Jul 25, 2009

Can Writers Cross Genres?

By Cindy R. Williams
Question time.
I am at a cross road.

I find I am struck by lighting now and again and I write a completely different style, genre, purpose, and for different audiences etc.

What is your opinion about writing across the board? That is, in a number of genres? Are writers like actors? Do we get labeled like say, John Wayne? Could you see him---that is if he were still with us---playing a vampire? Not hardly. He is a cowboy through and through.

So if we publish a fiction novel for young adults, can we get away with writing a non-fiction book or a children's picture book or even an adult thriller? Please tell me if we too, are pigeon holed by what we publish.

I want to write a bit of everything, that is within moral bounds. No explicit stuff for me, but I want to dream in living color and in many genres.

What say you writing experts in blogland?


  1. I'm not an expert, but what I've read by experts is to master one genre before tackling another. E.B. White's essays blew me away when I thought he was only a children's author.

  2. Thanks Sarah. More food for thought.

  3. It's really simple these days. Do what writers have done for years write under another name. That way you can write for many different genres.

  4. Love it Terri. Smacking my head like why didn't I think of that!

  5. Hee. This is funny to me, since the four books I mentioned in my first blog here, are all very different!!! One is humor, one is suspense/thriller, one is artistic and slightly magical and the other is romantic AND tragic with fictional charactors living during the siege of Leningrad in WWII. All four of them are written in an entirely different style, and I can only owe this to the same schizophrenic mind that makes me sing and write music in genres from country to jazz, and work in mediums from clay to watercolor. Hmm. Maybe I really am schizophrenic, but my take on your quetion, is...it keeps me from getting bored. I say...GO FOR IT!!!

  6. If the urge is there, go for it. You can decide what to do about it when you get farther along, or at least by the time it's finished. I can't imagine that any writing exercise could cripple you. I hope I'm not stuck with memoirs for my whole life, even though I naturally find nothing else quite as fascinating as -- ME.


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