Genre, Which Genre?

ImagePhoto Credit: Erica Senecal

Just off the top of your head, how many genres or sub-genres can you name? Let me try. Mystery. Thriller. Young adult. Erotica. Ew to that. Literary fiction. Historical fiction. New adult. Sci-fi. Fantasy. Romance. Crime fiction. Detective fiction. Okay, the list can go on and on but the point is that there are A LOT of genres to pick from. There are plenty more I didn’t name because who wants to just sit here and read the different genres over and over?

Now let’s talk about you or me. We’ve both decided to be writers or authors or whatever you want to call yourself, but we haven’t done a whole lot of thinking about story ideas. We’re sitting there brainstorming and we come up with a few that we MUST write. Let’s talk about me for a second. You all should know by now that I had my first story idea in my head for nearly 18 months before I ever put pen to paper. And even before that I’d started writing a different story. But before I ever wrote any fiction, I always knew I wanted to write crime fiction around a private detective. How did I know this? Because my bookshelf is filled with these books.

I’m not sitting here saying that I have any idea whatsoever how to write a decent mystery. I don’t think I have a clue. But when I think of other genres out there like sci-fi or YA or really any other genre I don’t write in, I’d be lost. I don’t know anything about world-building or writing a love story (though my two main characters are madly in love.) I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Seriously. So when I started writing for real I did the whole “write what you know” thing, but in truth I don’t know anything about mystery or suspense novels, besides the fact that I’ve read many great ones.

But this post isn’t entirely about me. I want to know how you decided on which genre you should write in. Maybe you have a creative writing degree with a specialization or maybe you did the same as I did and just started writing in your favorite genre. OR you write in different genres because you’re special like that. No matter how you decided, I want you to tell me. Right now.