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Why You Should Write More Than One Genre

Why You Should Write More Than One Genre

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Published by K.M. Weiland
Every once in a while, dare to step outside the bounds of normalcy and see what unexpected adventures you can find off the beaten path.
Every once in a while, dare to step outside the bounds of normalcy and see what unexpected adventures you can find off the beaten path.

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Published by: K.M. Weiland on Dec 07, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Think of a well-known author.Who’d you pick? Maybe you chose Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, JohnGrisham, or Nora Roberts?Whoever you chose, I’m willing to bet that when the name popped to mind sodid a very definite sense of genre. Each of the authors I mentioned is tiedinextricably to the genres in which he has been so successful. Genre is a hugeselling point. Marketers use genres as convenient niches to classify books, steerreaders toward their preferences, and keep their attention. As a result, mostsuccessful authors are successful in large part because their names havebecome equivalent with the genres they write.But you should also note that despite their huge success in their trademarkgenres, none of these authors have allowed themselves to be pigeonholed.They’ve all gone on to write successful novels in vastly different genres (albeitsometimes under pseudonyms), not only proving that art need not be fetteredby the sometimes stifling confines of the market’s dictates, but also that thebetter the artist, the more varied his work.I’m admittedly a bit of a Mexican jumping bean when it comes to genres. Life’stoo short to explore the same ground over and over or to shackle myself to justone type of story. I’ve written two historical novels in vastly different timeperiods, my next book is a fantasy, I’m currently working on a literary piece,and I have stories romping around in my brain that span the gamut fromsuspense to steam punk. I love to experiment; I love to push my limits and
4 Reasons I Quit Writing Exercises
force myself to grow. With every new genre or subgenre I attempt, my abilitiesas a writer are tested and polished. Even if I’m not successful in every genre,even if not every story finds its way into print, I’m not only enjoying the wide-open horizons of unbounded possibility, I’m also strengthening my competencein the craft.In the November/December 2009 issue of 
Writer’s Digest 
, editor JessicaStrawser points out:Our writing projects can be our favorite well-traveled destinations.We return again and again to that work-in-progress, cozy in to thegroove we’ve worn from what we already know we’re good at, whatwe already know feels comfortable and, if we’re being honest,maybe a little safe—predictable, even. And writing
be thatkind of refuge. Your manuscript, your niche or your genre becomesthat place where you can get just lost enough to satisfy thelonging…. [But] When’s the last time you explored a new direction,took a little detour?... Diversifying the writing you’re doing growsyour platform.Sometimes the thought of mastering even one genre can be daunting enough.But our journey as writers should be about growing, learning, andstrengthening ourselves. Stagnation isn’t fun or profitable, and it isn’t likely toproduce high-quality work. Every once in a while, dare to step outside thebounds of normalcy and see what unexpected adventures you can find off thebeaten path. If you do, who knows—we may be seeing your name alongside thelikes of King, Evanovich, Grisham, and Roberts!

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