Monday, November 14, 2011

Do You Write Outside Your Favorite Genre?

Remember when you were in school and you had to read books the teacher chose for the class? Heck, maybe you are in college and have to do that now. Well, I remember. I specifically remember how much it sucked sometimes when I was stuck reading a book that was outside my favorite genres. Although, now that I really look back on those times and really think about how the teacher was exposing me to books I would have never read on my own, I now appreciate those reading assignments.


You see it is easy in life to limit oneself. If I wasn’t exposed to reading romance, suspense and thrillers, I would have missed out on some great stories that I believe, had helped to improve my writing style just as much as my favorite sci-fi and fantasy novels. I would have limited not only my style of storytelling, but my perspective on what makes great fiction.

So since I read stories that are outside my favorite genres I write stories outside my favorite genres. I do this because I feel that a great story is a great story no matter what the genre is and I feel that I should not limit myself to a specific kind of storytelling. Now when I decide to write a different genre I usually use a different pen name since readers associate Andre Cruz with sci-fi, horror and fantasy. You don’t have to create a different pen name for yourself, but it is just a safe book marketing tactic and heck, it is a lot of fun.

Another cool thing that I do when I read genres that sometimes make me blush, such as romance, is add their elements to my own favorite genres when writing. It is not unusual to mix romance with horror now-a-days thanks to the whole teen vampire craze, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. I feel that mixing different elements from different genres into your story can make it fuller and more memorable to readers. And we all want our readers to remember our works.

7 comments:

  1. Fantasy is such a broad genre, it's hard to write anything that couldn't be classified as fantasy. So I have a really large playground =)

    Romance mixes excellently with fantasy. I do tend to include horror elements as well (but technically horror is fantasy..see, really broad).

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  2. Good post. The only time I write outside my genre is when I write letters to the editor. But I read everything, even the occasional horror.
    I enjoy your blog.

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  3. I am happy to read that you don't limit yourself J.R. I agree that horror itself is fantasy. It is a great genre that mixes well with romance, suspense, mystery, sci-fi and fantasy.

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  4. I write what's on my mind. My first book, Stepping Off the Edge: Living & Learning Spiritual Practice, is a spiritual companion for modern people. Nonfiction in spirituality, memoir and self help. My second book was labeled contemporary fantasy by reviewers. It's about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman. I thought it was a write up of my meditation experiences. My third book, The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, features a teenage genius, an angelic extraterrestrial, in a 1984 setting. And my fourth book Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could, is an inspirational, nonfiction kids' story about a premature baby horse born on our ranch. Lots of genres. The two I'm working on now are sequels to The Angel. So that's the scoop!

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  5. I tend to write in my favorite genre (fantasy) but I also have a great idea for a book that's kind of a mix between Dean Koontz and Robin Cook. Have some ideas for grisly murder mysteries also :D I am actually pretty excited to tackle those and see if I can pull them off. REALLY looking forward to the research I will do for the murder mysteries (involves chatting with forensic scientists and detectives at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation lab in my home town)

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  6. My favorite genre is fantasy, but I set out to write historical fiction. It wound up...historical fantasy. So I guess I'm not really writing very far outside of what I read. It does have action-adventure and romance elements, though, so I suppose I am mixing it up at least a little. :-)

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  7. I write to match my mood, which is probably why I have no less than 4 projects going at any given time. I think that it's great that you read a little bit of everything. It is amazing how much more accepting and open someone is to new concepts when they read a lot.It's almost like reading is a doorway to unraveling and defining humanity.

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