Friday, June 17, 2011

Genre Hoping - When it feels right

What do you write?

There are so many genre's to choose from how does one go about choosing the best one for them?

I write many different novels. I write for both adult and young adult and it all comes down to what my mood feels like when it's time to sit at my computer and write words down. I've completed five novels, three were young adult fantasy and two were chick lit novels. I love them all but when it comes to querying how do you know which one is right for you? What one are you willing to put out in the line of fire for your agent search?

Answer: Go with your gut.

I'm currently writing another chick lit novel and I truly believe it was my calling. Not to say down the road I won't focus all my attention on young adult. After all Sophie Jordan wrote several Historical Romances before diving into the young adult pool and writing Firelight (which is brilliant).

What I'm saying is... you don't have to choose. Do it all and do it all well. Go with your gut. If Tuesday you feel like writing a romance then dammit write a romance. In the end your voice will come through and you'll make your final decision on what route you want to go. If you don't? Well then you can be a genre hopper for years to come. If we love you already it won't matter the style of book you write.

Do you genre hop? What do you fancy?

31 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

Before you get published is the time to experiment with genre hopping. I think it's harder afterwards except for the few who are able to do it.

Christine Danek said...

A long time ago, I dabbled in Adult, but right now I just love YA. It feels right for me. Of course, I can't get away from romances that have paranormal or science fiction. I just can't get away from them.

salarsenッ said...

This post is perfect for me, right now. It may seem strange, but I think my calling is YA and picture books. Both come very easy to me. I'm currently taking a stab at MG writing. It's fun. I agree with Laura that experimenting with genres prior to publication is best. Once you're successfully established in a certain market, though, I think you can start to spread your wings again. :) We have to keep our fan base in mind.

Creepy Query Girl said...

OH I totally genre hop. All of my books are YA but I've got one historical paranormal, one urban fantasy, one contemporary romance and a brand new romantic comedy in the works.

Miranda Hardy said...

Yes, I'm a hopper. I enjoy writing historical and fantasy, for both YA and Adult. I can't help it.

Richard said...

Interesting idea! I have been working only on my memoirs/true crime genre, based upon some of my criminal trials. But maybe some hoppin' couldn't hurt! Thanks!

Katie Ganshert said...

I definitely think there is a big need to follow our hearts and our gut when it comes to any creative pursuit. If we get so obsessed with, "this is my genre and I can't write outside of it"....then we risk losing our creativity. Which would be quite tragic.

But in the same breath - agents/editors do want a writer who knows themselves and their brand. I know my agent has said that red flags go up if she talks with a potential client who writes in all kinds of genres.

So it's a very fine line!

Laura Marcella said...

I'm a genre hopper! Right now I'm focusing on middle-grade (that's where I want to establish my career first) but I also have mainstream fiction and chick lit in the works too. And lots of ideas for other genres.

Writers are artists, and we need to explore and grow our creativity!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I was going to write a romantic suspense, but all my ideas are for YA, so YA it's going to be for this gal. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No genre hopping yet!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I genre hop all the time! I write historicals, fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, combinations thereof. I write from PBs to MG to YA to adults.

Anna said...

I'm a hopper. My first novel is a suspense-ish novel, and the one I'm working on now is historical fiction. My drawer draft was historical fiction too. And my short stories are all over the place!

Sarah Pearson said...

Right now I can do whatever I want, I have only self-imposed deadlines. It's fun trying different things. That said, I keep coming back to YA:)

Shannon said...

Jen,

I think you are perfectly matched for Chic Lit! =) But, I'm with you - why limit yourself?

To date, I have a MG, YA and chic lit mss. And I love them all.

Keep me posted on your next project!

Shirley Wells said...

I started off with romance, contemporary and historical. Five years ago, I decided I wanted to write a crime/mystery novel and haven't looked back since. The important thing, I believe, is to write from the heart and give people the story you'd love to read.

Talli Roland said...

I'm with Laura - I say experiment away! Have fun while you can... I don't mean that in an ominous way, but once you get published it's generally harder to genre hop.

Aubree said...

nothing wrong with experimenting! i don't even pay that much attention to genres. well a little. but i just like to write the story i want to write.

Aubree said...

nothing wrong with experimenting! i don't even pay that much attention to genres. well a little. but i just like to write the story i want to write.

Marsha Sigman said...

I'm a hopper. Sort of. I want to stay with YA and there is probably always going to be a supernatural/paranormal/fantasy element in them. 'Cause that's how I roll.lol

But I also have a rough middle grade ms that I want to go back to evenutally and it has none of those elements. Go figure...it's what fell out of my head.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I'm not a hopper. I'd like to be someday, though! In terms of reading, I'm getting better at reading books outside my genre - so that's a start!

Meredith said...

Yay for going with your gut! I write mainly YA, but never say never! Who knows, I may end up being a crime novelist or something. Probably not, though. :)

Beth said...

"Go with your gut" good answer. I write what I love to read and since that's pretty much always YA, YA it is.
bethfred.com

Brenda Sills said...

This is Fantastic! It's the exact conundrum that I've been in! Thanks for your wise and inspiring words!

Brenda Sills said...

TAG! YOU'RE IT! I wanted to let you know that I tagged you on my blog - come on over and see what it's all about!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Ah, this is a good time to experiment with genres to find your niche! I started out writing children's books before I realized that my voice simply didn't fit there - that's when I started writing YA and never looked back. Good post Jen - as always:)

Susanne Drazic said...

Good post, Jen. Definitely go with the gut feeling. It is usually always right.

mshatch said...

definitely a hopper, ranging from historical romance to epic fantasy to ya paranormal.

Tess said...

I wish I could hop but really can't...my voice is distinctly middle grade. I didn't even start out trying to write MG...it is just that everything I wrote came out that way. I'm always impressed by those who have that versatility.

happy summering!

Arlee Bird said...

I want to hop all over the place and I do experiment with short stories. But I think you've got the right idea. And in the end I think the right genre chooses you. Following your passions and innermost feelings is usually the most comfortable and most promising road to take.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Christa said...

This is great advice. And so important for beginning writers who are still trying to find their way.

And even hopping between short stories, poetry, novels is great experience.

Samantha Vérant said...

I'm a total genre hopper. Would that make me a genre [insert explicative here]? Then, yes, it would! right now I'm working on new YA...