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View Full Version : Are you completely loyal to your genre?



Kenzie
08-24-2008, 10:35 PM
Out of curiosity - does anyone here dabble in multiple genres? Do you stick with what you know and love best, does your style naturally fit one genre more so than others, or are you planning to try a few/all of them? If you do genre-hop, is it for the fun of it? Is it to try each of them on, and then will you stick with what fits best? Or do you/would you switch for commercial reasons: if vampire novels are suddenly the hottest thing on the market, would you write a vampire novel when your last work was a detective story?

Deccydiva
08-24-2008, 10:55 PM
I write what I feel comfortable with in line with my tastes, background and knowledge which covers two main genres. Whether I can write well in both remains to be seen as most of my writing to date has been non-fiction/technical. I don't think I would try anything else as my heart would not be in it.

Puma
08-25-2008, 12:18 AM
Multiple genres - and I would feel crippled if I was told I had to pick one and stick with it. My interests are not in a single area - and neither is my writing. Puma

Rae22
08-25-2008, 12:19 AM
I can't seem to separate myself from fantasy. Maybe it's an escapism thing, but I absolutely love writing about a world that doesn't actually exist, and has some kind of magical element in it. I dabbled in a mix of fantasy and science fiction once, but all I got out of it was a short story that has been hidden away, never to be seen again.

As far as writing for commercial reasons, I don't see the point. Sure, urban fantasy is the big thing at one moment. But by the time you've invested a year or so of your time writing your urban fantasy and getting it ready to submit, the trend will have moved on to something else and you'll be back to square one. Better to write something you love, and not worry about what's popular at the moment.

Danger Jane
08-25-2008, 12:21 AM
I think I might write genre--hard to tell, though--but I'm not tied to any one of the genres whose elements appear in my stories. I write the stories that come to me, regardless of whether there is magic or romance or what in them.

mscelina
08-25-2008, 12:22 AM
I'm loyal to my college football team, my husband and my beer in that order. When it comes to writing, I write the story that's driving me mad no matter what genre it is.

Riley
08-25-2008, 01:16 AM
I don't really pay attention. But most of my writing is in the science fiction, fantasy, and mainstream genres. I think the only time anyone should really worry about it is when you're working to get published and the publisher wants something specific. If the publisher says they want science fiction with no fantasy elements, that's what they'll get if you want a chance to be published.

Stormhawk
08-25-2008, 01:33 AM
I love my (multi)verse, as it's flexible enough to basically let me do what I want. The main thrust is urban fantasy (though I've had people say that it's more like high fantasy grounded in reality because of some of the themes/events). But it's flexible enough to let me do cyberpunk, and weird pseudo-science Doctor Who style stories.

I've also got a group of characters that are going to turn out more like the cast of a sit-com than anything (albeit one with a diminished god, a girl who likes to blow herself up, a girl who with ghosts following her around, a friendly zombie and a newborn baby), as their main story is more domestic than anything else.

dgiharris
08-25-2008, 01:40 AM
I began as a die hard sci-fi/fantasy short story writer. But then I branched out to other genres more as a learning experience. Lo and Behold, i'm finding I have a better talent for the other genres, especially humor. I've also found that now when I come back to my genre, I have more depth and can approach things from a unique perspective.

i've written: humor, romance, mystery, suspense, even an erotica (though that made me feel duuuurrrrtttttyyyyy) and of course sci-fi/fantasy. I'm also trying different voices, tenses, etc. and approach the genre hopping as a means to get better.

well, that's me

Mel...

Carmy
08-25-2008, 02:01 AM
My characters decide the genre. Thus far, none of them have been loyal to one.

Ervin
08-25-2008, 03:10 AM
I have tried some others, but I've found fantasy much easier and more interesting, probably because I have had interest in it far before I began writing seriously, in things such as visual arts and video games.

