Don’t Put Me In A Box

There are those who will tell you that an author must write in the same genre, no matter what the story demands. That can’t be further from the truth in the twenty-first century publishing world.

First of all, the story demands the setting. A tale that must have a foreign locale, with a romance setting won’t work well at all as an action adventure. The narrative and dialogue will be stilted, hard to read. A sci-fi story set in a faraway universe will falter if it’s languishing in small town USA.

These are just a few examples of what can happen if you attempt to tell a story from a perspective the characters hate. If you’re a planner, an author who must write an outline before starting the story, then you need to allow your characters to come alive and tell you how they want things to go. A panster will have to be aware when the characters have gone silent and are no longer talking to you. More than likely, you’ll need to reevaluate the setting and try it elsewhere.

That’s the fun of writing in this very diverse world. We switch around from romance to westerns. Young adult stories are the most fun—coming of age can switch to sci-fi with a touch of action/adventure. Fantasy can also be time travel. Don’t forget about paranormal—witches, warlocks, creatures of the night, and ghosts are great for taking over a young adult novel and creating situations where you characters have a lot of fun.

I’ve been writing fiction for nearly twenty years. Since the beginning, I haven’t stuck to one genre. My stories are set where they belong. Most are multiple genres, to give the characters the chance to develop along with the story line. Recently, I’ve seen too many authors proclaiming that multi-genre authors are “confused” “don’t know how to write” or “need to go back to school.” My response to these people will always be—bet I’m having more fun than you are.

Don’t let those people stop you from creating great stories in whatever genre they fit in. Remember—this is your book!


I agree 100 percent. I'm a multi-genre author, although all of my stories do end with a HEA, but I believe you can't force a good story into a pre-selected outline. Each story is unique and has to fit where it belongs. I'm not the expert you are, since I'm a newbie, but it would be nice to think I can do this another 20 years.
KC Sprayberry said…
Never give up on your dreams. I've had so many people tell me that I'll never succeed, but I ignored them. The stories won't stop coming now, each more complex than the last. That's a reward in itself.

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