Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Genre-Envy


Hi all! This month's Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog question is from yours truly:

"I have a genre-crush on______"

What genre or category of writing do you wish you could tackle, and why haven't you?

I really sort of shot myself in the foot with this one, because there are waaaaay to many genres I would like to write that I haven't.

So far, I've stayed within the lines of YA (a dash of historical; a dabbling in sci-fi and urban fantasy) and MG. I've also written creative non-fiction that's almost always medically related.

What would I love to write? In no particular order, here they are.

1. Historical non-fiction. I would love to write something like Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, or Salt: A World History, or Guns, Germs and Steel. I've always wanted to do a history of contraception, but only got as far as a 20 page essay in medical school (who knew rocks were the first IUDs... for camels? And that women used squeezed-out lemon-halves as diaphragms?) Anyway, I digress...

2. Romance. I love a good happily ever after! And there are so many different flavors of romance out there. But I'd blush too much writing the romance scenes. For now I'll leave it to the many other writers out there who are far more talented than I am in this genre.

3. Horror. I'm such a wimp, I can't even watch the horror movies that make fun of horror movies. But I have an arsenal of knowledge about so many ways people could die gruesome deaths...it's a shame I'll never tap into that knowledge in my fiction. So in the meantime, I'll just help other writers think of gruesome ways to kill off their characters on Medical Mondays.

4. Good old-fashioned, adult literary fiction. In time, in time. For now, I'm entranced with YA and MG, so I'll let myself run with that.

How about you? Do you have a genre-crush? What have you always wanted to write, but haven't?

If you haven't had a chance, check out Laura's post from last week, and stay tuned for upcoming posts from Sarah and Deb!

60 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

YA. I Have a couple of neat ideas for it, but I just don't think I could handle writing all that teenage angst.

Laura Pauling said...

I love writing YA and MG but within those boundaries are so many choices! I love a literary story full of heart. I love fast paced and fun. I love ghost stories. Possibilities are endless.

B.E. Sanderson said...

So far, I've written what I wanted when I wanted - except for that funny SF I never finished and that quirky mystery I never finished. Oh, and the MG adventure I started this past spring... that I haven't finished yet.

Sarah said...

I'll save my answer for next week! I just want to ask you to please write that medical nonfic--it sounds so fascinating. And potentially hilarious and cringeworthy, which makes for the best nonfiction.

Jessica Bell said...

Yep! Slipstream. I'm actually tackling this with my WIP. Finally. The one you answered my medical questions for :o)

E Louise Bates said...

I love mysteries, especially historical mysteries, but oh, I can never figure out how to give enough clues without giving the whole darn thing away. A friend and I have talked about co-writing a mystery, so we can help each other with that, but on my own, I think it's beyond me. I have managed to write an adventure story, but that's easier because it's more about "will they catch the bad guy?" than "whodunnit?"

Giles Hash said...

I think I've actually tried to write all of the genres I would like to write. Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Mystery. Both YA/MG and Adult.

I'd love to write comedy, though. I'm just not good at forcing funny.

Old Kitty said...

I'd love to be able to write hard-core gritty sci-fi!!!

Take care
x

Meredith said...

I love reading so many types of genres that I want to be able to write a ton of them! Historic non-fiction would be amazing.

L.G.Smith said...

I love historical fiction. I doubt my research abilities too much to tack it as a writer, though. I'd constantly worry that I got some fact wrong and some historian would call me out on it.

storyqueen said...

I have a genre crush on YA. I even wrote one...but I just don't know if it's "me" as an author.

But I love a good YA!

Shelley

julie fedderson said...

YA, definitely. I love to read it, and when it's done well, I actually feel that rush of teenage angst and hormones again (or that could be early menopause). But my sense of humor runs to the rated R crowd, so I'll leave YA to the masters.

Carol Kilgore said...

Paranormal. I love reading all of it, but I've never dipped my pen into that inkwell. Yet. Maybe one day.

Matthew MacNish said...

High/Epic Fantasy. It's been my first love ever since dad read Tolkien out loud to us when I was a kid, and I could probably write it well if I ever had a worthy idea, but I'm scared to try it because I'm convinced I won't live up to my standards.

