Last week I had a conversation with many fellow writers and I was surprised at how many people were oblivious to what Specular Fiction is! With this in mind, I thought that I should get my new blog started and write about this as well. Killing two birds with one stone.
This conversation brought my memory back to the time when I first discovered the term. It was back when I was still defining my voice as a writer and still trying to find out where my writing style fitted. This time around, I didn’t feel like the type of stories that I wrote fitted anywhere and when people used to ask what did I write; I would only answer, “A bit of everything.” That is until one day, while I was reading the wonderful Writer’s Digest, I found the term. This lead to some research and after a while I had decided to define myself as a Specular Fiction Writer.
Specular Fiction or Speculative Fiction is broadly defined as a literary genre that encompasses any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements. According to this definition, this is just an umbrella term to talk about stories that utilize these literary elements. However, there is so much more to this genre.
According to Annie Neugebauer, the real meaning of Specular Fiction has more to do with the universe where the story is developed than with its elements. Otherwise, every story that included science fiction, fantasy or supernatural elements would be classified in this category. Fiction is speculative when the universe built for a story is similar to our world, but has different rules. This kind of universe asks the question what if…? (hence the name speculative). With this type of fiction, we ask what if ghosts, aliens, or super humans existed? At this point, two or more genres can collide in the same story, such as weird tales, historical fiction, dystopian, superheroes, etc.
Since I like to combine more than just one genre in my writing, especially in longer works, I knew immediately that I belonged here. Neugebauer has a great explanation on this. If you are interested in reading more about Speculative Fiction and in what instances fiction becomes speculative, I invite you to give her blog a read. That’s all on my part for today, see you next time.
Thanks for reading!
Yours in writing,