Genre Questions and Writing Plans For the Month of March and Beyond…

“One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of one’s own flesh in the inkpot, each time one dips one’s pen.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

Something I’ve been wrestling with lately or actually, just starting to consider is where I belong genre-wise.  Do I need to belong to a particular genre? Is there a genre out there that is a right fit for me? Do you “fit” into a genre or do you write first and then the genre sort of comes to you once your work is out there?  Some people seem to know precisely which genre their writing belongs.  I’m not one of those people – yet.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m sitting here wringing my hands or losing sleep over this. I just wonder what genre I lean towards.  Or maybe I don’t lean towards one particular genre at all.  I guess I don’t really care that much, it is just a question that sort of popped into my head the other day.  I wonder what other writer’s thoughts about this are.  I hope someone responds with their own view.  I know it probably sounds like a really odd question but a writer friend said something the other day that made me think about this myself.

Lately I’ve taken to reading materials outside what I typically would read.  One of my goals this year is to reach beyond my comfort zone and stretch my imagination more.  I’m going to focus on writing short stories – something to which I’ve never really given much thought.  I have one written so far that needs to be edited and revised and several others in mind.  I’m really excited about this.

I started a list of what I plan to do for this month that will hopefully carry over into the rest of the year.  I will still be plugging away on my novel in the meantime and trying to maintain a consistent writing regimen.  So far, I think I’m off to a good start!

Happy March!

0 thoughts on “Genre Questions and Writing Plans For the Month of March and Beyond…

  1. That’s a really interesting question. Right now I say that I write whimsical horror because I don’t really fit into a specific genre. It’s dark, yes, but also eloquent and hopeful. But you need to define your genre if an agent is going to sale your book, and that’s where I think it gets even more tricky. Fantasy? Horror? Literary? Shelve the book in the wrong area and your sales die. Even though it’s very literary, literary folks won’t want to pick up a book that is classified as horror.

    When you figure out an answer to this question, please let me know. 😛

  2. Thanks for the comment! I love the term whimsical horror! I’m going to have to check out your writing. 🙂 I like your blog!

    I definitely agree that a genre must be determined for the sake of selling the book. I’m so far from that point right now though that I guess I’m not sure if I am trying to fit into a genre or if I am still undecided and it will just naturally come to me. Does that make sense?

    Thanks again! 🙂

  3. Hi Tracy, I don’t know where you see yourself further down the line, whether you intend to self-publish, or submit to agents etc. But assuming it’s the latter, I would advise you just to write the novel you want to write, complete it, polish it to its utter best. Then sit down and figure how you’re going to market it, ie the synopsis and the covering letter in which you may or may not talk about its genre. To me genre is only about trying to sell the book, not anything to do with writing it. If you’re writing a vampire book – you know it’s a vampire book, you don’t have to concern yourself with the state of the vampire novel in 2010, just as long as your take on it has something different to offer.

    To my mind, genres actually diminish both the author and the reader. they diminish any author who starts tailoring their work to fit within a genre. They diminish a reader because good writing is just good writing and they should be open to all forms of good writing, not one section of a bookshop.

    Sorry to go on a bit, but i feel very strongly that genre is about the product and not the artwork.

    • Hey Marc,

      Thanks for responding!

      I agree that genre is not and should not be the focal point when writing a book.

      I guess my main question regarding this issue is more along the lines of being curious as to who I am as a writer. I want to write about everything. All things interest me.

      I don’t really want to be defined by a particular genre or worry about that. I don’t like labels or categories myself. At this point in my writing – the whole idea of marketing and “selling” myself is not really even in my frame of thought.

      I know at some point it might be necessary – as Mercedes pointed out – when it comes time to ultimately sell the book.

      Thanks for your comment! It is appreciated. I am enjoying this discussion and hearing what you think!
      🙂

  4. Never, ever think you shouldn’t write. You are a very, very good writer and have a lot to tell. Please, please don’t give it up. I will cross all my fingers, toes, eyes etc that you get it all back. But, if you don’t, maybe wait a while and then get back to re-writing the lost part.

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