Inspiration Station: Finding Your Genre

Finding Your Genre


Sue Grafton writes mystery. J.K. Rowling writes fantasy. What do you write?

When you’re just starting out as a writer, there are so many questions to ask and so many decisions to make. Who’s your audience? Is my writing any good? Who in the world would want to buy my stories?

My personal favorite is, what genre should I write in?

This can certainly be a tough one since there are so many different genres out there: fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, and so much more. Then there are the sub-genres to worry about.

So, how can you findΒ your genre to write about and share with the world? There are two options.

1. Write in a few different genres you enjoy reading.

I wrote five manuscripts before I decided on which genre was right for me. Two were fantasy, two were young adult drama. Plus, I write my fair share of short stories in multiple genres as well as children’s books, middle grade, and I even tried my hand at script writing and poetry.

Once I started writing my mystery series, I fell head over heels in love. I wanted to continue writing it all the time. The characters keep the story moving, the plot make sense, and I have many more ideas to come for this particular series. I was writing for eight years before I discovered this.

2. Read every genre.

The best thing a writer can do in order to improve their writing–without actually writing–is to read.Β Do you have a particular genre you enjoy reading all the time? Or do you try to read every book published?

Make sure you read in many different genres. Chances are you’ll find a favorite and come up with story ideas for that genre.

Writing Prompt:

Write in an out-of-your-comfort-zone genre. For example, if you mainly write fantasy, give romance a try.

Related Articles:

How To Pick The Right Genre For Your Novel (And Why Your Sales Depend On It)
Forms of Writing
How to Choose a Genre for Your Novels


20 thoughts on “Inspiration Station: Finding Your Genre

  1. I tried to write out of my comfort zone. I took a playwriting class which I thoroughly enjoyed, but my first play I wrote was a romantic comedy. I managed to finish it, but I learned an important lesson in the process. I am not funny.

    • Aw, I’m sure it was great! I’ve written a couple of scripts before. I really liked doing them. It was something different.

        • It does help with that. I love dialogue so it was great for me. My weakness is description. So narrating the scenes and such was good because I really to picture everything and truly think about it.

          • For me, realistic dialogue that is still interesting was difficult. I’ve gotten a bit better. Now I have too much dialogue in my stories. I’m working on description next. I can see places in my head, but somehow they don’t always translate just right onto paper.

            • That’s my problem, too. Everything is clear and vivid to me, but it doesn’t come out that way when I write it on paper. It’s quite annoying, lol.

  2. I’ve been a fantasy nut since I was ten years old. I don’t even remember thinking, “This is my genre!” just “this is how you tell a story, and by the by, everyone knows magic.” Fifteen years later… Nothing’s changed.

    Although, when I was eight or so, I wrote a long story about the adventures my favorite doll was obviously having every time I misplaced her. I don’t even know what genre that would fit in.

  3. My genre is romance. Then, the sub-genre seems to change depending on the story idea. The Shifters & Mages series is new adult paranormal romance because of language and sexual content. However, the series I still have a lot of world-building to complete before I actually write it again – the Otherworld/Altera series – is going to be fantasy romance.

    As far as getting out of my comfort zone, I plan on doing that sometime next year hopefully. There are a couple of middle grade books I’ve been planning, and I’ve even written one children’s storybook that I’m still trying to decide what to do with (self-publish or submit to a publisher).

    If I self-publish it, I know exactly who I want to talk to about doing the illustrations. It’s just a matter of talking to her about it. If I submit it to a publisher, again, I know which one I want to submit to, it’s just a matter of waiting for open submissions and doing so.

    As far as other genres though, I haven’t thought much about playing around with them. One of the stories I wrote in the past was a fantasy mystery, and I’ve been debating re-writing that with more emphasis on the mystery, but I’ve never been really good with figuring out who killed Mr. Body in what room with what weapon, so… Yeah… It’s something to think about in the future though. πŸ™‚

    • I have a romance novel in my head. I’ve trued writing it a few times and I start it over every time. I love the idea, I don’t know how to go about it. Romance isn’t really my thing, lol.
      I’m still gathering some information to query my children’s book. There’s so much in that area, yet it’s so hard at the same time.
      A fantasy mystery sounds intriguing. Maybe you’ll get into it again someday. πŸ˜‰

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