Right, nothing like starting a new blog with a fresh new post, right? So now that we've moved to our fancy new digs, let's start things off write and talk about what makes Spec Fic, well, what makes it Spec Fic anyway?
What is Spec Fic?
Wikipedia helpfully defines Spec Fic as "narrative fiction with supernatural or futuristic elements." Which is just universally unhelpful. For today's purpose we're going to define Spec Fic as that gray area between general fiction and genre fiction. A science fiction novel that skips over the science, or a paranormal novel that lives in the paranormal but the paranormal isn't the focus of the story.
Why not just call it Paranormal or whatever?
I have a sort of love/hate relationship with genre on the best of days. Some writers have a process and a voice that fits neatly in one spot. They sit down at their computer or typewriter and out pops a space opera. Or a daring train mystery. Or six books about a family of vampires in Venice. If you're one of those writers then Spec Fic probably doesn't hold any appeal to you. Your readers can look at what you're presenting and know exactly what they're going to get. But for other authors, our monster hunters lack the right situations and genre conventions to be "Urban Fantasy." Our epic space fiction doesn't really focus on the science enough to be "Sci-Fi." That's where Spec Fic comes in.
Is it really just about marketing?
Well, for a start marketing is probably never a 'just,' not if you're trying to make a go of this whole writing thing. But deeper than that, I'm not sure anyone can answer that. There are all sorts of labels we either adopt or avoid in this business, both as publishers, and as authors, and as readers. Some of them come and go, and some of them find a home because they're elementally useful. Spec Fic isn't necessarily a new label, but it's probably still early days yet to determine how useful it's going to be.
I thought you didn't like writing toward genre?
Ten points for Gryffindor (hey, btw, potterheads...) I don't like writing toward a genre. I'm a huge proponent of writing the story you think you need to tell, and worrying about what genre it is later. Which, funnily enough, really fits with the idea of Spec Fic.