Pick a Genre, Any Genre, or Two or Three

When I began writing fiction, everyone assumed I was writing science fiction. But I wasn’t.

king ludlum steel



My reading taste has always been eclectic. When I was younger, my favorite authors wrote horror/sci-fi, spy thrillers, and romances.




My taste slowly evolved. For a long time, I read legal and political mysteries. I also like sagas.

                           mysteries     saga


Then I discovered science fiction.



Next, I came across books with magic.



I’ve always had an affinity for the tales of King Arthur and Merlin the Magician.

arthur merlin


I also like the classics. And poetry.

                                        classic books     poems


For the last decade, my favorite genres have been science fiction and fantasy.

jordan gabaldon


These classics are my all-time favorite books. A family saga and world building.

favorite books


I read the Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin long before it became a TV series. (The first book is on loan to a friend.)



When I sat down to write my fiction, the stories in my head were women’s fiction. Stories about relationships and how we react and change due to the events in our lives. I’ve read some women’s fiction over the years, mostly when I want an easy read. It surprised me a bit, but that’s what I was compelled to write.

On a fluke, I wrote a spiritual story and entered a short story contest. My beta readers cried, and I won an award. Then, about a year ago, I saw a contest for sci fi, fantasy, horror, thriller, or any combination. I decided that could be fun.

My story started as science fiction. By the third page I had added fantasy elements. It became a thriller by page 5. I added a bit of horror around page 10. My beta readers said it was dark and creepy. I was thrilled. We want to provoke emotions in our readers.

I ran out of time to polish the story but entered the contest anyway. I didn’t win, and I’m revising that story. There’s another story in my head. This one is fantasy. I’m not sure where it’s going, It might end up being a love story.

Are you confused yet?

jumble of books

Writers, editors and publishers tell you to stick with one genre. Maybe that works for most people. It doesn’t work for me. The stories I write are the ones that I’m compelled to write. The characters talk to me, and they don’t shut up until I write them down.

Right now, I’m revising my sci-fi, fantasy thriller. I’m also polishing a spiritual short story. And, I’m jotting down ideas and scenes for my fantasy romance.

We’ll see where it all takes me.

What genre do you prefer for your reading and writing? Or do you cross genres like I do? Do you think the “experts” are right? (I don’t.)





13 Responses to Pick a Genre, Any Genre, or Two or Three

  1. Tessa Pulyer says:

    Your reading journey sounds similar to mind minus the poetry. I’ve never been a huge fan of poetry (which was a challenge in college considering I have an English degree) though The Road Not Taken is still among my favorites. I’ve written or plotted out mystery and fantasy novels and have written short stories that were more Americana than anything – a look into small town life.

    I think change is good. It spurs the imagination and gets the creative juices flowing. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jina Bazzar says:

    This is practically the thoughts in my head – save for the contests 😉
    I read most everything and anything, providing it’s fiction, it has some sort of romance – even if it’s a sideways glance between two characters, and if there’s any hint of fantasy/magic, the better. I read poetry too, though I tend to stay away from horror books. As for my writing, I just finished an urban fantasy trilogy for ya and na, and I have a short story coming later this year for middle graders, and am currently drafting a romantic suspense that I still lack the ending. I do have a sci-fi outline beginning to end, but that romantic suspense’s been calling to me for a while.
    I don’t believe the experts have it write, or, I believe one should write what they’re compelled to write, regardless of genre.


  3. I agree with you, not the experts. I enjoy reading a variety of genres. It takes the potential ‘boring’ factor out of reading for fun for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lynnefisher says:

    I don’t care about crossing genres either. I’ve written two womens fiction books, which I am told are literary fiction, and now I’m writing general fiction with a male lead, for male as well as female readers. Not as ‘crossing’ as it could be, but the point is you go where your creative flow leads you, come what may, and then, and only then, can you decide what genre it best fits. And even that is just for the purposes of marketing, the whole genres thing having being created by the traditional publishing world – cross or mix genres at your peril seems to be the message – well not for me :>)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. loisastwood says:

    I too cross genres – I will read a certain genre for a time and then change completely – then change yet again. A little of what you fancy I guess! All the best with your writing – blessings Lois

    Liked by 1 person

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