Note: I am not talking about publishing in other genres. That’s something different that a lot of hoo-hahs get to talk about because I’m not quite there yet.
The first story I ever wrote was a horse story (what else does a six year old who collects breyer horses write about may I ask?)
May I also add that the horse in the story ran at “warp speed” (I learned everything I know about science from Star Trek).
This all has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Well, it actually does.
After I muddled through a number of horse stories, I started to write epic fantasy. All kinds. Some happened in the desert. Some were romantic. Some were comedic. Some were explainable mush. Then I piddled with some contemporary, some sci-fi, some dystopian….
What I am trying to explain is, throughout my existence as I writer, I have explored multiple genres. And may I encourage you to do the same?
(I can’t? Well I’m going to do it anyway)
As a writer you have to find your “niche” (though sometimes you can have more than one). One of the aspects of a “niche” is your genre.
And if you want to find out your genre, dabbling in a bit of everything is a good way to do it. You gotta try to find out what you like and don’t like.
I can tell you that I discovered that contemporary was a big NO for me. (all of those unfinished works have been deleted but I can still remember every. single. one. of. them)
(I was going to post a gif of Bucky saying “I remember all of them” but I couldn’t find it so here is a completely unrelated gif of Bucky anyways)
You can discover what you like to write.
THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS WHAT GENRE YOU LIKE TO WRITE.
I mean….do you like action? Do you like sad stories? Happy stories? Do you prefer war of espionage? The more subtle things in your stories that remain consistent…certain type of themes or characters. Things that you notice come up whatever genre you write in.
Different genres require different styles of writing. Writing epic fantasy isn’t quite the same as writing a contemporary, just as a mystery isn’t the same as a space opera.
Writing in different genres open up for different styles of writing, which helps you discover your own.
(As a side note – discovering your writing style – also known as your “voice” – is such a magical moment when everything falls into place and you feel like your words just became liquid gold and it’s amazing)
And the last but most important reason….
It’s fun and years later you get to look back and laugh at all your utter failures.
Thank you all for listening! (reading???)