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WRITING IN MULTIPLE GENRES

April 29, 2020

WRITING IN MULTIPLE GENRES

            Writers can sometimes be focused. That means we tend to stick to one genre, or one subject. Western writers tend to stick with westerns, while fantasy writers stick with fantasy. Non-fiction writers don’t even consider fiction, so on and so forth.

            However, nothing is an absolute.

            It’s natural for a writer to find a niche and stick with what they’re good at. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with branching out and trying something different. Most writers I know, at least the prolific ones, write in multiple genres.

MOTIVATION

            Some will call this the more artistic name for it, and that’ll be “the muse.”

            For other’s, there’s the mercenary approach. Instead of muse, it’s about money and that’s what they write for regardless of how they feel. Sometimes they’re given assignments to write this or that. It doesn’t matter to them. They write whatever the client wants. In a way, it’s like technical writing, but what I’m talking about here specifically is fiction writing. I mention this because I know a few of these writers that have a specialty genre, but they go where the money is. If someone asks them to write something in a particular genre, they do it because they’re trying to make a living. That’s their motivation. There is, of course, some artistic motivation mixed in because they obviously love what they do, but their prime motivation is to make a living at writing, so anything artistic takes second billing to making money.

            The majority of writers I know get their motivation from their feelings and inspiration (muse for lack of a better term). If they get an urge to write something specific, they go for it.

            That’s me. I have specific interests in multiple genres, so I take turns writing in each one, depending on which one rocks my boat at the moment.

PUBLISHING/MARKETING

            For some, a big stumbling block is how to switch gears from one genre to the next. Hurdles such as using different pen names, web sites, marketing strategies, appealing to different audiences can make your job a lot more complex once you’ve completed your manuscripts.

            Since I’ve written in multiple genres, I can only speak for myself. I’ve consulted with others who have also done so, with mixed results.

            #1 I’ve decided to go with my real name for everything.

            #2 I use a single web site with tabs for each genre.

            #3 I use multiple Facebook pages for each book series.

            #4 I’ve researched as best I can each audience for the genre and adjusted my publicity to that crowd.

IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE

            You can make it as easy or as complex as you want. I decided to keep things simple and I can tell you, I’m a lot happier for it. Like I alluded to above, I’ve consulted with multiple authors that have written in multiple genres and seen what grief and successes they’ve had using different techniques. From their experience, I decided that for me, simple was the best.

            It may very well be different for you.

SUMMARY

            My best advice to you is:

            #1 First off, don’t try to put too many pans in the fire. Finish one book before you start on the next one.

            #2 Get to know each genre you write in, so you know at least a little on how to market it (and maybe how to write it as well – maybe you’re actually writing something else without realizing it).

            #3 Decide how you want to market it. Once you do, stick with it.

            #4 Have fun.

            Happy writing!

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