Lame, I know.

Bossy Betty said...

Memoir--I envy those who can turn their live inside out for a good look at the seams and the lint within.

Michael Offutt said...

I'd love to be able to write some literary fiction.

Critique Sisters said...

You are wonderful at helping us figure out how to kill off our characters! That kind of brings you into the horror writing realm. :) I bet you could tackle the others with style!

Peggy Eddleman said...

I love the idea of this post! And your picture is fabulous. I have a writing crush on Distopian. Someday, someday...

Kelly said...

Great question.
I want to try YA one day. It scares me a little. But I do want to try.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Harlan Ellison challenged me with the comment : "A good writer can write in every genre. It's all about the human heart in conflict, man! Mysteries stump you? C'mon, work backwards from the crime! You grow as a writer by using muscles in that brain that you don't normally use. Use them!"

Harlan is subtle like that.

So I picked up the thrown glove, and I've had fun ever since. But I have my favorite genres. And with my current limited time, I stick to them.

A great post as usual, Roland

Em-Musing said...

Literary...I write commercial and "literary" just sounds better, I guess to my snobby ears.

Carol Riggs said...

Wow, I absolutely love your drawing! Those li'l outfits really summarize the genres well. :) I'd love to do a historical fiction (YA of course) but I balk at the research, and I'd be scared I'd get the details wrong! So I stick to fantasy and dystopian where I can totally make up the worlds and no one can say it's wrong. LOL

Heather said...

I love that picture, cracked me up! Someday I'd love to write sci-fi, in fact there is a novel brewing in my mind now. But it's an intimidating genre! I will tackle it though... someday soon.

Medeia Sharif said...

My genre crushes are horror and paranormal. I wrote a first chapter of a paranormal wip, but I haven't touched it in a month because of my two almost-finished wips. But I do plan on finishing it.

linda said...

Oh yes, please write that historical non-fiction!

I think I'd like to try YA contemporary sometime, but right now all my ideas are YA fantasy.

Mohamed Mughal said...

I've never given a thought to genre...only writing.

What genre would "The Great Gatsby" be? If that's a genre, that would be the one I'd like to write.

Sarah said...

I love reading historical fiction, but I don't know that I'll ever attempt it. I'd just end up throwing in aliens, unicorns, bad puns, or letting a maniacal wizard kill everyone off. Same goes for contemporary. I could see wanting to do it eventually, but for now I'm too in love with the morbid, the absurd and the impossible.

I tend to stick to YA, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and humor.

Erin Cole said...

This is a great post because I think it is sooo important for writers to step out of their genres, because you never know you might be a better horror writer than you are a YA writer. (I started out in mysteries and discovered I can write horror pretty good, but I would have never known that if I had never tried it)

Plus, stretching our skills, our imagination, etc. only benefit the genre you write in.

It's like reading; you should read a little bit of everything too, because genres overlap, and you won't now how to incorporate new material if you never attempt to write new material.

Okay, I'm done preaching ; ) Good Luck with your genre goals, Lydia. I would love to read a short horror from you, or historical non-fiction. Nice. I'm pushing myself in Sci-fi and Poetry.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I've always thought that writing a horror story could be fun since there are so many opportunities for action and tension and suspense. Sadly, though, I can't even sit through a horror movie. This makes me doubt whether I could actually write horror without scaring myself.

Munk said...

Quirky non-fiction.

mooderino said...

With your knowledge of death mayeb a thriller? would be a shame to waste the opportunity.

mood

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've always enjoyed fantasy but I haven't tackled it yet.

Chris Phillips said...

I have a couple speculative fic ideas for novels I've always wanted to get down.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'd love to write dystopian. I recently wrote a short story that was speculative fiction. I like the idea, but I'm wary of writing a whole book!

I think I could write horror easier than I could read it or watch it. When I write, I get to control the story. Mostly.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I love dystopian novels and would write one if I could come up with an interesting idea. I'd also love to write a picture book! They are so hard but I think one day I'll take a crack at it.

Krispy said...

