View Full Version : Finding Your Genre

05-09-2010, 10:51 AM
How did you come to write in your particular genre? Did you try other genres first? What's your story, eh?

05-09-2010, 11:18 AM
I'd tried writing a few epic science fiction/urban fantasy novels, but all of them have been trunked. When I first participated in NaNoWriMo, I wrote a gay-themed romantic comedy just to try something different. And as they say in Poughkeepsie, voila. Four of the six I've written for NaNo have been romcoms.

If you aren't certain, just try writing a particular genre. Worse that can happen is you'll have to junk it and start over with something else. The time and work spent won't have been wasted, since you'll have been writing and any practice is better than none.

05-09-2010, 04:06 PM
For as long I can remember, I've always loved the supernatural and the relationships between friends. Put the two together and you get my stuff. Writing anything else wasn't ever an option.

05-09-2010, 06:24 PM
Until you get a novel published, I think it's wise to write in the genre you most love reading. It simplifies everything, and ups the odds of success considerably.

Linda Adams
05-09-2010, 07:04 PM
By a very circuitous route. When I did my first novel, I had no clue what genre it was actually in. I thought it was mystery, but when I read information about mysteries, the book didn't fit. I remember reading how-to books on mysteries and thinking, "But this doesn't describe my book." Yet I could find similar books in the bookstore. But they were all in mystery. Eventually, I discovered that there were two other genres buried in mystery: Suspense and Thriller. Similar, but with different aspects.

I preferred the action and adventure of thriller, especially things like treasure hunts. But after Books 2 and 3, the genre changed. It became more gritty and violent. Seemed like every book had a body part being cut off or a eye gouged out. That's not me or how I write. So I wrote down all the genres I like to read (four) and wrote down the pros and cons for writing each one. The result was that I took the action adventure/treasure hunt aspect to contemporary/urban fantasy.

05-09-2010, 08:03 PM
I write what I most enjoy reading: literary fiction, historical fiction set in ancient cultures, and science fiction (all short stories so far, though I am planning to write some sci-fi novels some day.)

I don't give a pinch that vampire books and zombies and angsty YA novels are what sell really well right now. I could write any of those, but not as well as I can write stuff I'm totally in love with.

Shady Lane
05-09-2010, 08:06 PM
When I was younger, writing YA made sense because it was what I really knew. I'm still young, but I could be writing adult at this point...but I wrote one and I didn't like it. So I'm sticking with YA and MG for now, which are my favorites to read. All contemporary.

05-09-2010, 08:18 PM
I just write the stories that I like, which is what I like to read.

It turns out it's what most people would call "literary fiction".

05-09-2010, 10:44 PM
I started reading a lot of MG and YA in law school, mostly because they were short, fast reads, and I didn't have a lot of time to read for enjoyment back then. I discovered that I love MG and YA, and generally prefer to read kidlit over adult novels. As it turned out, that's what I prefer to write, too.


05-10-2010, 06:54 AM
I write the stuff that I enjoy reading which tends to run to the dark and gritty side. I try writing other stuff, but they never turn out the way I want. So I stick to what I do best, UF

05-10-2010, 07:13 AM
My reading tastes were cyberpunk/urban noir and my first efforts were along those lines. However I ended up writing a 100k vampire novel almost by accident - it was based on a throwaway line and I received enough encouragement to see if I could sustain a narrative over that length.

Carolanne Patton
05-10-2010, 06:07 PM
At some point when I was a child, I can't really remember how old I actually was, I got a hold of a book of Edgar Allan Poe stories. That was it for me. I've been a fan of Horror ever since and that's what I feel most comfortable writing.

Ryan David Jahn
05-10-2010, 07:07 PM
I don't really write within a single genre, though I do seem write within a family of genres. But I didn't find my genres so much as they found me. Ideas came, characters came, and they just happened to fit, however uncomfortably, more or less within this box with "crime/thriller/suspense" Sharpied on the outside. I'm okay with that.

05-12-2010, 05:08 PM
I only write what I would like to read, and I'll read anything as long as it's good. That said, my mind prefers to deal with the fantastic, and so everything I write ends up in the speculative fiction area before long. It's not that I dislike 'mundane' fiction- I just know that my imagination refuses to be confined to 'reality'. I guess the fantastic seems more real to me than the mundane.

05-12-2010, 05:12 PM
"I don't have any ideas left in the tank." -S. Peaches, 2008.

"Ah, just make up a bunch of people, get them drunk and have them fuck a lot." -T. Thinker42, 2008.

And lo! My NaNo 2008 novel was born. It's name? Why, Long Time Coming.

The rest is history.

05-12-2010, 06:12 PM
That's a good question. I originally thought I'd want to write romance and horror. Those are the major reads in my library. I just didn't like writing them. I attempted and only got in aobut ten pages and decided writing wasn't for me. Then my husband challenged me to write a scifi novel and I just love writing about teens. Once I started, I couldn't stop. Now four books and 2 years later, I'm still writing YA Scifi.