What is Your Genre?

The room is dark, your candles burn low. Your lover has given up calling you back to bed, and is snoring gently in the other room. But you have important work to do.

Yes, you have a murder to plot.

And somewhere a forbidden romance is swelling to it’s climax.

And a tyrannical empire is about to fall — or wait, was it a criminal organization about to meet justice? No, it must have been first contact with a mysterious race of aliens. No, it was definitely the …

As a writer, you read across genres, you try to expand beyond your favorites. Sometimes it’s a heated romance, or a convoluted crime, or even a self-help book. But you have a preferred genre, something to which you always return.

For me, I love reading science fiction, fantasy, and certain guilty pleasures like erotic fiction, or trashy thrillers (if someone bridged the gap between these last two, they would get so rich). I write almost exclusively ‘realistic’ science fiction, and some of my later short pieces have been fantasy with an emphasis on ancient history.

Writers, what is your genre? What do you prefer to read? What genre do you write?

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44 thoughts on “What is Your Genre?

    1. I’ve recently been digging through some of the more recent Epic Fantasy authors (Rothfuss, Sanderson, are there others as popular?)

      I think this kind of fantasy was my first AND second love. Do you have a favorite?

      And please, tell me the best, most recent historical fiction you’ve read. I’m always on the hunt for those.

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      1. I love Rothfuss. Haven’t read ‘The Slow Regard of Silent Things’ yet. I keep reading bad reviews but I’ll have to go through it myself before I make up my own mind. Also ‘popular’ is different from ‘good’ writers. I love Robin Hobb’s writing style and another old favourite is also Katherine Kerr.

        Regarding historical fiction, I always take these with a very big pinch of salt. Obviously, history is referred to, in a vague manner mostly, but the plots and minutiae of the characters’ everyday lives are usually totally fictitious. Philippa Gregory comes to mind for example. What would you recommend?

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      2. For historical fiction, I’ve always been a fan of War, battles, and political intrigue, but usually only if it is more than a hundred years old.

        My favorite would have to be Bernard Cromwell’s ‘The Last Kingdom’. I think I’m trying to find something in the 1500’s or thereabouts, so maybe I’ll try out ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’.

        And yes, popular does not mean good, but how can you measure ‘good’?

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      3. ‘Good’ is subjective. I think if I like it, and it makes me think or disturbs me from my niche in some way, than for me it’s ‘good’ hehe.

        I’ve heard of Bernard Cromwell’s Last Kingdom. Must read that one. ‘The Other Bolwyn Girl’ is more love/drama than historical though, keep that in mind. I indulge myself a bit with those.

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  1. Well, I know what I’d like to write, but when I try to write it, it sucks. My natural voice seems to be adult humor, or bloody brutal horror. I’d really like to write young adult fantasy adventure stories, but they come out dull or too adult.

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    1. The trick for writing YA, I’ve found, is to write a little bit above what you would expect. Do NOT write down to them, those ‘youths’ are not stupid.

      They are intelligent, and way more open to new, strange ideas than most other readers.

      Young Adult is NOT for kids, it’s for people who used to be kids who want to be adults. They will read almost anything that pushes the envelope, as long as it isn’t too ‘brutal’.

      Emotions, not visuals, are key.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Horror for me… well mainly. I had this discussion on my own blog about sticking to the one genre or not. I dabble in a few others. My WIP is a thriller and I have a paranormal mystery written, sitting in a drawer.

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  3. I love adventurous time travel to the Ancient, Medieval Age, and Future times.
    It could be done by time machine, time gap, time swap, medallions,portals, and other objects that transfer protagonist/ antagonist to the place.
    Sounds more like fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are the first to mention time travel here. Do you have a particular favorite in this genre?

      Most of my historical fiction involves historians writing about political intrigue or warfare. I would love to expand!

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  4. I gravitate toward non-unicorny fantasy and historical, both in reading and writing. Nothing against unicorns, but I feel a little cringe whenever I tell someone I write fantasy, which is why I’ve started saying “historical fantasy” is my writing genre. I’ll also read non-fiction, horror, thrillers, humorous sci-fi, and pretty much anything I end up grabbing off the library shelf (except romance).

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    1. I think you’re right, there is something about ‘Historical Fantasy’ that sounds much more authoritative and true. But I have to ask, what about dragons? Do you avoid them too?

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  5. Fantasy. Always. I also enjoy magical realism and a little bit of steampunk when I feel like reading something different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a huge fan of magical realism (One Hundred Years of Solitude comes to mind).

      But I’ve never had the pleasure of reading any steampunk novels. Have you read any really good ones lately?

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  6. Fantasy, with a humorous tone aimed at younger audiences: books I would have enjoyed finding when I was sixteen or seventeen but didn’t. I love to create stories that play back and forth between separate universes, that deal with adventure and friendship but have explosions of magic and dragons thrown in. Everything is better with dragons.

    Great questions for any writer to consider. =] Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I usually try and read what I like to write, to help see different styles and such, and this usually only gets as far as YA with a Dystopian/Sci-Fi twist in there somewhere. However, right now I’m reading ‘The Forgotten Legion’ by Ben Kane to try and branch out a bit more and I’m really enjoying it!

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    1. I’m usually the same way – I try to read everything related to what I write, and dabble in other genres (especially when a book catches my eye or is selling really well).

      How is The Forgotten Legion? Is it fairly historical?

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      1. I find it’s a good way to go about things 🙂

        It’s good thanks! I don’t know the first thing about History as it’s something that I dropped very early on in school, but there have been mentions of Julius Caesar and the Romans and gladiators and the fight for freedom and such. It took a while to get started and I’ve actually just picked it up again after a few weeks, but I’m very glad I did!

        What are you reading at the moment?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A book called Revelation Space (all I know so far is it’s about Science Fiction and something ancient).

        And a book on nutrition called “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat” which is more interesting than I thought it would be!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Reading – tend to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Writing? Well, only new at this, but I’d have to say similar, but I also like to hit humour.

    I also seem to have a few crime novel ideas bubbling in the back of my head, and I’m not sure where they come from…

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  9. I’ve been playing with flash fiction, but I enjoy trying my hand at scifi, fantasy, and urban fantasy. I do like your idea of erotic thriller. Maybe something to try in the future. :>)

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    1. I imagine much of your YA fiction already has elements of mystery and suspense, so you’re already part of the way there!

      Do you ever try to branch out when you write small things? Maybe just a beginning to a short crime story?

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      1. Try a low word count. I’ve never written flash fiction before this blog, but now that I’m working on it- well, I feel like I am developing myself as a writer.

        When you know you only have to write 100 or 500 words, instead of 5000, the pressure lifts off of you, and you can let your stories take you where they want to.

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      2. I have just started experimenting with flash fiction myself and found it to be very refreshing as well as challenging. Like you said, I also feel I am developing myself as a writer! It’s a good feeling!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. My wife and I often read YA fiction (especially YA sci-fi and fantasy). I told this to a friend who shared with me a theory: YA fiction is the last genre where the authors feel at full liberty to create characters people naturally like. I don’t know if that’s true, but I throw it out for your consideration. 🙂

      And, to quote the comic strip “Pickles”: You are only young once, but immaturity lasts forever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s an interesting thought. It does make sense.

        I have an idea for a YA fantasy novel simmering right now. It’s something I’ve wanted to try my hand at, but really need to think through it, as fantasy doesn’t come as naturally to me as “realistic” does.

        True about immaturity lol. I’m pretty sure my husband is eternally 25 ;-).

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