Specialization Versus Versatility

So, my writer friends, I'm curious as to what genre you write. Do you write in one genre or do you experiment?

I myself write pretty much solely literary fiction. I have never written and never plan to write anything in the following: young adult, harlequin romance, fantasy, or historical. They are just not my thing, you know.

But lately I've been thinking about trying out a new genre, just writing a short story to get a little taste. I'm always up for a new adventure. A couple of years ago, I started writing a sort of science fiction romance story (time travel, not aliens, and true love, not erotica) but I didn't get very far. It seemed promising, but the thick plot with all that time travel was too much for me at the time. I am definitely going to work on it and finish it because I think my idea is brilliant (modest, I know) but probably not any time soon.

That's the only place I've gone outside of literary fiction, and it wasn't that far of a journey. What I'm really trying to say here is that genre really doesn't matter much to me when I write, or when I read for that matter (although I'm really not a fan of fantasy). I write whatever I feel like writing and don't try to define it until I'm done.

It just happens to almost always turn out to be literary...

Peace, Aimee


  1. At least you know what you like, and are good at, and what you don't. I write historical romance and love it. I also dabble in women's romantic fiction. I have one category romance half-way done, but I've always wanted to chuck the category and turn it into contemporary romance.

  2. Anne's right--it's good to know your strengths.

    Haha it sounds like we're opposites: I find it hard to write literary fiction, but fantasy is a lot easier for me (though I still find lit. fiction nice to read on occasion).

    I suppose I'd be an experimenter, which probably springs from my position as a "pantser." If I want to try something out, I jump right in rather than stepping back and thinking about it. This means I run a greater risk of writing myself into corners, but it's a lot of fun to make discoveries alongside my characters rather than before them.

    But I'm getting slightly off-topic. Yes, I'm an experimenter, and it's served my recent WIP rather well, turning it from full fantasy into fantasy with a slightly sci-fi-ish touch. Nothing quite like finding scientific explanations for psychic phenomena, and I rather enjoy the challenge.

  3. So far I have only written YA but my mind constantly churns through all kinds of possibilities. I would love to delve into a historical romance (not erotica either) one of these days.

  4. Aimee, Aimee, Aimee,

    Fantasy is fantastic. Especially the way I write it.

    I've also written a couple plays, (comedies)some song lyrics, (country) and some short stories.

    I have a sci-fi started but mostly I write fantasy. Brilliantly.

  5. Women's fiction all the way. I seem to straddle the line between commercial and literary. I am pretty happy staying with just that. My husband however, loves experimenting with his writing and has varied interests. We laugh and call it his "Gemini nature".

  6. To each their own, I say. I'm glad that some people like to read and write fantasy and women's fiction — diversity is wonderful — but those genres just aren't my thing. :)

    Thanks for the comments everyone, and good luck writing!

  7. Stick with what comes naturally. It's great to try new things, but if it doesn't feel right, don't try to push it. You're a very talented writer. Best of luck with your projects!

  8. I've written one historical fiction light on the history or fantasy light on the fantasy and I'm currently writing a YA contemporary. I have ideas for various genres in YA (contemporary, dystopian, paranormal, fantasy) as well as one literary new adult and I want to write a political fantasy if I could plot the thing. I'm pretty much all over the place which probably isn't surprising since I'm branching out with my reading this year. I think YA is going to be the broad umbrella I focus on.
    - Sophia.

  9. I agree with you, Sylvia, just write what you feel like writing.

    Don't say you're going to write in a specific genre and never leave it, even if you have an idea for something new. Just write whatever you want and don't care what people define it as! :)

  10. I'm the same as you. I love to read and write literary fiction. It's hard for me to step out of that niche. But I could see myself writing romance at some point in time too!