5.8.15

Insecure Writers Support Group: Identity Crisis #IWSG

Quick & simple: I'm not sure I'm writing in the right genre for me.

I enjoy what I write, and telling love stories is what drew me to write fiction in the first place, but I know the single most important thing for any writer when it comes to marketing is to know your audience. I'm not sure that I do.

I  look at what tops the charts in my categories, and I'm sure they're great stories - they obviously speak to a large number of readers - but  very few of them carry any appeal to me personally. They're jut not the kind of stories I'm interested in reading. I'm often mystified by tropes that consistently play well with romance readers.

This makes me feel like an outsider in my own genre. I've enjoyed reading lots of romance novels, rarely ones on the bestseller lists, but then I pick up the Fellowship of the Ring and I get all tingly. Outside of Autsten, romance novels don't usually make me tingly. So what the hell am I doing writing them?


This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writers Support Group<, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh.

17 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe it's time to write something that makes you tingly, whether it sells or not?
Science fiction isn't a big seller. But outside of fantasy, there's nothing else I'd want to write.

Julie Flanders said...

I think you should try writing what makes you tingly and see what happens. You might have a blast doing it.

emaginette said...

Maybe you need to be writing a romance in a fabulous fantasy land. Just a thought :-)

Anna from Elements of Writing

Carrie-Anne said...

I hear you about not seeing the appeal of certain popular books in your own genre. So many times I wonder if I read the same book others are squeeing about. I particularly dislike a lot of the recent Russian historicals, either because of an overdone premise, lack of true passion for the subject on the author's behalf, unrealistic plots, or just a narrative/POV style I'm not keen on.

Maybe you should try writing a fantasy romance. It's a refreshing change of pace to see a romance novel mixed with a genre outside of contemporary or historical.

Cherie Colyer said...

I don't always enjoy the best sellers in the genre I write. I sometimes think that because I am a writer, I pick out the small details in the story that makes it predictable to me. Whereas someone who is a reader and not a writer might not see what I do. Does that make sense? That might be the same for you with romance.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I really get this. I've written 6 books, only 4 of which are novels and even they tend to fit into different categories. If someone asked me what kinds of books I write, I'd have to say, "Whatever I feel like at the time."

Jennifer Lane said...

Just because the best sellers in romance aren't your thing doesn't mean it's not the genre for you. I think there is definitely a place for your unique voice in the genre, but it is frustrating when we see books that don't appeal to us selling so well. It's off-putting, making me think "Is there something wrong with me?"

I didn't read much romance before I started writing it, but now it's almost exclusively what I read. I find a hard time emotionally connecting with the characters unless there's romance involved.

I didn't know you were into fantasy!

Olga Godim said...

Fantastic post, Nicki. I know what you mean. I have been writing fantasy for a while, but then I decided to try something new. In the last couple months, I've been writing a regency romance story and posting it on wattpad, just to see what will happen. I have plans for two more, but my romance ideas don't subscribe to all the tropes of the genre either. For example, I don't like reading sex scenes, which have become a requirement in the genre. They were not in Georgette Heyer's time, and she is the best romance writer I know. I don't use sex in my stories either, but I've been struggling with magic. It wants to get into my stories, and I want to keep it out of them, to write a pure Heyer-like romance. Maybe I'm writing in the wrong genre too?

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Write the story that wants to be told then go from there. I read in a lot of genres - mystery, suspense, historical fiction - that I don't write in. Maybe someday I'll give it a try but for now, dark and creepy is my thing. :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Nicki....

You are a FANTASY GIRL.... WRITE FANTASY... as long as i've known you, you adore fantasy and you wrote that very fun novella that was fantasy...SOOOOO.... what are you waiting for?

I'll email you later...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Nicki, my five book series is NA/YA, and it's not a genre I even like to read. But I do love paranormal romance, so that is what I am working right now.

Loni Townsend said...

It might be that your love for another genre helps you transcend genre boundaries, bringing the world you love to people who otherwise would've never looked in the other direction. You might be the reason why someone crosses boundary borders!

Regardless of genre, if you like to read what you write, then I think you've done well for yourself.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Maybe you could write more than one genre, or maybe you could write a love story, just a different kind of love story that isn't like the other romance novels. If you think about it, most novels have love stories anyway.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I agree that sometimes you can be in a genre that you love even though you might not feel it matches your style. Everyone is right that maybe a cross-genre book would work? This is a thought-provoking post, and you have yourself a super-excellent rest of the day Dude.

Aria Glazki said...

I don't get the appeal of a lot of tropes myself, and I pretty much never read category romance because of that. I like the deeper romances, à la Susan Elizabeth Phillips, that really go into character development, and even then I wish she'd write about all sorts of people and pairings, not just the ones where at least one person is very wealthy. But I don't think you have to love all the things about a genre to write it.

Romance is great partially because there really are only two rules: focus on a romantic relationship, & end with HEA/HFN. There's so much freedom, and therefore so much variety. If you like writing it, I wouldn't worry about how everyone else writes it. Your market isn't all romance readers anyway.

libertyfallsdown said...

Hello, having a nose on your blog :)

I personally really enjoy super sexy sci-fi/fantasy romance a la Nalini Singh. They hit the spot both in terms of my love of romance and sci-fi/fantasy. Could a hybrid work reinvigorate your enjoyment of romance while satisfying your Fellowship of the Ring tingles?

Liz Blocker said...

I'm not sure how I missed this last week - I'm sorry!

Well...maybe it's time for a change? If you love fantasy, try your hand at fantasy. Why not? You can always use a pen name if you're worried about it, but honestly, I don't think you need to. I loved the hints of magic/fantasy/otherworldliness in Divine Temptation.

There's nothing wrong at all with writing in more than one genre. If anything, I think it's admirable that you CAN!