Your genre. A round of questions and answers.

Are there any fellow-authors reading this?

I wonder… how did you choose your preferred genre? Is it something you love to read as well? Or is it something you feel competent with, or are knowledgeable about?

And what is your genre? Or do you write in several genres? Do you mix them, or do you feel better to keep them apart so you do not mess up the styles?

Oh – styles, yes, that is another one? If you write several genres, do you have a specific style in which you write a genre, or does that change with the story you intend?

My own ‘answers’ to these are: I do indeed write the genres I like to read. Not all of them, I do limit myself to fantasy, science fiction and steampunk for now. Fantasy has no limits, making it very easy to write. Sci fi does require more knowledge, about what’s possible (or an educated guess about what will be possible). Steampunk for me is the hardest to write for some reason, as I want to stick to the atmosphere, style and language as well as I can.

And that brings me to the style. The ‘style’ I try to keep up in Steampunk is what I perceive to be the spirit of that era in which my Steampunk stories play. Politeness, the fashion, the culture of the classes, and the mystery of the gears, cogs and that strange additional compound of aether, energy that comes in so handy while nobody knows exactly what it is.

My sci-fi stories vary in style, I think, as does my fantasy writing.

Finally, I am not against merging genres. My latest book, Hilda – Lycadea, has traces of sci-fi and steampunk mixed with the fantasy. Also the story I recently published, Bactine, has elements of steampunk in the sci-fi. Or is that sci-fi in the steampunk?

I am curious to learn what you have to say about this…

4 thoughts on “Your genre. A round of questions and answers.”

  1. Hi Paul,

    This is an interesting post about something I have often wondered myself.
    My first book is a memoir and I chose to write it because I love to read this genre. However, I am not keen to read about celebrities that I already know so much about. Instead, I prefer reading memoirs about unknown authors who still have a story to tell. My second book is also a memoir following on from the first, but after that I would like to write fiction. So I guess that because I’ll be changing genres, I’ll also be changing the style.

  2. I struggled with this a long time, and since I’ve started publishing independently, I worry about it far less. 15 years ago I began with the fantasy genre, with a strong dose of Gothic mixed in. Then I worried about being pigeon-holed and never being taken “seriously.” I switched to historical fiction, which is definitely a strong passion — I have a long line of novels to write. But as I work my way through my second historical novel, the old fantasy stories are calling to me…

    As much as I love historical fiction, I want to write a novel without a ream of notes from history books with intricate timelines and realistic plotlines that comply with “getting it right” in terms of the era and culture I’m portraying. I want to build my own world, with my own rules, and let it develop as it will. In the future, I see myself dividing my time between the two. I think after I’m done with my current novel, it’s time to do something different for a while! I keep my list of novel to write posted next to my computer, and am always thinking about the order of novels I plan to write…

    1. Christine, if you can find a good balance between the two genres, then go for it. I always find it more important to write what you like than what people expect you to write or how people look at you when you tell them what you write. There are always people who want to read fantasy, always those for historical fiction. I have a seemingly never-ending detective lying around that I once started. Maybe I will finish it one day.

      Good luck in your writing. Enjoy it.

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