Moving Into New Genres?


Dangerously confused
Apr 8, 2011
Rotorua, New Zealand
Hi all,

Just put out a new book, and am once more at a loose end. But thought I'd ask the writers here something. How many of you have found yourselves unexpectedly moving into new genres?

With me I normally write sci fi and fantasy - the things I know and love. But my latest book, Alone in the Dark, is a straight up detective, police procedural, female sleuth. (Which is fine because I also love to watch detectives on telly etc.) But so soon after putting out The Keeper, which was also a detective, and when I've spent years writing nothing but sci fi and fantasy? (Oh and I am a pantster by the way - I often don't know what a book is about until I'm half way through!)

And these books are just coming to me, and flowing swiftly off the keyboard. I think my muse has suddenly decided I should write a new genre.

Has anyone else had this happen to them?

Cheers, Greg.
I don't have a preferred genre, so until I have a multi-book contract for a particular genre (which I would be more than happy about, by the way), I'll keep come up with stories that interest me. My published novels were a time travel adventure and a YA SF humour book, and I've written a crime thriller and literary psychological fantasy 'thing,' (the genre escapes me), but in all cases the ideas preceded any genre considerations.
As a complete aside, "Alone in the Dark" seems to be a very popular book title. A goodreads search yields 176 hits, some of them also being "Alone in the Darkness"

Thanks for that. Never thought to check. But at least if there are that many books with the same title it can't be trademarked etc!

Cheers, Greg
My work defies genre, which might be why it is so hard to place it. Just finished a Literary Sci-fi, a Literary Fantasy before that ... I guess Literary is what ties them together. They are all character-driven, which sort of puts a dagger into the idea of genre fiction. Several have something to do with coming to grips with immortality, or just contemplating what immortality is, like my current WIP. One of my published shorts is pure Literary Fiction, while another is more like Fantasy, but character-driven, so more literary, a third similarly Sci-fi. My anthology is a mix of fantasy, sensual fantasy, and literary, as well as experimental poetry.

I just go with the flow, and like Steve, I'll write in whatever genre they want when the book deal comes.

Lucky you! I can't write whatever someone else tells me to. So when the book deal comes they'll just have to live with whatever my fingers decide to type!!! (Did I mention I'm a pantster?!)

Cheers, Greg.

Lucky you! I can't write whatever someone else tells me to. So when the book deal comes they'll just have to live with whatever my fingers decide to type!!! (Did I mention I'm a pantster?!)

Cheers, Greg.
I'm a chameleon. I struggle not to write in the style of whatever I am reading, although right now I'm reading Salman Rushdie, and that is very difficult to copy.

I confess, I used to be a pantie-ster. :giggle:
If you're looking to expand the genres you write, there's a fantastic series of writing contests called NYC Midnight. Every year they have several different writing contests. You're given a prompt, usually a genre, character, and setting, and you have a limited word count and limited time to write a short story. I've written some of my best short stories for this contest, and three of them have now been published (one of them twice!) So for NYC Midnight, I've written straight drama, political satire, horror, romantic comedy, sci-fi, thriller, and probably more genres that I would never have written without this contest. It's been great for flexing my creative muscles. My most recent story is a Raymond Chandler-esque hardboiled noir about a holocaust survivor who poisons the Meals on Wheels delivery of a former Nazi camp guard in 1958 Philadelphia. I never would have written that without this contest.
The novels I am writing are SF but taking part in the 75, 100 and 300 word challenges here I have tried writing in different genres and have been both surprised and a little disturbed at times. It's amazing what comes out when the fingers have control of the keyboard. I do have limitations on the types of genres as well as how far I well go with in the ones I will write in.
I'm a plotting pantster. I write in a mix of both styles.

It's good to play around in writing other genres, you never know what might work. It's a great writing exercise too.
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