Everyone’s heard the saying “Write what you know”, but more recently writing teachers and experts have been saying “Write what you like”. For a long while I’ve been taking this to heart and writing the genre of stories I most liked to read. Mostly light comedy love stories with fantasy elements. I liked reading comedy. I liked reading light romance. I liked reading fantasy. So, if I put these three genres together, I should be writing the best stories I could be writing, right?
Unfortunately, I’ve hit a awful lot of speed bumps along the way. The first one was comedy, I like reading it, but it’s a lot harder to write than it looks. Just because I think it’s funny doesn’t mean everyone else will. Romance was the next problem, my personal experience with romance has been pretty boring. I’ve never been in a relationship where someone vowed undying devotion or gave some grand gesture of affection. My life has been filled with little sparks of gentle warmth, endearing, but note exactly page turner moments. Writing fantasy has been my smallest struggle. My problem with fantasy is that I’m usually trying so hard to be original that my story just becomes kind of weird.
The end result of my writing attempts is usually good, but not as good as I wish it was. Strangely, my horror stories have been widely critiqued as being really good, much better than my fantasy stories. But I don’t really like reading horror that much. In fact, it’s been years since I’ve read a horror book.
So, when should an author consider changing their preferred genre? Should a writer write a certain genre just because they are good at it? Or should an author stay with their favorite genre to read no matter how long it takes them to become good at writing it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below.
P.S. I just added the photos because I thought they looked cool, no special meaning.