Wednesday, 18 April 2012

It it a saga... or not?

I'm pondering today on the differences between a saga, and a historical novel that highlights the plight of women during a particular era-or eras-as the case may be.

What is it that makes an editor agree that it really is a saga, and that it can be marketed as such?

Does a saga always require that the historical time scale goes over more than one generation? Does it always have romantic elements, but not always a happy ever after ending? If the story spans a few generations is it realistic to add in more than one romance?

Is highlighting the social aspects of the location, and its living and working conditions, always an element in a saga? Does an editor look for those trying conditions but always expect the fiesty hero, or heroine, to overcome them in some way-though not necessarily find themselves in a newer and better situation in life?

Are the main protagonists always strong people with strong emotions? Does an editor look for a strong emotional, and perhaps moral viewpoint, from the main characters?

Is it realistic to balance more than the viewpoint of one character throughout the novel? Or does the editor look for the viewpoint of one main character throughout?

I have many questions, my own answers, but I'd love to know what your opinion would be on what makes a saga-a saga!

1 comment:

  1. Funny you should ask. I always felt my own book should have been a saga but it turned out a romance. Maybe one day I'll extend it and make it a saga. For me, a saga is multi-generational and/or covers a wide expanse of time, concentrates on more than one couple--or one person!--and at times also moves its action to several locations. It is also, as you say, not a given that everyone concerned will have 'happy endings'


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