Genre Switching — Or Is It Simply Writing Outside The Box?

Is writing the same genre starting to weigh you down? That sounds like one of those late night television commercials, doesn’t it? Can’t you see it: Writing leaving you tired? Still committed to your genre, but tempted by something new? Loving your characters but wishing they could be on another planet / in another time / in love with werewolves?

We’ve all know the importance of creating our brand and maintaining consistent quality on our books, but there are times you just think… not another XYZ… Your Muse has packed up and gone on vacation without you. And your chin is propped on your hand as you stare at the blank screen and blinking curser.

What if you could write anything you wanted? Try something different? Why not give it a chance? Who decreed you could only write in the genre you publish? This doesn’t have to be anything to do with your publishing career—although maybe it can…

choices

What can you do differently? Dabble in another genre. Revisit that manuscript you hid under the bed. The one you’ve had for years where the coalminers meet the wood fairies. Follow a picture prompt from the net. Indulge in some fanfic, like you did in the old days. Use the excuse of a seasonal theme to revisit existing characters – but change it up. Write a scene from a different character’s POV. Move the setting to the place you’re dying to go for vacation—and pretend you’re there!

This past winter when the weather turned gloomy, I decided to mash up my genre is a new way. Rather than write mysteries with a romance element, I wondered, what if I write a romance with a touch of mystery? And rather than write a true romance, why not make it a “women’s fiction” but apply the transformation to a guy? It was a lot of fun watching this novella take shape and having Alex Montoya grow as a character from “rather an ass,” as one early reader labeled him, into a man who can fully appreciate the woman in his life.

Of course, now that Malbec Mayhem is releasing, I’m terrified my readers will wonder what on earth I was thinking, but I hope they enjoy Alex and Sofia’s story. And I’m newly recharged and can’t wait to start my next mystery—which will definitely have a relationship element.

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