So, here you are
in front of your computer,
pens all neatly in a row, a stack of scratch paper nearby,
ready to write.
Want to do something different?
Write the first paragraph of a story in different genres.
The characters are: Twelve-year-old Shauna Price and Twenty-year-old Stockton Miller. Setting: Windsor Mall. Sunday afternoon.
Suspense: The point of Stockton’s knife had already torn a hole in Shauna’s bulky sweater. Her eyes searched for the nearest exit. Would she somehow be able to slip away, and lose herself amongst the other shoppers in the crowded mall? She took one calming breath, then another. After saying a silent prayer, the twelve-year-old twisted her wrist from his grasp and ran in the direction of the escalator.
Now, it’s your turn: Using the same characters and setting, write the opening paragraph of the story as Fantasy, Sci Fi, Romantic Comedy, and so on.
I found this to be a fun exercise. After all, I am a fairly new writer. I am not yet settled on any one genre. My first book, Runaways: The Long Journey Home, is Fiction Suspense. However, the novel I am writing currently, The Choice, is completely different.
It is true that writing in only one genre, may help a writer grow a following of readers. And, it is also true that a writer may be able to hone their skills more quickly if they stick to one genre.
However, if you are a new writer and haven’t yet settled on a particular genre, now is the time to try your hand at different genres, techniques, and writing styles…before you are “type-cast” (I borrow this term from Hollywood) as one kind of author or another.
And, if you find you like writing in, say, two genres, there is always the possibility of writing in one genre under your real name, and using a pen name to write in the other genre. Lots of authors do this very successfully. Their followers are frequently unaware that their favorite Historical Romances are written by a well-known author of best-selling Thrillers!