I touched on this issue in a post on my previous blog. I’m addressing it again. Consider this more of an update rather than a re-post.
A piece of advice I see often is to write in the genre you like to read. I’m not sure this works for me. There is no one genre that I read. When I tally up titles and see if there is a leaning toward any particular genre, there is none.
In terms of what kind of fiction I like to read, the list is big and varied:
- Historical Fiction
- Women’s Fiction
- Young Adult
- Science Fiction
- Speculative Fiction
- Urban Fantasy
- Literary Fiction
Of course, much of the above overlaps. Still, you get the picture. Given that, does the advice of writing what you read apply to me? Probably not.
I think the advice is for people who are trying to write in a genre because it’s currently hot and to advise them against worrying too much about writing to market. Yes, publishing is a business. However, you’ll do a better job of writing if your story is one you want to write as opposed to just what you think will sell.
That said, what genre applies to my books? Nairobi Ndoto is Women’s Fiction with some overlap into Crime Fiction. My next book, set in Vienna, is definitely Crime Fiction and falls into the Suspense category. (Both books have an expat angle, so that could be a subgenre.)
Most of the ideas I have for additional stories fall into Crime Fiction. While writing Nairobi Ndoto, I found that I really enjoyed writing the crime aspects of the book. I think this is going to be my genre going forward.
However, it’s not because it’s what I read most. It’s because I find it fun.