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Your Writing Brand: What You Like V. What Your Good At

Every writer has a favorite genre, one that they love to read and one that they love to write. For example, I love reading speculative fiction (literature that answers the question of what if?). But just because you enjoy reading something doesn’t mean you are adept at writing in that style or genre. There are many writers out there who love one genre but aren’t the best at writing it. It’s just one of those truths that we choose to ignore when it pertains to us.

I don’t wish to hurt any feelings but there are some genres that just don’t work for everyone. Many authors will tell you that they may love writing in a certain genre even though what they write is never up to their own standard (or anyone else’s). I have dabbled in screenplays but none of them will ever see the light of day because I know they are not up to par.

Additionally, there are some writers who try to write in every genre even though they may not have experience in that area, which is a mistake. It is fine to enjoy every genre but you shouldn’t try writing in a genre without at least a basic understanding of the various tricks of the trade, as it were. Each genre uses specific tools to help make the world more real. Paranormal romance is completely different from a bildungsroman set in a dystopian future. Both fall under the larger generic category of speculative fiction, true, but they are different styles and the voice in which you tell the story must match each genre. This is not to say that you should never branch out, I enjoy writing short stories as well as poetry and even drama. But it takes some time reading and discussing other pieces in the genre. It takes time and effort so I caution against any that would try to switch up the genre in which they write simply because they think it would garner attention or please certain critics. Writing should always be for yourself, the same remains true regardless of the genre.

And just to drive home an earlier point, there are plenty of people who can write in a multitude of genres and do it very well. For instance, Colson Whitehead and Jackie Hill Perry. Both are so dynamic with their words that it seems as if though they can do anything. I love reading their work (and listening in Jackie’s case) because of the style and their world building.

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