To write this or to write that?

I’ve been reading a lot of advice posts (which are for the most part helpful) from other authors—mostly who are romance authors—that tell me not to stray from one genre. Stick to what I know, stick to the fan base I have built, etc.

I don’t want to write just one thing. I don’t want to be pigeonholed into writing one genre, one story, a singular type of fiction and nothing else. That’s boring. But, I don’t want to lose the voice I’ve barely just found.

Why? I mean, why can’t I write more than one type of story without losing my voice? I’m still the writer, that story is still from my thoughts, my personality, of my being. Is it completely necessary for career longevity for me to only write New Adult romance novels about drag racing bad boys with a few sultry love scenes?

Hell, I don’t even have a career—yet. My debut release has been out less than a month (I have two more coming, the second book of that series as well as a Cowboy novella). Suddenly, I’m surrounded by well to do authors (published and unpublished alike) telling me I should only write one thing.

For the most part—I’m calling bullshit.

Sure, I have plans to continue the Arkadia Fast series through for several books (for sure four, but am considering up to seven of them). I’ve also got plans for an entirely different New Adult series (surrounding a more classic college campus/scene).

I mentioned I’ve already written a Cowboy/Western Contemporary romance novella.

Holy shit, I’m a brand-new author who just strayed from her chosen type of romance genre. This is it folks, the ship has barely set sail and it’s sinking fast! Snorts. Not likely, I have no plans of just giving up like that. I doubt any of us do. I have, however, come across two posts that I can jive with and would like to share.

This one, from JA Huss (http://jahuss.com/top-5-tips-finding-your-fans-by-ja-huss/) has some pretty solid stuff about not letting down your fans, keep writing the type of things that brought them to you. Don’t go throwing lipstick on a pig and calling it a politician. The entire post is worth a read, she’s got some great advice for new authors like me (all said with a refreshing voice and attitude).

I have ideas for other New Adult series. I don’t plan on no longer writing that type of story—I just have plans to write others too.

Like a PNR about a Coven of witches that live on an island on the coast of South Carolina; a boot wearing, ass kicking, lady PI (an homage to my Godmother); a laundry list of Urban Fantasy ideas; the Rom/Susp I’ve almost finished—the list goes on and on and on and on…

Thankfully, Chuck Wendig has given me faith in my abilities and a completely different (from what I’ve been reading) take on the entire thought process of writing different genres. (Actually, he has a TON of good advice which you can find here: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2017/05/16/a-hot-steaming-sack-of-business-advice-for-writers/): “Do it all, if you want to, if you can. If one door closes, you’ve carved out other tunnels through which you may move.”

I’m gonna take Chuck’s advice and do it all, see what happens. I may have a different take of this topic in a few years. For now, I’m thinking I can write different stories—and keep my voice. That way I keep all my tunnels—I mean options—open.

What say you? This is actually a conversation I’d like to hear opposing thoughts on. Or perhaps I’ve had too much eggnog and not enough sleep. Either way, drop a comment.

Also, if you haven’t read my debut novel The Finish Line and wanted to know where to find it—you can do so here: http://bit.ly/2isppCm

~ Leslie

15 comments

  1. Good Morning Leslie! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. What you write is as varied as the author her/his self. For me, Romance is first, but I have a cozy mystery in the works and a romantic suspense as well. I believe that if your readers like what you write and you stay true to your voice, they will like different types of books you write. Now I’m no saying you go from romance to horror, that would be a jump even for me, but ….I all should boil down to write what you love.

    1. I agree. As long as the leap isn’t giant and the voice is distinct, it shouldn’t much matter.

      We had a lovely Christmas, Tena. I’m still exhausted, though. lol I hope you and yours have a very Merry as well. <3

  2. I will write where the muse directs me, Leslie. My genre is a bit different: Historical, Paranormal, Time Travel, Fantasy. In the beginning of my publishing career, I was told to only write a trilogy with my series. Many (other authors and agents) encouraged this newbie to stick to the “formula.” I chose to listen to my inner muse and decided to cut my series from seven to 5 books. I refused to go the traditional three book series. My series was a bestseller and readers were upset that it ended. (I’ve promised future stories with the descendants) Therefore, I’m extremely happy I followed my own direction. I’ve said this more than once–there is no right or wrong way to a writing career. The most important thing to remember? Get the words down, no matter the genre. Follow your passion, characters, and inner writing voice. Now I’m not saying to disregard the advice from others, only to do what you feel is true to your writing. Great post, Leslie. All the best!

    1. Thanks, Mary! With only one novel released it’s hard for me (and others I’m sure) to tell where we’re going to end up. It’s nice to hear from someone who has been there, that there is no sure fire formula.

  3. I completely agree with you. I’ve been writing historical fiction, but was thinking about paranormal and have an interesting story forming. I don’t see why you can’t write what you want. If your fan base is loyal, they will come along with you.

  4. I say hop all you want! I have one historical romance published (and hope to turn it into a trilogy; just finished the first draft of the second one) and I am seeking rep for a contemporary women’s fiction. It was a story I felt compelled to write…and a huge jump. And for fun…I’m working on writing a children’s chapter book series. So we’ll see how it all plays out. Write what you love, where your muse and heat take you!

  5. I’ve heard the same advice, Leslie, find your genre and stick to it. I’m sure it works great for some, but not for me. My “writing bucket list” ranges from historical and contemporary romance, to mystery series, young adult, picture books, to who knows?
    In my opinion deciding what to write is individualistic – each writer learns from doing what works best for them. Just as long as we all keep enjoying the ride! Happy most moved in New Year!

  6. Good luck, Leslie! I agree with you and what some of the others are saying. Write whatever moves you at the moment. I started out writing romance, but then people started dying so I gravitated to romantic suspense and finally cozy mystery. But I’ve always loved science fiction and time travel and now I find myself caught between the future, the present and the old West. I’ve decided I will go wherever my characters take me and enjoy the rid

    1. I’m just going to go where the mood strikes me, but keep my published worlds a priority over the other things. I think. lol

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