Tell Me Your Thoughts…Should Writers Stick To Only One Genre?

Or can they hop between horror and romance, sci-fi and gothic?  Have you gone from one genre to another? Can writers get typecast – much like actors playing a role for years in a row? Can a good writer get away with writing anything purely because they are, in fact, a good writer?

I know a couple of very talented steam punk writers – yes, Chris and Steve, I’m talking about you! 🙂 Please share your thoughts on this – have you guys ever attempted another genre far removed from the steam punk and sci-fi world?  How did it work? Did it come easy for you?

Take J K Rowling for example. Everyone knows of the immense popularity of her Harry Potter series but has her latest offering given the world the same reaction? Should she have stuck to what she knew best? Now, I’m certainly not knocking her as an author, she’s a very good writer but can that be all that saves us? Being a ‘good writer’? Doesn’t the knack for a certain style of writing give us that je ne sais quoi? Or, to simply ask again, do writers get typecast?


About Virginia

Writer, reader, crossword puzzler and conspiracy theorist.

9 Responses to “Tell Me Your Thoughts…Should Writers Stick To Only One Genre?”

  1. Interesting one… I have always written crime stories ever since I started writing, and I have never wrote another genre since. Personally, I don’t think I ever will (I’ve heard a tip which says write what you want to write) but I think it helps your writing if you do.


  2. I recently switched from literary to historical fiction, but I suppose that’s not a complete change. My historical novel is definitely literary fiction set in the 19th century. I still consider myself a literary writer, and after this, may go back to contemporary plots. We’ll see!


  3. A writer should write what he need to write. Mark Twain wrote poetry and story. No limit for a open mind and free thinker.


  4. An example of a writer who writes in different genres very well is James Patterson.
    I did it, I wrote a fiction thriller and then an inspirational story. There are some authors who try to prove to themselves that they can write in more than different genre and that’s there mistake, they shouldn’t write unless they are sure its a good idea, J. K. was a good example of that.
    If the idea echoes in your head then let her out, if not then don’t try to fake one just to prove something to yourself, that’s what I would say to authors.


  5. It used to be I would stick to strictly fantasy. Then when I began writing seriously I started with science-fiction, then back to fantasy, then to steampunk, and now to YA. It’s easy to cross genres, too. For example, it’s easy to write a YA science-fiction crime book. (I’m not saying that physically writing it is easy, though, haha.)

    I don’t think writers should stick to strictly one genre. It’s good for them to expand, but only to those that interest them. I have no interest in reading or writing non-fiction, so I never will. However, I will always explore different ways to write different types of fiction.


  6. I have not radically shifted between genres (i.e. Romance to Mystery to Fantasy). I tend to stick to the genres that interest me. I tend to be of the opinion that Science Fiction and Fantasy are two very separate genres. In that sense, I have switched back and forth, mixed them together and of course branched out to Steampunk. In an eerie coincidence with Chris’s projects, I have been toying with a YA project.

    Should we change up? Sure, if the mood takes you. The story is the thing (much like the play…) and it needs to be told. You could wrap the story in your favorite genre, or you could try something different. It is similar to changing a workout. Your muscles get used to a specific routine and changing that routine targets a new group or makes them work in a different fashion. Such is a new genre. It may not be your best writing right out of the gate, however it will help you improve as you try new things. I’ve said it before: A Change is as Good as a Rest. Switching genres could refire the furnace of your writing.

    And on that silly note… \^_^/


  7. One word – NOOOO! I love switching genre’s – it keeps everything fresh 😀



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