Clair Dickson
08-25-2008, 04:00 AM
I write mysteries. For me, the plot seemed easiest to figure out (since it's fairly structured-- solve the crime/case shortly after the climax/ dramatic show down with the bad guy.) But that's just me. And the formulaic nature makes it easier to know when and where to do what. None of my other attempts at conflicts really worked out... =P

Neurotic
08-25-2008, 07:21 AM
I'm not fanatically loyal to fantasy. If something pops into my head just begging to be written, I'll dabble. I wouldn't write something just because that was what the market was gagging for though. I get bored too easily. If the story isn't interesting to me I can't force myself to finish it. And wouldn't if I could. I'm not making money from writing, so I'd better be having fun. :)

GatodeCafe
08-25-2008, 08:25 AM
I write flash, which is arguably a "genre", but within my medium, I like to work with all styles, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, romance, action, adventure, whatever, it don't matter. I don't think I could stick with one style, I'd get bored.

Gray Rose
08-25-2008, 08:49 AM
I thought I would only write fantasy, but now I also write an occasional SF, and a lot of magic realism. I also write academic non-fiction, and in the future I want to write a non-fic book about design which will be part memoir.

Karen Duvall
08-25-2008, 08:53 AM
Everything I write has a paranormal bent or some kind of weirdness going on, so no matter what genre I'm writing it's in there. I have a couple of published romantic suspenses, one that's centered around a star-worshiping suicide cult ala Heaven's Gate, and the other featuring an enchanted celtic brooch. The urban fantasy my agent is shopping around has some romance in it, but it's really more fantasy. I like to mix it up.

stc
08-25-2008, 09:01 AM
Dan Simmons is my ideal. Fantasy, horror, mystery [Crook Factory], hard-boiled PI--he's the man. I'm amazed his Joe Kurtz novels aren't more popular.

Lyra Jean
08-25-2008, 09:08 AM
My favorite genre is SF but most of my short work ends up reading like an episode of Twilight Zone or Outer Limits.

My other favorite genre is historical. I haven't had the courage to write anything in that yet. I do have a story simmering on the back burner of my large stove that is centered around Hernando De Soto.

I'll use my name for one genre and my initials for the other. If I ever get the courage to write a historical that is.

Woodsie
08-25-2008, 09:15 AM
I've only written one, yet to be published book, but I'm all for writing and reading in all genre's that interest me.

MelodyO
08-25-2008, 11:48 AM
I'd be happy to write a traditional suspense or romance or what have you...except every time I consider potential plots, I think, "This would be so much better with a zombie/superhero/telepath in it." True story. :D FWIW, I think genre novels are easier to sell than "mainstream", so I think I'm on the right path if I want to be as commercial as possible.

Lyra Jean
08-25-2008, 02:36 PM
I could write steampunk. Isn't that like history and SF combined together.

sheadakota
08-25-2008, 03:09 PM
I have written in fantasy, mystery, thrillers, YA, and soft Sci-Fi. I think the only genre I haven't had the desire to write in has been romance- but never say never!

rhymegirl
08-25-2008, 04:19 PM
I think writers should be versatile. I've had a rhyming children's story published, have written a young adult novel and am working on an erotica novel.

ChaosTitan
08-25-2008, 05:47 PM
The great thing about writing speculative fiction (my genre of choice) is that it umbrellas so many other genre breakdowns: mystery, thriller, YA, romance, etc... So yep, I'm pretty loyal. :)

Shadow_Ferret
08-25-2008, 05:50 PM
I write fantasy, but that's such a huge genre these days, with epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, urban fantasy, and I'd even throw space opera in there, that it's not really limiting.

The great thing about writing speculative fiction (my genre of choice) is that it umbrellas so many other genre breakdowns: mystery, thriller, YA, romance, etc... So yep, I'm pretty loyal. :)When did they start lumping mystery and romance under speculative? I thought speculative was the umbrella for sci-fi and fantasy.

Tasmin21
08-25-2008, 05:54 PM
Fantasy is my one and only love, but that still leaves the world wide open for exploration. I mean, just on my plate now, I have a steampunk fantasy, a traditional fantasy, an urban fantasy and a paranormal thriller.

myscribe
08-25-2008, 06:58 PM
I'm loyal to the story. What the story and characters dictate will indicate the genre for me (they're bossy little dudes, you know).

willietheshakes
08-25-2008, 07:33 PM
I'm a genre bigamist -- I like to have several on the go in every work, just to keep things interesting.

