adult vampire stories. I had to learn the genre I wanted to write in and make it my own.

Storytelling is storytelling, no matter what story you’re trying to get across. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to write the great American Novel or a simple entertaining story about adventures and mythical beings. The trick is to find something in your vision that makes your story stand out from the crowd. The trick is to be true to your genre, but also be true to the voice inside of you. No matter how many times the story in your head has been told; remember no one can tell your story like you. Don’t try to be your favorite author, but be you, and write what you love about the genre you’re writing in, and what you would love to add to it.

I really love the YA Paranormal genre now, and when I’m writing I have to remind myself of some of the rules I have to play by to stay true to the genre, but I also think about my stories and make sure my voice doesn’t get lost in the rules. If you want to write in a particular genre, learn the genre, and then use your voice, your vision, your storytelling to make it into something unique to you.

There are a lot of people out there that doesn’t like Twilight, and everyone has a right to their own opinion, but no matter what you think of Stephanie Meyer’s writing ability, you have to admit, she took vampires and made them her own. For good or bad, when you hear sparkly vampire, you think Stephanie Meyer.

I’m only saying its okay to retell an old story, its okay to write in whatever genre you love, just use your imagination to tell it in a way the reader has never read it before. I have two completely different vampire stories, Dayling which falls into the YA genre and The Green-Eyed Devil which falls into my Anne Rice vampire days. Each story is from my voice, my vision and my way of telling stories. And at the end of the day, storytelling is storytelling; you simply have to make it your own, and don’t allow anyone to convince you to tell your story in any other way.

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Whimsical Publications, LLC (December 1, 2010)

Turning eighteen is an exciting time for most girls. It means finally being considered a legal adult, having more freedom and a wild birthday party. For Haven Vigano, it means immortality, a craving for human blood and no longer being able to move around in the daytime. Haven is a Dayling, but in three weeks she will 'Cross Over' into the world of Nightlings.

Most Daylings live their lives as humans for as long as they can, which means they attend school, make normal friends and indulge in all the pleasures of being mortal... Most Daylings except for Haven. She's as antisocial as they come, even in the Dayling world.

To make matters worst, a friend from her past, another Dayling named Sébastien, arrives in Tallahassee with the news that an ancient group of Nightling hunters called The Holy Sect of Mântuitors are hunting down and killing her kind. Haven's father fears a Nightling is helping the Mântuitors in their quest to rid the world of immortals.

Now Haven must deal with her growing attraction to Philip, a teenage boy she saved from being beaten by four other guys, plus understand Sébastien's jealousy towards her human crush, and oh yeah, help deal with the threat of the Mântuitors. Times were a lot simpler for Haven when she felt indifferent towards everything and everyone.


The Green-Eyed DevilDaylingThree Seeds

About the Author: 
Gabriel Madison started writing when he was in high school, mostly short stories and poetry, and then developed a passion for screenplays. He attended a private art University in Atlanta Georgia for Media Production. There he studied script writing and film making. He wrote a few screenplays, and made a few short movies, including a twelve-minute vampire movie, he adapted from a short story, called Midnight Diner. After leaving school, his passion shifted mainly towards writing stories, than shooting and directing them. He writes short stories, novellas, screenplays, graphic novels and full-length novels. He was once asked to define himself: he answered... ‘storyteller’.

Gabriel Madison now lives back home in Albany Georgia. His debut novel Dayling is now available in print and as an eBook. Official Website


Shellie - Layers of Thought said...

Yeah Gabriel!

Bobbye Terry said...

That cover gets me everytime I look at it, Gabriel, as does the premise of your book. Outstanding job, BTW, and can't wait to see your new books coming out.


Theresa Grant said...

Great post, Gabriel. I sometimes wonder about "using the lore," so I like hearing your ideas about making each story your own.


Nancy Naigle said...

Thanks for the perspective, Gabriel. It sounds like you took an idea and found a fresh way to tell YOUR story :)

Best wishes with Dayling.

Heather Anne Hogan said...

I really like this post, particularly this bit: "Storytelling is storytelling, no matter what story you’re trying to get across ... The trick is to be true to your genre, but also be true to the voice inside of you."

I think being true to the voice inside you is one of the greatest pieces of writing advice, but, oddly enough, not enough people are courageous enough to give it.

Thank you, Gabriel!

Destiny Booze, Novelist said...

Very well said. Now, I'm going to be thinking about what your professor told you...lol. I think you're right. The trick really is to find your own personal touch and spin to a story. :)

Kelly said...

Great post! As a writer, I appreciate the encouragement, and I love it that Gabriel points out that every story as already been told, and that we have to make them our own. It's so true. I also love it that he encourages writers to be themselves, instead of trying be their favorite writers. Great advice!

Maddie James said...

So true! Great post, Gabriel. I love your take on storytelling and I think you are exactly right. Sometimes I think we forget to just let the story flow, in fear of sticking to all of the rules. Best of luck on your books, and I look forward to what's coming up next!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great advice :) Great post!