My dilemma

I have a dilemma.  I don’t know what to write.  I have too many stories in my head and not just one genre.  So far I write in two different genres, historical western romances and sci-fi romances.  Talk about a split personality!

When I started writing I started the western.  My parents love story inspired me to create a story around the area where they met.  It’s a beautiful part of southwestern Colorado, high in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.  Or about how I used to dream I was a princess from Alpha Centauri because I was sure I didn’t belong to my crazy family. But I digress as usual I’m starting to ramble.  That happens a lot in my writing too.  Darn there I go again, now back to the subject at hand.

How can I write in two such different genres?  Because the stories in my head don’t have a genre.  They are just my stories.  I’ve also started a pirate story, a story about mummies, two more westerns and three more space operas.  So which ones am I going to finish?  Hopefully all of them and many more.

Do I care that they aren’t all westerns or space operas or historical or contemporary or whatever?  Not in the least.  They are just my stories.

What about you?  Do you only have stories in the genre you write?  If you are a reader, do you only read one genre to the detriment of everything else?  Do you only read westerns?  Then try mine, Tame A Wild Heart.  Do you want a humorous sci-fi romance also called a space opera?  Try Centauri Dawn or Centauri Twilight.  Do you only read Scottish historicals?  Only romantic suspense?  Or are you as I suspect, a more diversified reader.  You read mostly Scottish historicals with a few regencies or medievals or even a contemporary thrown in.  Right?

You are not a cookie cutter of a person, just like the guy next door or Joe across the street, why should your stories or mine be?

Well apparently that is what some people want.  They want to pigeonhole every one, put them on this little box and call it good.  I don’t want to be in a box.  I don’t want to be limited in what I write or how I live my life.  So if a reviewer doesn’t like my book.  That’s okay.  It’s their opinion and I’m not going to try and change it because it is THEIRS.  Just as my writing is mine.

I can’t please everyone.  I’m learning that, really I am.  It’s just not an easy lesson for someone who had always been a people pleaser.  Now I’m learning that the only people I need to worry about pleasing is me.


21 thoughts on “My dilemma

  1. I have the same problem. Just add nonfiction to the mix you described. 🙂 Right now, I have a list. 1. Finish the Western. 2. The Fantasy. 3. Add in a short nonfiction on grief. 4. A Western Novella. 5. Maybe self-publish my SF and start on book two……

  2. Cynthia, I write all over the place as well and thus far my readers have stuck with me. I guess I would consider using a pen name for one line if things got too out of hand or I thought sales were being impacted.

    • I’ve thought about that and am considering it. My western is definitely selling best, so maybe my sci-fi should be under another name. Hmmm.

  3. I neither write, read or eat the same fare over and over. All would become far too routine and unpalatable.

    While the business side of me understands a writer needs a marketing ‘brand’, the writer side of me wants options. Fortunately, readers of eBooks seem more flexible than print readers as far a mixed genres are concerned. The crossover is relatively painless. (If you think about it, even Nora Roberts’s publisher wouldn’t allow her to cross genres, and she had to resort to a different pen name, J.D. Robb!)

    So I guess we just have to pen the very best story we can and establish ourselves as good writers. If we satisfy readers and send them on their way happy at tale’s end, our mission is accomplished.

    • As everyone has pointed out I’m not the only one with this dilemma. I just need to worry about my stories not pleasing everyone which I can’t do anyway. 🙂

  4. I have the same problem–I write fantasy, paranormal, historical, contemporary, scifi and horror. I believe it’s because I read everything and anything. And while I too understand sticking to one genre to build a following, I can’t do it. I’m a storyteller and as long as I tell a good story, I should continue to build a readership.

  5. I read in many different genres, from historical to science fiction, paranormal and contemporary and, although most of my written work is set during the American Civil War, I’ve experimented with time travel, paranormal and have a post Civil War romance coming out in January. And since I read a lot of science fiction, I dream of someday getting around to writing a sci-fi romance of my own. I don’t want to confine my writing to one genre. Too boring.

    • I know what you mean. Although my friend did come up with a tag line for me which works only because I do only write romance.
      From Cowboys to Space Captains…true love has no boundaries

  6. I am one of those boring romance readers that usually sticks to regular contemporary or regular historical, however, if I see a book of another specific genre in which the blurb (or cover–I admit it) piques my interest, I’ll try it out. That’s how I discovered Dara Joy. I really enjoyed her sci-fi fantasy books. But, you know what? Even 10-15 years ago, I was more than thrilled to read a Linda Lael Miller contemporary thru MIRA. I actually think I discovered Jayne Ann Krentz first and THEN found out she was writing as Amanda Quick (or is it vice-versa?) Anyway, the point is, even with print books, I think readers that like the author’s style of writing and the way s/he tells a (in this case, love) story, as well as liking the author’s characters will stick with the author over as many genres as they choose to write in.

  7. I write contemporary and contemporary paranormal. That’s me and my voice. But I read ALL over the place. I agree with K.E. Saxon who said it’s the author’s style and voice. I’ve been a fan of Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle from the beginning. You have to write what’s in you. However many few or many stories and whatever genres there are. Otherwise, you’ll explode. Simple as that!

  8. I like to mix it up, too, because I never want to keep writing the same book over and over, and I think variety is a good way to stay fresh. I’ve written a few different genres, but keep one foot firmly anchored in one main one, which is my main brand (historical romance) but if I want to write something different, the indie world is great for that :).

  9. I’m sorry I’m a day late, but I totally empathize with what you’re saying! I also write all over the map, and I am so glad that going indie let’s us write what we want!

    Okay, back to the WIP.

    • Thanks for the comment. I’m so surprised that there are so many people who write in different genres but it’s so good to hear that people are following their muses.

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