Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Switching Genre

I'm closing in on the halfway mark of my current wip and the writing, so far, is going surprisingly well.  I wanted to explore that.  Why is the writing process much easier this time around?  Why am I enjoying it more than usual?

The answer is that I am writing what I enjoy reading.  My first book was in the women's fiction genre.  It wasn't my best piece of work.  I had only written short stories previously and all of them had been in the crime/thriller or horror genre.

So why did I turn to women's fiction for my first novel?  I suppose I thought it would be easier.  Very ignorant of me, I know.  The writing was a hard slog.  I wrote for two years', had a two year break, then wrote for another year until it was finally finished.  I hated every second I worked on that book.

I then took a break.  I wrote short stories, articles and a couple of non-fiction books - anything to stop me thinking about writing another novel-length piece again.  During this time, I was also reading a lot - as I always have.  My favourite author's include Stephen King, Mo Hayder, Michael Connelly, Gillian Flynn...  You can see the pattern here.  It was reading a Stephen King novel at the age of twelve that made me want to be a writer in the first place.

I asked myself why I like reading in these genres.  Why do I love to immerse myself in world's occupied by serial killers, stalkers, monsters and the odd killer clown?  It's because I'm interested in the dark side of human behaviour.  I want to know what makes the killer tick and what dark choices humans make to survive.  THIS is what I should be writing about!

And now, I am.  My new wip includes a serial killer, a stalker and a DI who also has a dark side.  And I'm loving it.

Even my short stories always seem to have a murder or crime involved.  I tried writing a story for The People's Friend a while back, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stop myself writing a murder and arson attack into the plot.  At least I tried!

Changing genre has been the best thing I have ever done.  It has made me fall in love with writing again.

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