I'm faithful to all of them, though, in my own way. We seem to have an understanding.

Lyra Jean
08-25-2008, 07:36 PM
You could write a historical, science fiction erotica story. We can call the genre Steamy punk.


















yeah I know lame. :tongue

KCathy
08-25-2008, 07:37 PM
Writing what's popular if I didn't like it myself would be too boring; writing's hard enough even when I'm having the time of my life with it. I love three different genres, though (Non-fic parenting, Non-fic Christian, Non-preachy Christian Action/suspense) and want to be C.S. Lewis when I grow up. Good question!

tehuti88
08-25-2008, 07:40 PM
Out of curiosity - does anyone here dabble in multiple genres? Do you stick with what you know and love best, does your style naturally fit one genre more so than others, or are you planning to try a few/all of them? If you do genre-hop, is it for the fun of it? Is it to try each of them on, and then will you stick with what fits best? Or do you/would you switch for commercial reasons: if vampire novels are suddenly the hottest thing on the market, would you write a vampire novel when your last work was a detective story?

So many questions!

I write in a few genres, though mostly in one.

I stick with what I know and love best, but that happens to be in a few different genres!

Yes, my style naturally fits one genre more than others. Of course, it might be just that my plots and interests, not my style itself, fit the genre, because it'll always be my style whatever genre I'm writing in. *shrug*

I try a new genre only if it's something I have a story I want to write in. I don't really set out to write a genre story (even if I'm a genre writer and stick almost exclusively to the same few), I just set out to write a story, and if it doesn't happen to be in any of the genres I usually write in, well, so be it. Story first, then genre. Aside from that I have no desire to try them all out or anything like that, at least, not for the sake of trying them out!

I genre-hop because the stories I want to write just happen to fall into different genres.

I've had no need to try all the genres to see which fits best. I just write stories, and they fit where they may. And most of them seem to fit into the same place.

I have no reason to do anything for commercial purposes as I'm not seeking publication. For comparison though, I write a lot of M/F and M/M erotica, and once tried writing a F/F piece solely because it seemed to be a lot more popular and I thought it'd get me more attention. (I was feeling cynical.) It bombed out big time. I hated the story, and the readers, even those who prefer F/F, didn't like it either. (Compare this to different occasions when I wrote F/F pieces because I WANTED to, and they were much better received.)

So that was my lesson learned--write what *I* want to write, not what others want, because if I write solely what others want, I won't enjoy writing it, and others won't enjoy reading it, even if it's the subject they're interested in. I stick to writing what *I* want to write, and I love it.

My only gripe is I wish there were more people interested in the same subjects I am!

virtue_summer
08-25-2008, 09:25 PM
I used to think that I could never stick to a genre, that my ideas were just too broad. That was before I started focusing on writing speculative fiction (mainly dark fantasy and horror). Now these seem like such a natural fit to me that I'm not sure I'll ever want to leave. I might try some other kinds of speculative fiction, maybe a lighter fantasy or a soft science fiction novel someday, but I think I'm found my place. The truth is that what I want to tell are stories about people and to do that it's not so important what the setting is. I've also found that I can adapt some of my old ideas for other genres into supernatural stories and the fantasy elements allow for great metaphors. Also, things I love in other genres can still be part of these stories. I tend to like fast paced thrillers, so I can always try writing a supernatural thriller with a faster pace. I like some historical novels so maybe someday I'll have a historical setting to at least part of a novel. I think there's a lot of flexibility even within genres that people often overlook. Will this concentraion on speculative fiction continue indefinitely? Maybe. Maybe not. For now I'm just enjoying it.

C.bronco
08-25-2008, 09:45 PM
I write whatever has my current interest. For several years, I exclusively wrote poetry. The I went back to fiction an wrote a YA novel. I'm working on a graphic novel now, and I have had to do plenty of non-fiction for work. When I get to my next project, I don't know what it will be.

Robin Bayne
08-26-2008, 03:01 AM
I'm a Christian/sweet romance writer who is working on yet another time travel. I just really enjoy the "what ifs?"

