Occasionally someone asks what genre I write in. It’s not a simple “one word” answer. I write in several. In the non-fiction world, I’ve written scientific stuff, self-help stuff, and business stuff. In fiction, I write fantasy, real world stuff, and stuff where fantasy and the real world intersect (I like those stories). I aspire to writing science fiction, but I have enough going on that I haven’t put much work into it.
The next question is often why I would choose one genre or another. That answer is simple. I write in the genre that works for the story I want to tell and/or the point I want to get across. Often it depends on how the thought comes to me. But it also depends on the audience I want to reach. Some people will read and learn from a real-world fiction story that won’t touch a self-help book. Some people don’t like real world stories and seek refuge in fantasy. If I want to be read, I need to go where my audience is (actually that’s a good general guideline for writing…).
Why any of us writes in a genre is an interesting question. It usually has to do with personal taste and personal history. But as a pragmatist, a lot of it comes down to what works best. What genre will reach my readers? What genre tells the story without getting in the way? If we ask those questions, the choices of which genre to work in and why the story belongs there become pretty clear.
So, dear reader, what’s your favorite genre? Why does it grab you? Consider those questions. Leave a comment if you want to. And, I’ll see you next post.