Writer's life Writing

One Genre or Multiple Genres?

I am a mystery writer at heart. I love solving puzzles and murder is kind of my jam, even if it would totally freak me out in real life. It still took me a while to figure out if that’s the genre I want to write in. The kind of novels I usually read as a teen were more fantasy inspired, but I absolutely fell in love with cosy mysteries. Perhaps your genre picks you instead of the other way around. However, that doesn’t make it easy when sometimes novels pop into your head, regardless of genre. Try getting rid of those pesky characters, they’re a lot like glitter that way.

A Loyal Audience

Though I can’t remember where I read it, when I started to get really serious about becoming an author I did my research, and I read about the importance of sticking to one genre. If you want to brand yourself as an author, it’s best to represent yourself as an author of [fill in genre]. Labelling yourself as an author in general will hardly get you noticed by your readers.  Sticking to one ensures you can build a loyal fan base. Which I get. “Hi, I’m Bob, a sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, adventure, romance, horror writer.” also sounds a lot less catchy than: “Hi, I’m Bob, an urban fantasy writer.”

Stubborn Stories

On the other hand, you can’t always control what kind of stories tumble into your head. I don’t just read in one genre and sometimes I’m inspired by a bad or good book and want to write something in a similar genre. Should I just ignore that or write that novel for fun and then just leave it? Of course it’s possible. It depends on what stage you are at your writing career.

I’m about to query my cosy mystery and am very passionate about it. My characters are quirky, there’s a cute village in which the people support each other and are also equally quirky, and there’s romance and murder. I’d really like that to be my first novel I publish and would like to be known as a mystery writer, even if maybe some day I’ll also write mysteries that are urban fantasy or magical realism. It is also why I look for agents who represent not just mysteries. You never know. Regardless, there are pen names that can be used for different genres. I thought about branding myself as an author of two different genres, but chose mysteries. Whether it’s the main genre or the sub genre, mysteries are always a part of what I write. It’s important to stay true to yourself as a writer.

It’s so personal. The only person who can decide what kind of writer you are, is YOU. Have you ever struggled with this? What did you decide to do?


Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
authormwRenee Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I’ve struggled with this issue too. My background in marketing tells me it’s better to be a master of your brand, especially if you want to build a following. But I enjoy writing in multiple genres, too. I’ve heard it said that if you gain success in one genre, get established (like Stephen King) before showing your other work. I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on this/what works for them.


[…] the right audience you first have to know who you are as an author. Find your (one) genre and make that part of your online presence. If you’re a horror writer you can for instance […]

Morgan W. Silver

Looking for a Great Book to Read? Look No Further!

Claire is sick of being a Minor Character. She despises the fact that the most exciting thing that’s happened to her in four long years has been answering a phone. She wants her own story, she wants more lines, and most of all, she wants adventure. Even if that means killing her Main Character. Unfortunately, only the Author has the power to kill Characters, but Claire will not be deterred by logic and facts. Then, even though it’s not supposed to be possible, someone is murdered in Character Central. It causes a widespread panic worse than the time they had a lemon shortage. After all, only the Author should have the ability to kill a Character. With the threat of multiple victims as well as Erasure for all Characters, Claire must team up with the Main Character she wants to bring down. If all else fails, she may even have to take it up with the Author.

Get Your Copy Today>>