Friday, November 17, 2017

Why Changing Genres Is Tough

A lot of authors try it. Far too many fail at the attempt.

What I am talking about here are authors who have been writing in one genre, or have a talent for one genre, and then, for some reason, they feel it is time to "make a shift" and try something new. For some authors, they make the shift at the suggestion of a critique partner. For others, they simply see a new line and think it would be a great career move. Unfortunately, talking about the move is one thing. Executing the move is something else.

So, why is it so difficult.

This is something I have written about here on the blog in the past, and it all stems from the concept of "write what you know." Each of us has one genre we can connect with better than others. It might be because this is what we read. It might simply be the style of the structure connects with certain neurons in the brain. Regardless of the reason, that connection gives you an inherent insight to that style of writing that just flows naturally.

I often talk about these connection when I talk about the specific nuances of a writing style. For example, writing historical novels set in Regency England is more than simply a lot of dancing, house parties and characters saying "La." The same for Scottish Historicals. These are not about a bunch of hunky guys in kilts saying "Doona." If you read a story from someone new to this genre, you will fully understand what I am talking about. The language is stilted and forced. Things don't flow. Sure, the components are there, but the execution is not.

This also goes to another level, especially for those of you who are published. While you might be able to "write on proposal" with your current editor of your current genre, that shift to a new line will require you to write a full manuscript. You might have the sales numbers in your current genre, and that proposal might sound great, but again, it comes down to a full execution of the story.

I do recommend for any author, before you make that shift, THINK!!!! Consider what you know, what you will need to know, and if that execution is really going to be there. It might not be worth the effort, unless you have the time and the patience. 

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