New Year, New Me

For many, many years, authors were told they had to pick a genre and stick to it. Nothing they wrote could be outside that genre. In today’s writing world, authors are genre jumping or genre mixing on a regular basis. It’s not unusual for romance to be historical or fantasy, even paranormal. This is just one example of genre mixing. Authors are also writing books in many genres—they’re going where the story follows instead of hidebound rules. And they’re using the same pseudonym on their books. Not at all like years past when authors had separate pseudonyms for each genre, because, horror of horrors, how could anyone imagine purchasing a horror novel written by the same person who pens cozy mysteries.

Yes, we are branching out. Authors have learned their fans have varied tastes. Once your fans decide they like your work, they will stick with you. Now, give them what they’re looking for, what they desire.

As the new year approaches, some authors are saying they can’t come up with anything new. They’re bored with what they’ve been writing. They want to expand their horizons and try a new type of book, but they’re afraid.

Afraid of what you ask?

They’re afraid their fans will abandon them if they switch genres. They’re terrified they’ll lose the respect they’ve worked so hard to earn. Mostly, they’re afraid they won’t be as good with another genre as they are with the one they’ve safely ensconced themselves in for years. Yet, they also don’t feel they can approach a new project using the same formula they’ve used for years.

Personally, I’ve never stuck to a single genre. I don’t stick to just one viewpoint either, but that’s another post for another day. I write the story as the characters demand of me. They are in control, hence the name of my blog, Out of Control Characters.

Now, I’m not saying that I let my characters take over everything. I do outline. Sort of. Okay, the outline is out the window by chapter three every single time. Those characters are set on what they will have happen and they don’t let me forget that.

Now that I have that confession off my chest, I have to admit that it’s fun not having to stick to an outline. Sure, I like the basics of a story noted before I begin, but not much more than that. Do I know the ending? Usually, but those pesky characters have been known to change that too.

This new year, try a different route with your writing. Expand your horizons. Write a short story in a genre you’ve long wanted to try. You might just find that you do have the ability to switch up your work.


Donna Alice said…
So true and good advice to start the new year. I've never been one to stick to one genre or one point of view either.