Writing: Do You Genre Hop?

I’ve always been a genre-hopping reader, jumping from YA to literary, mystery to romance. As most of my readers know, I’m querying a contemporary YA novel at the moment, but I’ve also written two romances; one historical and one contemporary, as well as a YA fantasy. After finishing my latest YA novel, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to romance.

I sat down to get started on my next project, a high-concept YA novel, one that has been nagging at me for months. I wrote 4,000 words. And then I stopped. Not because I didn’t know where to go, not because I had writer’s block. I stopped because it didn’t feel right.

At first, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Where had my excitement gone? Then, I was over at the Harlequin forums and I saw that they were having a fast-track for their Romance line. Boom. Excitement back! And then it hit me: if I get fatigued when I read books in the same genre without switching it up, why wouldn’t it be the same for writing books in the same genre?

What do you guys think? Does this sound plausible? Has it happened to you? Let me know!

PS- I’m off to work on my romance now! 🙂

PPS-Tomorrow will be the second instalment in our Authors and Editors Interview Series. We’ll be talking with a USA Today’s Best Seller! Stay tuned!

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6 thoughts on “Writing: Do You Genre Hop?

  1. I’ve written everything from SciFi for adults to ghost stories for 4th-graders. I’ve attempted romances but ended up with too much story and not enough romance – according to the places I tried to submit it to! It’s fun to switch things up. Now, I just have to figure out where to send stuff that doesn’t conform to my already-published YA fiction. My current publisher doesn’t do SciFi. 😦

  2. I don’t genre hop at all. Everything I write turns into romance one way or another, lol.
    I’m going to be entering the Romance fast-track too. We can cheer each other on!

  3. Aside from non-genre creative writing assignments in college, I write mainstream sword-and-sorcery fantasy for 11 years straight. Having spent more than half my life “world building” and writing plots revolving around the characters that inhabited my longtime literary home, I surprised myself by trying something completely different: a somewhat fantasy, somewhat sci-fi story set in present-day Earth.

    My goal was to write a book I hadn’t read before, and it was extremely challenging…and rewarding. I’m not sure if I’d call that step genre-hopping, since it’s still “speculative fiction for adults,” I suppose (maybe subgenre hopping?). But now that I’m between drafts of the sequel, I find myself cowriting a children’s book and contemplating writing for a grammar-based, Western-themed video game (weird, I know).

    I’ve long believed that you can’t be successful at writing about something you don’t care about. If you read a lot of different genres, then, yeah, I suppose it stands to reason that you would be motivated to write in several different genres, too.

    At this point, for me, I’m going to go where my creativity takes me. Even if I fail (whatever that means), I can say I tried something new.

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