Well, today I’m thinking about genres. I’m no expert in this matter, as you will quickly find out. When I wrote Secrets, Shame and a Shoebox, I had no idea it would be earmarked by my publisher as Historical Romance. That made me laugh out loud. You see, I can actually remember some of that era. And a Romance? What! Its not soppy, more gritty. So that surprised me as well.
I find in most of my stories, there is a message I want to share. You will see this if you care enough to read between the lines. But honestly, just having readers read my book is an honour.
Anyway, back to that deciding on that genre. I suspect you know what you want to write. It’s sat there in front of you, an urge to write or you wouldn’t have selected this post. Am I right?
Personally, I think writing is a form of escapism, and it should be fun. After all if we didn’t go into other worlds and lose ourselves in the moment, there would only be non-fiction out there.
Many readers, like writers, need escapism, don’t they? Think about those faraway warm sunny beaches with holiday makers holding books aloft. Lost in time. Have you been one of them yourself? Or perhaps you can see yourself sat in a comfy chair at home, or at work during breaks with a book in your hand.
Writing is an ESCAPE into the unknown. Getting out of your own world for a moment and losing yourself in someone else’s life. Just like reading is.
For those who are not into fiction they will head to the non fiction shelf. Maybe that’s the type of writer you are. Or maybe you find yourself writing poetry. Do what you feel is comfortable but most of all, enjoyable.
Not all readers read a particular genre. Some are willing to step into the unknown and try something new.
I write in a variety of genres. At the moment, its suspense, drama, romance, mystery. I find it is like free therapy. I get lost in the moment. In fact, sometimes, if I’m not careful I can sit at the computer for hours and forget to eat. Not good. But at the same time good. I can’t say this enough – writing should be fun.
When Michelle Ryles – book magnet reviewed my debut, Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox, and said the following, I felt enormous relief she liked it, and then pride. Mainly because she actually loved it, (and I was honestly humbled, amazed by her words -it brought a tear to my eye), but there was another bonus to her review, she stated what I couldn’t work out myself:
“Michelle RylesVINE VOICE5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant, disturbing and heartwarming page-turner Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 September 202.1. Oh I really enjoyed this wonderful book. What a fabulous debut from L.B. Griffin! When I first started reading, I thought it was going to be a soap opera style piece of women’s fiction but it is so multi-layered that it burst out of every genre box I tried to put it in.”
The review goes on… You can read the rest on Amazon and Goodreads if you are interested, and there is a lot, but I am truly humbled by her wonderful comments – as I am by all the reviews by fabulous people who have taken the time to write in.
However, my point is, as you can see, I didn’t have a specific genre in mind when I wrote it, and she couldn’t determine its exact genre either. Go figure how the publishers decided on Historical Romance. I do hashtags on twitter #historical romance #mystery #suspense #drama (I feel that it encapsulates it better)
There are of course cross-over genres. Maybe mine is one of those.
FORGET THE CONTRACT FOR THE MOMENT. ASK YOURSELF WHAT DO YOU WANT TO WRITE?
An earlier post called – “write what you care about,” is available to view. But since then, being on a few writers forums, it seems that some writers don’t particularly write what they care about. Or don’t see it as an essential. They are in it for the money, accolade and everything else in that line. And I guess you may be thinking – and why not?
Why not indeed!
Although I can’t do that, write with that kind of cynicism, or forethought. I like to write from the heart. I really am not built in the same way as others. Or is it I’m not clever enough? (Shrugging here).
I’m not saying I’m not interested in having a best seller. Of course I would, THAT WOULD BE FANTASTIC! But that isn’t why I write. I write with a message of hope, courage and survival.
We are talking about you of course. Why do you LIKE THE IDEA of writing? Forget the word genre. Just ask yourself what is on the tip of your tongue, or in your head. What interests you. What are you excited about. What do you love? Do you read? What do you love to read? Why do you read it? What do you like reading. Is it a specific genre? Is this the type of thing you want to write? What do you like talking about. Or do you just want to write for yourself?
If I write a novel, and if it turns out to be a blockbuster, then wow, what a bonus!
However, if I don’t write, it will never be a blockbuster.
Personally, I would go with write for yourself, learn the craft, and then decide what genre you are writing in afterward.
NOW ASK YOURSELF THIS:
Do you have an urge to write something? If you have an idea, let it flow. Really. It doesn’t matter what genre you write in, just go for it. Feel happy writing it, and enjoy the experience. I know I’m repeating myself but there is a reason. There are highs and lows in writing. Sometimes the lows just happen. For me, this is when I find I am re-reading the same sentence over and over and simply can’t work out what’s wrong. Those are the irritations. but I stick with it because I want to get it to the best shiny piece I can, not just for me, but for the reader.
Another thought: What can you say to the reader that will make them want to buy your book?
By the way: My blogs are not proofread. I apologise, if you find typo’s. It’s not that I don’t respect you, but at the moment I simply don’t have the time.
Writing is a craft. It is said hundreds of times, in hundreds of books. Reading is an essential. Reading may help you decide exactly what to write. Don’t be afraid of reading the genre you think you want to write in. It helps, apparently.
Something else I’ve learned from writing forums, and that is just how some writers are ‘cross’ at the wannabes who think they can write and get published. My thoughts are if you want to write then go for it. If you can sell your product then better still.
However, it would be wrong of me to suggest writing is easy. You really need to learn how to. I’m still learning. I thought about writing a sci-fi or fantasy – I have written fantasy, but not well. I love sci-fi, but know I cant write it. I knew the moment I tried.
So, how did I decide to write Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox? It was released July 2021. It was written because I had been watching World on Fire which was inspiring. Then later I read books about families. Much later I watched a programme which triggered a memory, and the idea was born. All were connected in one way or another. It was something I knew about, but still needed to do research to ensure that the details were accurate. Readers can be very unforgiving.
That’s it folks – hope it has chipped away a bit of the mystery. My last word on the subject at the moment. A couple of things though. I am @LBGriffinAuthor on FB if you want to look me up. I am also on Twitter and Instagram. And If you have got this far………. If I can be extremely cheeky, would you share my link with your friends/family and the dog down the road – it would be brilliant – I have a flash sale on Kindle at the moment until the end of December – hopefully affordable! Thanks a million!