Thursday, May 10, 2012

Over or Under Generalizing

What is your specialty as a writer? If you answered in genre terms rather than based on your strengths in  writing dialogue, plot or characterizations, it may be that you have listened to far too many "experts" who advise digging into a specialized niche.

Granted, being a generalist presents its own problems for those who can't quite decide after three or four chapters whether to continue the book as a mystery, fantasy, literary epic or romance. But at least this type of writer could produce a different genre entirely. (I'm ever hopeful.)

As always, if you can terrify someone with words, bring to life magical lands, plot the perfect murder, after murder, or take the reader out of this world, then continue to carve out your niche.

For those writers who love to play with any and all of these aspects in writing short stories and books, keep in mind that the one person you need to please is yourself. A few years back, I was warned that the science fiction series I was writing for young adults would never find a publisher because middle  and high school readers weren't reading the genre. Now, many believe that YA readers could save science fiction, again.

That series embraces only one of several genres I play with, revise and rework until they sing to me. Fortunately, as writers we have many more options to get our works read and bought than in the past. So much is possible for both the specialized and generalized author.

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