H is for…Genre? Hmmm

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Maybe I should have talked about genre yesterday, but featuring my cozy mystery, Her Cousin, Much Removed (which is free today) got me thinking about the topic, a day late for G. It’s all going haywire over here.

Anyway, my natural genre is humorous, offbeat science fiction. It’s how my brain works, it’s how I see the world and our relationship to technology. But then I got this opening line in my head, and suddenly I had to write it down. And then the next part.

I’m not a planner by any means, but suddenly I found myself surrounded by charts and notes, details about characters and their motivations, suspicious of everyone. And then I got to the point of the book where I had to figure out who did it.

It was staring at me, right there, from the notes. And I’ll tell you, it wasn’t the person I set out to pin it on. People surprise you, even when they’re fictional.

After I wrote the cozy, as I affectionately called it, I wrote a sequel to Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) which I’m currently editing. Going from a genre that wasn’t natural for me to one that was was like training with weights on my typing fingers. I took them off and ran faster than I had before.

Now I’m stretching in a different direction, with fantasy and young adult. It really sends your brain to new places, makes you willing to try a new approach, see things, while writing, a totally different way.

Have you tried a different genre? How did it go?

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16 thoughts on “H is for…Genre? Hmmm

  1. Stacy Claflin

    Currently, all of my books are YA paranormal romance. I do have one in the works that is neither paranormal or romance. The YA is up in the air, because it’s definitely more mature, but I want it to be something that teens *can* read. It has an important message.

    Obviously, I don’t know how a genre switch will play out, since it’s in the future, but I think my current readers will like it since it’s still my style of writing. A lot of twists and turns, and full of suspense.

    • Sounds like a lot of fun. I think, as writers, it’s good for us to do something a little different, it uses more of your brain. Can’t wait to find out more about the new stuff:)

  2. “It was staring at me, right there, from the notes. And I’ll tell you, it wasn’t the person I set out to pin it on. People surprise you, even when they’re fictional.”
    So the characters become very real, with a kind of freewill, as you’re writing, wow! I’m not an author, I’m a huge reader, so I found that fact so interesting. Tried to download the book but I have an Amazon.co.uk account not .com and it may not be available yet…Btw, did you realise, it isn’t free on the US site,
    Cheers.
    Gosh I’m a reader not a writer even though I blog a bit and I was facsinated

  3. I don’t think much about genre. I read all over. I write wherever the characters take me. It’s always good to try new things, as you mentioned, stretch out and take the brain somewhere new.

    • When writing in my natural voice, genre wasn’t much of an issue, it really became one when I had to classify it. After that, I made a conscious choice to try writing firmly in a genre, though with Her Cousin, Much Removed I got the opening and off I went.

      I think it really helps when you go back to what you gravitate toward naturally. Reading, though, I’m with you. If it has a good opening line, I’m in.

    • Yes, writing is one of the hardest things to do, but when it’s going well, you enter the bubble with your characters, and it’s incredible. That’s what keeps you staring at that evil little cursor.

      I highly recommend doing something like Nanowrimo if you really want to try writing a book. It helps you to sit down and put in the words, and is a really fun way to start.

    • Well, we’ll see…writing fell a liiiittttllleee bit by the wayside today. Maybe Camp Nanowrimo, the A-to-Z challenge and launching a book was a little, ermm, much??!

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