Every writer has a preferred genre to write in whether it is Fantasy, Literary Fiction, YA Adventure or a myriad of others. I also believe that every writer has a genre that they avoid like the plague. It might be Romance (eww, mushy stuff) or Westerns (hate horses and cowboys) or Horror (afraid of being afraid). Whatever it is, most writers, myself included, would never dream of venturing into those forbidden areas.
I should say, I used to be one of those writers.
For me there used to be several “Forbidden” genres. I would never consider horror or YA or erotica. They weren’t my bag, so to speak. In one case in particular (YA), I’m ashamed to say I thought it wasn’t “BIG” enough to bother with.
Now, before all you YA writers decide to come to my house with torches and pitchforks let me say that I was a misguided buffoon (with apologies to all the buffoons out there) to think so. Writing a good YA novel is no easier than writing a good Adult novel. I have since seen the light and dug my head out of my bottom.
My point is, I always wanted to write a YA novel but never thought I should. I thought I had to write an “Important” adult novel first. That thought and a number of years finally saw that idea come to fruition but it was an enormous struggle. Then I sat down less than a month after finishing the adult Fantasy novel and wrote a 50,000 word YA Superhero Adventure in three weeks.
What was different?
Other than the new knowledge that I could write a novel, the difference was how much pressure I put myself under. I knew what a good Fantasy novel looked like and I fought myself to write one too. I had no such pressures for the YA novel. I knew at a fairly high-level the kind of book I wanted to write and I let the words come naturally. I didn’t beat myself up at every perceived mistake in the writing. The other difference? I had a LOT of fun writing it.
Which story is better? That depends on what you like. I believe they are both worth reading (in my totally unbiased opinion, of course).
Does my story end there? Not at all. I actually decided to take the experimentation one step further. I challenged myself last year to write 30 stories (short) in 30 days. By the time I was done I had written Science Fiction, Horror, Erotica, YA and a few other genres I had never considered. I won’t say all the stories are gems but of the 30 I wrote (actually 27) there are at least 6 that I will one day edit and begin to send out. And surprise of all surprises they are not all Science Fiction or Fantasy.
That brings me to my other point. Don’t be afraid to go beyond what you think is right. Try new things. Chances are the first writers of Supernatural Romance started with, “I hate romance novels but wouldn’t it be cool if I had a Vampire and a Werewolf fall in love?” Since they didn’t like romance novels they didn’t follow the structure as diligently as they might have and the resulting hybrid was interesting to enough people that a whole new genre took off.
Or maybe some creative genius decided to try and meld the classic western with space opera. Anybody ever hear of Joss Whedon’s “Firefly”? Cult following would be a major understatement. How about 1930’s detective novel and Fantasy novel (Billibub Baddings Mysteries) or maybe Fantasy and Marshal Arts (Chronicles of Morevi)? For these two, check out some books written by Tee Morris (www.teemorris.com).
It is entirely possible that you will find that you don’t like writing in the “Forbidden Genres”. You may be perfectly happy writing in your genre of choice and that’s perfectly alright. Just keep in mind that by writing other things chances are good that your own writing will become richer and more interesting.
Nothing new to report on the writing front but I do have some very exciting (to me anyway) news. Later today I am interviewing award winning podcaster and author Christiana Ellis for my next ‘Get Published’ episode. For those of you who haven’t yet heard of Christiana, she has written and podcast some wonderful stories. Her podcast novel ‘Nina Kimberly the Merciless’ is set for release on May 15th from Dragon Moon Press.
If you haven’t yet listened to ‘Get Published’, I can only ask “Why not?”. Perhaps this interview will help change your mind.
Have a fantastic week!