Should I Stick To one Genre?

By on March 15, 2017
Should I Stick To One Genre? Writers Life.Org

As an author, there will come a point, probably after finishing your first novel, where you may think about whether you want to stick to the same genre of writing, or to branch out and decide to do something completely different.

Every time you start a new piece of work you will no doubt consider the genre you are writing in, and therefore, the kind of readers you are hoping to appeal to. You may have a genre that you feel completely passionate about and could never think about writing in any other way. Or you may be interested in experimenting with your writing and intrigued to research and discover other genres and try your hand at those.

When it comes to writing, experimenting with different genres has its pros and cons. Let's take a look at them:


It’s fun

Experimenting with different genres can be lots of fun. You can let your imagination run wild, explore new techniques and styles and just see what happens. Providing you don’t put too much pressure on yourself this can be a great way to be creative.

You learn new things

New genres require different writing styles and therefore you have to learn new techniques. You can expand your writing repertoire and discover different ways to play with language that, even if you decide you don’t enjoy writing in that genre, you can bring to your writing in general, to surprise and excite your readers.

You might discover your niche

You might have always written summer romance novels, then you try your hand at a gothic horror and realise you write so much more effortlessly and passionately in this genre. If you don’t try, you might never discover that actually you were destined to be a bestseller in a genre you never considered before!

You read more

Writing in different genres requires you to read around them to understand more about the rules of that genre. Reading as much as you can will not only make you a better writer it can open you up to a whole new writing world too!

You surprise fans

Fans of your work may expect you to continue to come out with the same sort of writing every time you publish. Writing something completely different could surprise and delight your fans.

You reach out to a wider audience

Writing in different genres means it is more likely you will reach out to a wider audience, and your work will be read by more people.


You could disappoint your existing fans

If someone has read your book and enjoyed it they may well become a fan of your work. If they go on to buy your next book and it is written in a different genre they could feel disappointed, let down and betrayed by you. Your fans will have certain expectations, and if you don’t fulfil them you could risk losing them altogether.

If it ain't broke…

If you are having success in a particular genre, you may wonder why you would even consider branching out and experimenting with another. You enjoy writing in this style, you love reading books in this genre, and your books are selling well - if it ain't broke, don’t fix it.

You don’t have to learn the new rules

Each genre has its own set of rules which will influence your story. If you stick to one genre you can learn the rules that work for that genre and focus on developing and refining your writing style within it. Spending time learning the rules and techniques to write in a different genre may end up feeling like a waste of time.

You might earn less money

People who keep switching genres are less likely to earn lots of money. Of course, there is no hard and fast rule around this, but there is some evidence to indicate that most writers tend to stick to one genre, build their fan base and become recognised for it - which is likely to lead to more book sales, and therefore more money in your pocket!

If you are curious to experiment with different genres of writing then, by all means, go for it. However, if you prefer to stick to your tried and tested methods that work for you, don’t feel the pressure to try writing in a different genre - writing should, above all be simply something that you love to do.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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