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Friday, January 15, 2010

What's Your Genre?

One of my New Year's goals was to post my weekly word count for you. Didn't do that last week because I kept hitting the delete button. But this week I can report that I have 2,745 new words. Yeah, not a lot but it's better than nothing. Must learn to curb this blogging addiction I have:)

Lately, I've been curious about sticking to one genre when writing. I've mentioned before that my current WIP is a YA dystopian. But I have other ideas and they all seem to fall under the speculative fiction umbrella. And they are all YA. I even have a notebook in which I write ideas as they come to me. As I was looking through it the other day , I found something a little different. It was from a dream I had last year (yeah I occasionally dream about something that I actually remember in the morning). But this one had nothing to do with teenagers. In fact I would say that it would be more of a comedy. Now that's weird for me because I am not that funny when writing. I can crack a joke here and there when I'm talking to someone, but I've discovered my writing voice is more serious. So where am I going with this? Well, I'm not sure. I guess I'm trying to figure out if this could be something I could develop later on.

I've heard of some authors sticking to one genre when they first start out, but then they use a pseudonym when they branch out to different things. One author that comes to mind is Nora Roberts. I've read a lot of her romance books, but I know that she has a totally different series that she writes using a different name (I think it's J.D. Robb).

What about you? Do all of your writing projects stay within the same genre? Or do you write under a wide variety of topics?

19 comments:

  1. None of writing projects fall within the same genre, at the moment. It is actually freaking me out, because I am afraid of the lit agent search and disappointing fans of my first book with someone totally different in later works. Although, I would say most of my YA and MG WIPs are bildungsroman, that's where there similarities end.

    Recently, I have thought a lot about other authors and their works. I can think of many successful authors that stick in the same genre: John Green and Suzanne Collins, to name a couple. But look at Lois Lowry, nearly everything she writes, I love. So, can I do that, too? I am not sure. But at this point, I am just hoping to get one book done and then find out from there.

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  2. I've heard that as well and I'm in the same boat as you. I have a lot of ideas in the YA genre, but I also have a chick lit idea for a women's soccer team, since I play soccer. I 'm going to go with YA and work on my soccer book just for me and see what happens.

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  3. I love writing fantasy and for now that's what I'm sticking with, but if a great idea takes me, I'm chasing it down. I think you should write what you love and if that's a lot of things, all the better!

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  4. My feeling is that you should write what speaks to you. If it's all in the same genre that's great. If it's in different genre's and you end up using two pen names, that works too.

    As an unpublished author there is no reason to limit yourself. The first book you write might never get published, then your second book in a different genre could be a hit. You just never know. So write what you want to write, and let the chips fall were they lie.

    But honestly, I know a lot of well known authors that write in multiple genre's under the same name. The only times you really need to worry about multiple pen names is if you're writing for children under one name and super adult content under another. Or if you're such a prolific writer in one genre you're almost a brand, like the Nora Roberts example.

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  5. I think it's definitely something to consider as far as marketability. And truly, most authors tend to stick with similar genres primarily because once you've established a fan base for one genre, it tends to sort of keep you there (and, of course, your skills will be honed for that genre). But that is not to say that you can't comfortably glide from one genre to another, especially if those genres are in some way related. I say give it all a try, whatever it is you're feeling up to writing. Part of this whole messy writing business is discovering where your talents and preferences lie. Don't pidgeonhole yourself. I'd wager you're quite good at a lot of different genres. The trick now is to discover what you like best ;)

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  6. I say write what you love. You'll have plenty of time to brand yourself as an author as you proceed down the road to publication.

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  7. I'm still new at writing (novels) so I'm not sure how diverse I could really get. I think I'm trying to throw everything into my novel, which could be good, or bad. I have a bit of drama, horror and comedy all mixed together. I'd say I definitely write for adults. Some of the stuff I've written shocks me, being raised a church-girl. I guess you discover all parts of your personality when you let your creative self loose.

    Good job with the word count this week! Every bit counts :)

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  8. I must happily agree with Anissa; write what you love! I wrote a middle grade fantasy novel about rats that lots of writers and agents told me would be a very hard sell. Well...ummm... :)

    xoxo -- Hilary

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  9. I'm just not that flexible! I stick to Women's Fiction, in all my stories there seems to a thread of romance. Maybe I could swing that direction one day.

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  10. I like Ya, contemporary romance and general fiction. I also write some older middle grade that I lump in with my YA but it's a different audience altogether.

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  11. I'm still trying to figure out what genre I write now. I want to believe it's literary fiction... but wonder if it is (or, will be, when it's finished) "good" enough to fall under that umbrella.

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  12. I think you have to find where your voice fits best and what calls to you the most. That may be one genre or multiple.

    I'm the opposite of you--I have trouble writing serious. All of my stuff ends up being snarky and funny (according to my beta readers). So I will probably never be writing literary fiction.

    I also always have a romance thread no matter what, so I'm just naturally drawn to romance (both YA and adult).

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  13. I have several WIP's and none of them are remotely alike. I also create word puzzles and write poetry. Depending on the moment, my poetry is ridiculously silly or incredibly thought-provoking. So, I don't know what kind of a writer I really am. Go figure.

    Wordy
    Word Designer

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  14. I forgot to mention that a program I found (for free) that is helping me with the many projects I'm working on is called Spacejock. Here's the link:
    Space Jock

    After doing PiBoIdMo with Tara Lazar, I had 30 picture book ideas, besides all my other WIP's and I needed a way to organize them. This is a great program.

    Wordy
    Word Designer

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  15. I plan to experiment with many different genres--all the spec fiction genres, plus historical and contemporary realism. But only a short novel for the latter. I like my spec stuff too much!

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  16. I am not sure about Melissa, but everyone's comments have helped me change my point of view, and for the better.

    Unfortunately, I read over my comment and realized it's a big mountainous mess of typos, gross.

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  17. I'm the same as you. I'm funny in person, but serious when I write. I'm working on a fairytale re-telling that's both whimsical and fantastical - is that a word? I like it. I also have a contemporary YA idea I'm mulling over.

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  18. I'm afraid I write across genre. I just have to write what moves me.
    BTW, I left you a little happy award on my blog.

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  19. Mine are all over the place! But I have been trying to focus on MG lately (because that is the genre of the manuscript that is on submission now). I've heard that it's easier to shift genres after you've written a few in your first genre. I have a YA dystopian that I really want to write, but I need to finish my MG manuscript first!

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