Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The Genre Confines
I don't understand how or why writers are expected to pick one genre and stick to it. I read all genres--historical fiction, women's fiction, suspense, YA, romance, fantasy, etc. Why is it such a faux paus if I want to write in different genres? I'll be the first to admit, there are certain genres I probably wouldn't be very good at, but if I have an idea for something . . . something that gets me giddy with excitement, why shouldn't I write it?
The idea that writers can only "shine" in one genre is ridiculous. Look at Stephen King. The same guy who wrote "Pet Sematary" also wrote "The Shawshank Redemption." Those books belong to two different genres, but were both very successful in their own right.
There's the arguement that once you build a fan base, they come to expect the same "type" of book from you. Really? Are the majority of readers that stuck in their ways that they would turn their nose up in protest if an author did something different? It seems crazy to me that a writer who wants to try his/her hand at something different has to come up with a pen name to avoid disapointing his/her fans.
I don't believe that writers are one-trick ponys. We're fiction writers, for goodness sake. We have vast imaginations with the ability to dream up endless stories. So I say, don't let genre confine you, write the story that's in you.