Ol' 61
08-26-2008, 03:13 AM
If Jack White (Detroit garage rocker, for those who don't know) can make a record with Loretta Lynn (Queen of COuntry Music, for those who don't know), then a fantasy writer can write a romance, a romance writer can write sci-fi....

Don't limit yourself. If you think you can do it, do it! You never know till you try.

Cecilia, the cliche queen...

ishtar'sgate
08-26-2008, 05:28 AM
No. I go with what interests me. I was interested in the medieval period so I wrote about it. Now I'm interested in ancient Babylon so I'm writing a story set in Babylon. However, I'm also researching and putting together a storyline for an eco thriller. There are some genres I won't attempt - like murder/mysteries. I love to read them but I don't seem to be much good at writing them.
Linnea

Chasing the Horizon
08-26-2008, 08:32 AM
I mostly write fantasy, but do have one book I'm working on which is contemporary (though it does have light paranormal elements), so I'm certainly not 'loyal' to fantasy. I have an idea for a futuristic romance, which I'd like to work on someday (if I can ever get over my fear of the possibility it will be compared to 1984. Normally I don't mind being compared, but that was SUCH a great book.) I also have an idea for a historical, but am currently too busy/lazy to do the research.

I only seem to be able to change the tone of my narrative so much, which may mean I'll never be able to write the genre I most enjoy reading (Horror). When I tried to write horror, it came out like fantasy with extra monsters. *sigh* Maybe I should rework the idea to be urban fantasy. (Hmm, that's actually an interesting idea).

I would never write a genre just because it was popular. I write what I want to write. I won't even change the length of my books to make them match publishing guidelines if I think the story works best as it is.

Phoebe H
08-26-2008, 09:15 AM
I can't seem to separate myself from fantasy. Maybe it's an escapism thing, but I absolutely love writing about a world that doesn't actually exist, and has some kind of magical element in it.

That's me in a nutshell. But there are two main reasons that I write fantasy. One is that anytime I write something in the real world, the need to research every tiny detail *paralyzes* me. The other is that I like to take on deep, hot-button issues -- the nature of power, gender-relations, political situations -- and fantasy gives you a way to frame those in such a way that your reader can approach them with an open mind.

Varthikes
08-26-2008, 11:06 AM
I mainly focus on science fiction with my writing. Though, I may try to sprinkle in some other genres, like romance. And, some here may be aware of my attempt to put dragons--a typically fantasy element--in my science fiction alongside spaceships and your usual science fiction aliens.

I've tried several romance-type scenes between dragons. :D

Sunshine13
08-26-2008, 05:38 PM
I'm pretty versatile. I've got tons of ideas floating in my head. And I mostly think in terms of movie's versus books, but I thought I'd give it a try on a novel (fantasy) anyway. I don't see myself being very good at writing a novel in any other genre unless it's autobiographical or something, but I could be just cutting myself short. I love fantasy, and it just feels easier to write for me.

I also plan on venturing into the children's books as well. Both YA and younger. And of course, my screenplays. As for the question on if I'm actually good at any of these, it's still up in the air. We'll find out soon. :P

tehuti88
08-26-2008, 07:12 PM
That's me in a nutshell. But there are two main reasons that I write fantasy. One is that anytime I write something in the real world, the need to research every tiny detail *paralyzes* me. The other is that I like to take on deep, hot-button issues -- the nature of power, gender-relations, political situations -- and fantasy gives you a way to frame those in such a way that your reader can approach them with an open mind.

Ditto here. I write primarily a sort of mythological/historical fantasy--meaning I can take what I do know and am interested in, and use it, but what I don't know, I can make up if I have to. I would never feel competent enough to write pure historical fiction no matter how much research I do on the subjects I love.

With fantasy it's the best of both worlds--what you're interested in, and the ability to say, "What if?"

Oh yes, and all the deep issues too. :D Those are so ingrained in my work, I wonder if anyone even notices them.

midknighthaze
08-26-2008, 09:28 PM
you're not the only one who doubts if they've chosen the right genre when the story suddenly shifts where u never thought it could. My take? Run with it. Just thinking of the genre just keeps a reign on ur talents. Worry about the genre later.