Rosanne Dingli

Rosanne Dingli

Friday, July 22, 2011

4 reasons to try another genre

Readers - and authors - generally find a genre that fascinates them, and stick to it. At least for a while. You get mystery buffs, romance lovers, history gurus, and biography buyers. There are also thriller nuts, and fantasy fiction freaks.

Today I suggest readers - and authors! - live dangerously and try another genre. Here are the reasons

One: Taking on a romance rather than a thriller for your next read might sound a little risky. There will be no car chases, extortion, blood or guts. You might find, as a reader, that there is a facet to this different genre you did not suspect existed. The characters are sketched differently. The background, perhaps, is given a different kind of slant. Authors might find themselves engrossed with the emotional life of their characters, and the importance of nuance.

Novels in a Polish bookstoreImage via WikipediaTwo: Another genre might make you seem more interesting to the family, or the crowd you hang with. If they peep over your shoulder at the content of your Kindle, or see a different kind of paperback sticking out of your handbag, you might suddenly seem to have another string to your bow. Interesting - you might find your friends look at you in a different way all of a sudden. Unpredictability makes people fascinating. 'I never knew you were interested in politics.' A conversation is struck up, and you have a new friend, with a new interest.

Three: Genre jumping as an author might give you a whole new market to exploit. As a science fiction writer, the niche of cosy mysteries is a closed box and itself a conundrum... why not give it a whirl? The following you gather might be tempted to jump genre themselves, and try your sci-fi titles. Iain Banks has done it, and so has Tess Gerritsen. It takes nerve, and a willing agent or publisher, but there too the trend is now favourable, and stranger things have happened.

Four: A change is as good as a rest. Or a holiday! Writing a light detective novel might not seem like as much hard toil as that deeply researched genealogical narrative non-fiction. A travelogue might seem a doddle compared to that psychological thriller, if you are a reader on holiday or simply after a change.

Are you a reader willing to try another genre - if so, from which to what? If you are an author seriously considering this risky genre-jumping caper, tell us about it.
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  1. It's good advice, Rosanne. I've done it both as a reader and as a novelist.

    'Anna Jacobs' writes historical sagas and romances, modern family/relationships stories and short stories.

    'Shannah Jay' (my alter ego) wrote fantasy novels - which are now available on Amazon Kindle.

    As a reader, I've crept into the cosy mysteries genre and am enjoying it hugely. Try Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series (with Sherlock Holmes). It's brilliant!

    Variety is definitely the spice of reading/writing life.

  2. I've been just doing some reading on the current state of turmoil in the publishing industry and apparently authors are being pushed by their agents and publishers to change to better selling genres like thrillers and romance. For those who don't want to do this it's proving a very upsetting experience. For myself I have tried different genres but generally I'm happier in the speculative realm. Fortunately that seems to be a growing one.

  3. Yes, Helen - it is definitely true, since I've heard it from others. A canny author would examine their abilities for any lurking possiblity for diversity, I reckon. We living and write in interesting times.

  4. Hi Rosanne,

    Our book is Action/Adventure/Political Intrigue mainly because of my co-author. It is his story line and I just added to it.

    Personally, I love a good mystery...mainly Medical mysteries. The friend that I'm living with has a collection of Dee Henderson books. She thought I would love the Uncommon Heroes Series. I did. Dee Henderson is terrific at combining Christian Faith based writing with romance, mystery, and intrigue. I really like her style of writing. I may even incorporate a few of her techniques in our upcoming sequel.

    Don't worry, I've e-mailed her and mentioned that...since I've heard no complaints...I presume she doesn't mind. (smile) Seriously, she posts some of the stuff on her website. There is no way I can personally match her style of is uniquely her.