Before the end of last year, I began to consider writing in a different genre. I think it’s good for writers to experiment and find out what works and what doesn’t. It takes us out of our ‘comfort zones’ and gives that elusive muse plenty to work with. For quite some time writing a romance remained in the back of my mind and for someone that doesn’t always write happy endings, the thought had become quite a challenge.
I always envied those authors that chose one particular genre and stuck with it. My muse would jump from one idea to another, leaving me wondering what genre I actually wrote in and therefore making it difficult to ‘brand’ myself on social media.
More recently, though, the more I looked into my chosen genres, the more I realised that they all kind of blend in together. As I mainly write paranormal, at least romance can always be included. My current work in progress is the ‘novel’ I wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2015 and a romantic element plays a major role. Yes, it’s a mess, but I am having fun with it and could well be the longest thing I have written so far.
Recently I read a post from Cait Reynolds on Kristen Lamb’s blog regarding genre, which posed some interesting issues. If you haven’t already read it, it’s well worth a look. The main takeaway regarding genres is this – pick a genre and stick with it for about three years and keep other genres to a minimum. For someone who has had issues with plot bunnies for many years, this became a bit of a wake-up call.
Writing can be fun, especially if we give our muse free rein, which is great for those of us who write as a hobby or are just starting out. The thing is, though, if we are seriously considering publication, we may need to focus on one genre for a while (preferably the one that we get the most pleasure in). This allows us time to establish a readership.
Writing in one genre shouldn’t stop our muse completely; we just need to keep our ideas in different genres on the back burner for a little while before we can take our readers along for the ride.
Do you agree with sticking with one genre before trying something else? Do you struggle to control your plot bunnies? Have you published in different genres and how has that worked for you? If you write in more than one genre, are they similar genres or completely different?
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4 thoughts on “Writing in More than One Genre.”
I think it depends on what your goal as a writer is. I just received an email from one of my dedicated readers in which she said she couldn’t finish my latest novel. My latest novel is a serious historical romance whereas I normally write funny mysteries or romcom. Sure, it was a risk to write this novel, but I write because I love it and have a story to tell. It would be great to sell more books and make some money along the way, but that’s not the main goal of my novel writing. If your goal is making money, you should definitely stick with the same genre.
Hi Dena. You raise a very valid point about goals, which is something else that should be considered. Like you, I write because I love it. I’ve always believed that if I ever made any money from it, that would be an added bonus. 😉 Thanks for stopping by – it’s good to meet you!
I’ve found that cutting your teeth in one genre is a great way to find your voice. Subsequently experimenting with other genres is the best way to refine your voice and increase your skill set – and sometimes you discover that you have a knack for a certain genre you never considered before.
Hi Aidan. Absolutely! Experimenting helps us from going stale and keeps our ‘muse’ occupied. 😉
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