The Writers Circle: Writing across Genres

One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

What do you think about writing in different genres? Should well-known authors stick to what they have become known for writing or is it good for them to branch out and try to conquer more than one genre? Do you feel the same way for aspiring authors? Do you write in only one genre or do you write in several?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

7 thoughts on “The Writers Circle: Writing across Genres

  1. I think writers should write in whatever genre best fits the story they want to tell, whether it all be one genre or several. Yes, sometimes it’s good to have a “brand” if you’re looking to become known for writing in a particular genre, but some folks have more than one type of story to tell. 🙂

    I have written literary fiction, and in historical fiction, and science fiction. I’m currently finishing up the first draft of a YA-centered post-apocalyptic novel, which I hope to turn into a series with stories branching off of the first.

  2. I think writers should stick with one genre, become expert at it. But, most people I know disagree with me–including published authors! So, I’ll say, sticking to one genre seems to work for my slow learning curve.

  3. I have heard many people become upset when an author has expanded into other genres than the one he or she became famous for. I have come to wonder, though, if the issue is about the authors or if it is actually about us readers.

    For example, I am a huge fan of Isaac Asimov. I’ve read nearly all of his works. He is, of course, most famous for his science fiction work, but he has also written mysteries and poetry and non-fiction and other things. I’ve read some of his mysteries and they are enjoyable reads. However, I am not typically a fan of mysteries, so… I cannot say if he was *good* at writing mysteries or not. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t, but since *I* don’t typically like mysteries, I liked these stories less than his usual science fiction fare.

    So, is it about him as a writer or about me as a reader? I don’t know.

  4. I used to be a faithful reader of fiction written by Andrew Greeley. He’s best know for the way he incorporates the Christian religion into his stories. Yet I have bought books written by him that go into the genres of sci-fi and fantasy. His ability to weave a tale in all 3 genres is amazing. Why have I stopped reading his books? In later years his stories have become mundane. Sad to say the least.

    If the writer feels able to write in genres, I would say go for it. When I have a story idea, genre isn’t the first thing I’m thinking about.

    • Correct —
      If the writer feels able to write in DIFFERENT genres, I would say go for it. When I have a story idea, genre isn’t the first thing I’m thinking about.

  5. While my novels and novellas are written more seriously, I sometimes like to give my short stories, which are quite long, a little bit of a fantasy twist to them.
    Having said that,my latest novella “The Monk’s Jewel,” takes readers into a world of suspended reality, but only as far as the monk is concerned. The other characters in the story are helped by what the monk knows in a slightly different level of reality. This seemed to work!

  6. We all have our own penchants for certain genres, but lets face it, how are we to grow as writers if we don’t test ourselves. Sometimes it’s good to get out of our comfort zones and challenge ourselves. What’s the worst that could happen? Have fun with it, you may surprise yourself! When I buy books to read, I’ll head for the stuff I can’t resist, but then I’ll pick something I would never normally pick and and find myself pleasantly surprised. I do the same with music. Pick and odd ball, something you’ve never heard before some of my greatest finds have happened this way, it’s the same with writing, you just never know! 🙂

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