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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Your Genre...



“Read in your genre. Read in your genre. Read in your genre.” 

You hear it all the time. From agents. From authors.  From people on the street (No, not really, but it seems that way) It feels like everyone gives the same advice.

I think it’s good advice. I’m a huge propionate of reading, but are you limiting yourself by only reading in the genre you write?

I think so.

There are PROS for reading IN your genre.
  • You can spot trends
  • You know the market
  • You know what’s been done already
  • You find new exciting authors
  • You understand what readers of your genre expect 

But there are PROS for reading OUTSIDE of your genre.
  • You can learn how to add suspense from reading Mystery or Suspense Novels
  • You can learn how to add emotion form reading Romance and Contemporary
  • You can learn how to use lyrical language from reading Literary Fiction
  • You can learn world building from Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Dystopian
  • You can learn how to make everything boring from reading Non-Fiction (I’m just kidding J But only a little) 

I’m sure there are more. What do you all think? Do you stick to your genre or do you find branching out helps you as a writer?

-Angie



16 comments:

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I read what I want to read, whatever sounds intriguing, whatever hooks me. A good story, no matter the genre, is going to help my own writing even if it's only by osmosis. :)

K.T. Hanna said...

I read whatever catches my attention. From mystery to thrillers, sci-fi to fantasy, paranormal to horror, YA & MG to Adult.

I'm very picky about what I read, so maybe that's why I read so many different genres, but I love pretty much any well told story.

Melissa Sarno said...

Sometimes I think I learn more reading outside the genre. I tend to stick to contemporary and literary fiction and when I leave that, I'm always so amazed, so inspired because it's a different perspective. It opens my eyes.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Ha! I can't do Nonfiction. I've tried to read it, but it doesn't hold my attention like Fiction does. :) And I agree. I like reading all sorts of things. I usually stay in YA, but I tend to read other genres as well. :)

Kelley York said...

I branch out. I primarily read darker, edgier stuff, but now and again I'll pick up something light-hearted and easy. I also like picking up an older book sometimes--some of the old Judy Blume or whatever. It's interesting to see the contrast of YA back then and YA now. It helps that I like a lot of different genres; (some) fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, thrillers, horror, etc.

And I read some non-fiction. Mostly Beatles biographies, and now and again a true-crime since my wife has tons of them.

Leigh Covington said...

Angie, why are you so brilliant? Honestly? I know you have a secret. :) The cool thing is that you always share your secrets... like today! This is fabulous. I think it's important to read everything. Like you said... you LEARN!

Melanie Fowler said...

How about if you write YA read all kinds of YA. I agree with you. You need to think outside the box.

Brooke said...

I loved reading your post. Inside or outside the box, you've made me realize that I need to read more. And this is from a former English teacher...

E.R. King said...

I can't stay in my genre because I get bored. I want to read anything and everything that has a good message. I guess I'm more inclusive than exclusive. : )

Cassie Mae said...

I read everything. EVERYTHING! But I also write a lot of different stuff. Trying to figure out my strengths, what I'm passionate about. I love fantasy, but when I started writing a contemporary piece, I needed to read more contemporary because all of a sudden I'd be writing and then I'd want a monster to come tramping down the road in the middle of the scene. Fantasy may be my genre of choice, but I can't limit myself with only writing in that genre, especially since I'm not repped yet. I found out I really like contemporary, and though I probably won't query the contemp. piece I have, that doesn't mean it won't help me in the next fantasy book I write.

So yes, read in your genre, but don't neglect other genres in the process.

Whew, that was a chatty response. I think I need to get out the house and be with some people for a while, lol.

Donna K. Weaver said...

If you only read your genre, I'd say yes. But I write multiple genre because I read and love multiple genres. It will probably be a problem for me if I'm ever published. Stephenie Meyer writes this wildly successful YA paranormal romance and then an adult SciFi. I love the adult SciFi the best.

Sara Bulla said...

I think reading good writing is beneficial no matter what genre it is. I love reading mysteries, but without fail, I automatically gravitate to fantasy when I write. So, I think we slide into the slot we're comfortable with at the time, but I agree, no good read is wasted. We can glean good info and good examples from all genres.

Christine Rains said...

Read all genres. Even genres you don't think you'd like. You might learn something.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I was reading in my genre for a long time. Then I read a few contemporary and I realized I missed those. I also miss reading mysteries. I love a great one of those every once in a while. I totally agree with all your pros.

Tara Tyler said...

most people prob have more interests than just one genre, i know i do!

as for reading in the genre, i also get tips on what not to do in addition to good things to use. you had great points for reading outside, a good book has many components, a little from each genre usually =)

Kelley said...

I read whatever I feel like because I am not set into what genre I'm writing in yet.

Also because I love reading and writing every genre :)

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