Abigayle Claire is a new author, and I haven't read her book yet ... but if the votes I'm seeing are anything to go on, it's pretty good. So go ahead and take a risk.
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Nearly every writer has a genre they feel most at home when writing. Reflect on some of your favorite authors: they wrote a dozen books in basically the same genre, right? Janette Oke, J. R. R. Tolkein, Laura Ingalls Wilder, E. B. White ... they all stuck to their happy little niche. For publication, at least.
What about those writers of us who haven't found our genre yet? *raises hand*
First, let me assure you that it's okay to not know what genre to leave your mark in. Consider C. S. Lewis. He wrote an allegorical children's fantasy series, a book on medieval and renaissance literature, a Greek myth retelling, and many books on the Christian life. He was all over the place! But throughout it all, there was a thread of consistency: himself. There's nothing wrong with being C. S. Lewis.
Don't be afraid to explore. If you have a Christian Contemporary story idea and a Dystopian story idea, so be it. (This may or may not be me. *cough*) The best place to do this is National Novel Writing Month. I'm sure you've heard of it by now--you spend an entire month working on a single story, preferably from scratch. Well, this brilliant author took a break from preparing her Christian Contemporary story for publication and wrote just over 50,000 words of a Christian Dystopian allegory. If you're scratching your head, don't worry. I am, too. But I only sacrificed 30 days of my life to the altar of exploring that genre. Now I know for certain that it was very hard, and I'm not sure my plot will ever make sense, but at least I've given it a shot!
You never know what your true gift might be or what would leave the biggest impression. Judy Garland is primarily known for The Wizard of Oz, but that movie is the one that really stands out from all the others she acted in. She actually didn't want Dorothy to be the way people remembered her, because that wasn't her. Oh well. She took the job, nailed it, and everyone loves her. You never know what side of you people will latch onto.
I would venture to say that exploring other genres is healthy. Just like reading other genres and authors, you absorb the different material and its varied presentation. That helps shape you. When I explored writing Dystopian, I was forced to think a whole lot more about creating a world and that ended up being really cool! You don't have to do that when you're writing about modern day America. Having the freedom to do whatever I wanted in the world was also pretty neat. But I honestly don't think I'm creative enough to sustain it all coherently. At least not without years of work. So I know Dystopian is a stretch for me, but I now have a greater writing arsenal overall because I gave it a try.
You should never ignore a story God has laid on your heart. God's proactive influence is a very special ingredient in any WIP. I believe He was the original Author of my novel, Martin Hospitality. I didn't think Christian Contemporary would be my genre, because I no longer enjoy reading it. But because I consumed vast amounts of it years ago, I was prepared to write that genre once He gave me my first coherent story idea.
Every idea deserves some attention for all the above reasons. Don't be afraid to get out there and explore a little!
If you are already in the process of switching genres, great! You could be the next C. S. Lewis with talent everywhere. One thing to consider, is writing under a different name. If you are going to write in two very different genres, you might want to keep them (and therefore your targeted audiences) separate.
There are so, so many details to consider when writing a story. Don't let genre be a restrictive stumbling block. A genre is just a category for one of the many ideas in your head. As Oscar Wilde said,
|© 2017 Abigayle Ellison|