Charles Yallowitz at Legends of Windemere made a great post today concerning genre writing and asks some interesting popular questions. I took up his challenge to explore these questions with this post and encourage you to do the same. Pay Charles a visit and get the list of questions.
1. What made you choose the genre that you write in? If not working within a genre, why did you go that route?
I don’t think with my first book that I chose a genre, the genre chose me. I was simply writing a story and where it fit was not a concern.
2. What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of working within a genre?
Strengths: Practice makes perfect. Writing, writing, and writing in the same scope is bound to help an author hone their craft. Having a specific genre aids marketing for sure…you know exactly where your work fits and have a pretty good idea where to find your audience and who they are.
Weaknesses: Creativity. Genre reading and writing can become mundane and too predictable. I read a crossover of many genres and can’t understand how some readers can stay so genre dedicated, for example to romance, or historical fiction, or reading only crime novels/thrillers. I like expanding my knowledge base and testing my comprehension. It is part of the perpetual student in me.
3. Do you think genres crossover a lot more often than we realize?
Traditionally, no. Most recently, say in the past five years, yes. I think breaking away from traditional publishing control has helped that. Some don’t think it is a good thing, but I feel it is fantastic for broadening horizons, thinking outside the box, creative expression…that sort of thing.
4. Would you try another genre or are you locked into your area as a specialist? Do you believe this hurts you as an author?
As a reader, yes! I love exploring other genre. As a writer, I tried, and though some readers thought I was successful, I did not feel it. It was uncomfortable to my linear stream of consciousness writing style and required more plotting and outlining than I like to do. I don’t think it hurts you as an author to try other styles of genre writing, if anything, it contributes to developing other talent.
5. Would you write within a genre that you don’t like, but is currently popular in order to get your foot in the door of the business?
Again, I tried. My work is literary and historical. The crime novel was/is an adventure. I would like to go back to it at some point and see if I can accomplish it. My husband loved it but, to me, it seemed shallow and superficial. I like my work to have a deeper moral or historical value.
I write for fun and making a profit is not my goal. My focus has been on presenting evidences, stimulating thinking and introspection through fiction and letting the reader make up their own mind about issues presented. More informative than entertaining in that these are real life situations not reality escapes…yet, they are presented in a creatively imagined world with creatively developed characters.