Wednesday, February 10, 2010

for the love of genre

Frustration kicked in a few days ago, and I believe that I am finally mellowing out, though it has been a tough. Genre frustrates me, it could be because I am a beginning writer and just haven't found my niche, or maybe I am just all over the place.

Let me explain the problem, I love to write and I am good at it, not trying to sound arrogant. I was born to write, God has given me a gift, and I intend on using it as he has planned. The problem is that I have three different stories and none of them are in one specific genre.

Horror/Suspense/Thriller
Supernatural/Fantasy
Contemporary Romance

See my problem? Now I don't know if this is just inexperience talking, or if it is okay to dabble in each. I have started a story for each, and I love them all, the problem is that each day I have a different favorite.

So has anyone had several different genre's they enjoyed writing? Or did you only start with one, and that one was awesome enough!?

23 comments:

TheLittleFlower said...

I think mine is a mix of eveything. Its kinda hard to choose a fave.

Jody Hedlund said...

Jen, I think it's perfectly okay at this point in your writing career to dabble. You're still discovering and learning your voice and what you best like. Enjoy the freedom and eventually I think you'll find out what you like the best and are good at. Then at that point you can narrow it down, because ultimately you'll have to focus--it's the nature of the publishing industry, especially for new authors building readerships. But for now, there's no hurry. :-)

Amanda said...

I never paid attention to the genre I was writing in. I went directly off the story for everything.

Kristi Faith said...

I write all over the place and find it hard to stuff it into one genre too. The biggest thing I'm learning is to wait until I'm really finished to 'categorize' it into a genre. I know my audience when I write, and that's about it. YA or older most often. Though I've written MG and children's books too. (never pubbed) It is a difficult spot to be in, I feel your angst. :)

Aubrie said...

I love stories that cross genres, and it sounds like your stories do just that! I'm the opposite, traditional fantasy sci fi, and I'm trying to think outside the box. Write what you want to write and then see which genres it fits into. If you want me to read it when it's finished and let you know my thoughts, I'd love to help.

Misery said...

You shouldn't limit yourself by saing that you're going to write in one particular genre, and it's often advised for aspiring writers to work on few project at the same time (I came across this particular piece of advice in many books about writing), the more they differ, the better. And, in my personal opinion, stories that cross the lines between genres are the best. They're unpredictable and intriguing.

(for me, personally, the genre is not the most important thing when I write sth. It sort of comes along the way. Or sometimes is doesn't :) )

great blog, by the way! ^.^

Summer said...

I feel like my brain is stagnating if I don't cross genres, both in my writing AND reading. We human beings are complex people--we're not made to be niche.

Catherine Denton said...

I have two genres I dabble in. It helps me to be able to flit between them. I just have to be sure I'm moving forward on both. lol
Winged Writer

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I say dabble away. Most people are good at more than one, but you'll eventually find your niche. You'll find not necessarily what you do best (since you are likely very good at many), but what you enjoy most.

Carolyn V. said...

Hey Jen! Okay I have a word of advice (Good or bad, I don't know). I started writing in YA fantasy and loved it. I tried my hand at YA contemporary and my critique group loved it, which made me love it even more. So I asked an author friend of mine what I should do. She suggested writing the one genre that I loved the most. Because once you get published your fans will want more of that (and more than likely so will your agent). She said once you get a couple of books out, people will accept your other writings. I hope that's true, because I'm writing the contemporary. It just makes me happy. =)

Michelle Gregory said...

write the story you're dying to write and let someone else label it with a genre. or maybe you'll be the one to come up with an entirely new genre. besides, doesn't it seem like they change all the time? and who came up with genres anyway?

Natalie said...

I still dabble in fantasy and YA occasionally. I think it's good to have wide interests, but I know I need to focus on MG for a while (since that's what my agent signed me for).

Dangerous With a Pen said...

I've read some great blogs about "branding" or sticking to a genre once you are published because your readers will want more. But, hey, until you are at that point, why not exeriment and see what you like? Give yourself breathing room.

Anyway... if you're good at a variety of genres, it might just work for you. Hey, look at Neil Gaiman! He runs the gamut from picture books to adult fairy tales to everything in between. :) Sure, he has a name, he could probably publish an illustrated phone book, but he must have started somewhere. :)

Noble M Standing said...

The one book I am working on that is so much closer to being published is Scifi, But I have a adult and YA paranormal a couple of romances and a few fantasies too. While I focus on the scifi, I don't ever tell my self I can't do this or that because it would stifle the muse.

Dabble away, you might find that you love something completely diferent than you started with.

Mariah Irvin said...

I never sit down and say "This book is going to be this genre" before I write. Heck, I still don't even know what I should call my book right now. Historical fiction? Who knows.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Personally, I'm a YA kind of girl. Angsty high school drama is my thing, but I don't think it could hurt to dabble. So, dabble away!

Kat O'Keeffe said...

I dabble in lots of different genres, but I am pulled to YA fantasy more than anything.

However, even my YA fantasy projects vary greatly, from an upper YA about a grim reaper who falls in love with the man she was sent to kill, to my younger YA with a 15-year-old male protag who becomes the reluctant sidekick to an annoyingly cocky hero. Then of course I have an adult literary suspense, a contemporary romance, and a steam punk project in the works. I even have a picture book manuscript around here somewhere.

I think it's perfectly fine to jump around in genres. Write what you love-- even if that changes by the day (or hour!). Regardless of genre, just work to make each book the best that it can be.

Eventually a favorite genre will stand out, and you'll find yourself focusing on that one a bit more than the others. Or not. *grins* Either way it's all good. Just keep writing.

InABox said...

I'm no expert, but it seems to me like having completely different novels going could be a good thing. You can work on what you're in the mood for. Dabbling in different genres should also be great exercise for your literary muscles. If you like having more than one going, then keep it up!

Sara Louise said...

The Outlander Series by Diane Gabaldon are some of my favorite books and they are cross genre. They're Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Romance and they are brilliant!! A little bit for everyone.
Don't be afraid to mix it up a bit and never put yourself in one little box.

Jovial1 said...

Since I'm only working on my first real project, I'm not worried about genre. I'm just trying to write stories I'd like to read. In my mind, genres are more useful for reading than writing.

I get ideas for all sorts of 'genres'. I'll figure out where something fits when I'm done writing it. :)

Christine Danek said...

I say write what you want to write--what comes natural to you. The labeling can come later. You may find you are good at more than one. :)

Jen said...

I sigh of relief!!! Thank you for all your advice, I find that just letting go and writing what I feel works best, and I am glad to see that is what everyone else tends to do as a writer :)

Bish Denham said...

Some very well known authors write different genre. Kate Dicamillo comes to mind.