Writing Genres

It’s strange to me that though I write mostly contemporary romance and erotica, I mainly read mystery/suspense and paranormal romance.

Maybe it’s subconsciously intentional?

Maybe I’m avoiding writing in the categories I read the most in.  I’ve heard conflicting advice – “read what you write”, “you have to know what the competition is up to” and “you don’t want to accidentally steal an idea.”

Or, and this is my current favorite (two part) theory, maybe, as much as I love reading paranormal, maybe my brain just doesn’t move in the right way to write those genres.  Paranormal requires a lot of world building so it doesn’t just fall flat, and I like to dive straight into my stories and start playing with my characters.

Part two is unraveling the longer I think about it.  I always thought that mystery/suspense was a gritty, dirty, graphic genre.  I read Faye and Jonathon Kellerman, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell, Thomas Harris – all dirty, gritty, graphic writers.

And then I picked up a new book: Murder of a Bookstore Babe.  It’s a mystery and it’s almost fluffy.  I loved it and can’t wait to read the rest of the series, but it’s got me rethinking my stance on why I don’t write more mystery.

So, what say you?  Read what you write, or don’t risk it??



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2 Responses to Writing Genres

  1. Susan says:

    Man that’s a tough one. My problem with reading what I want to write isn’t accidentally stealing an idea (cuz, let’s face it, there are no *true* original ideas out there, if you know what I mean)…mine is more of the fact that my brain just starts bouncing around. I want to write stories like the ones I’m reading, but…different.

    I couldn’t write mystery to save my life, and every once in awhile I love a good mystery!

    • Sarah Sarah says:

      I know exactly what you mean. I’m not so concerned with stealing an idea as I am with having a character with the same name. Once I read a character I like, it’s really hard for me to use that name later or read another book with the same name. There will never be another Edward, kwim?

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