I'd love to write contemporary anything! I can't figure out how to un-magic my writing though, haha.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'd love to write something involving the unreal - horror, science fiction, fantasy, etc. Now that I've jumped from YA fiction (which I never intended to write) to non-fiction, I'll probably stay the course.

Arlee Bird said...

Historical fiction that takes place in pre-1900 United States. I like reading about it, but tend not to write about it from lack of knowledge and I would need to do more research.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Arlee Bird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie Butler said...

I write paranormal romance, but I have a genre crush on Evanovich style mystery. :)

Robert Guthrie said...

Someday when I'm smart enough I'll write historical non-fiction.

Melissa Sarno said...

Love this question. I am very intruiged by writing fantasy. Everything I write is based firmly in reality, so I think I would enjoy the challenge.

Crystal Collier said...

"I have a genre-crush on______" Suspense. I blame it on Dean Koontz. Enough said. =)

Anything else I'm envious of I've attempted, but eventually, yes one day when I'm a proficient author I'm going to take the plunge and attempt the suspense game.

Linda Gray said...

Traditional mystery. I think people who write well in this category are brilliant. I don't seem to have the patience for the intricacies and jigsaw puzzle requirements to make it really good. p.s. your picture at the top of the post is priceless! It should be in the New Yorker!

Laila Knight said...

I have a crush on historical romance. I love to read it and would love to right it. Problem is I don't want to have to deal with all the extensive research that goes with it. Duke so and so from this time and age wore this and that. Fantasy lets me do what I want. :)

Talli Roland said...

That's a great question! I'd love to write YA but I'm not sure I could convincingly.

LTM said...

Hmm... I DON'T have a genre crush! But I guess if I were to have one or try something new, maybe it'd be Fantasy. That would be fun.

I love your little illustration, btw. Nice~ :D

Emy Shin said...

Mystery and Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I do write the later in YA, but I've always wanted to write a sweeping 10-book fantasy series. :)

Taryn Tyler said...

Oooh. Horror and Adult Literary fiction. I definately see the attraction there but I don't think I could ever pull it off myself. Alas.

By the way I have an award for you over at my blog if you would care to claim it ;D

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I write YA so I don't have to have genre-envy. And I write MG when I don't want to write kissing. :)

David Powers King said...

This pot is hilarious. So is that first picture. Spot on, Lydia!

I've always wanted to write Epic Sci-fi, but somehow ended up in YA Fantasy. Quite the change, huh?

Olga said...

I have a confession to make. What I enjoy most is to read philosophy books and mystery novels.

cherie said...

Squeezed-out lemon halves?!? *shudders*

I have a genre-crush on adult literary fic. I envy people who can write beautiful, lyrical prose.

Leslie Rose said...

I still have a Nancy Drew "thing." I would love to write a YA mystery. My MC would wear pearls and have a ken doll boyfriend. Oh, see. That's why I don't write YA mystery.

vbtremper said...

I have tried my hand at many genres, but I think I'd love to write an adult literary mystery. Maybe someday, but probably not. Too much else to do in a day!

-Vicki

Jonene Ficklin said...

Wow, you really could write an awesome horror book. That's pretty far from what I like, but I did read a heart-stopping book called, I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, by Dan Wells that was so dreadfully impressive!

Hm, for me, adult literary would be fun to write, but it's scary because you need to have serious skills. Maybe in a few years, when I grow up as a writer . . .

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love writing YA, so I'm not looking at reaching beyond those boarders. I am, though, looking to expand amongst the subgenres. My next project is YA horror (the psychological kind). :D (that or dark YA urban fantasy. I'm not sure which yet!)

Shelley Munro said...

Ooh, steampunk. That's what I'd like to write one day. I'll leave you to the horror :)

lbdiamond said...

GREAT answer! I love your drawing, BTW. ;)

Hanny said...

I know what you mean! Because I read so many genres, I feel confused about what I'm supposed to write.

Stephen King, in his book "On Writing" says to write what feels natural, and what just comes to you. I suppose this can mean writing in multiple genres. I don't see why anyone shouldn't be able to just write whatever pleases them.

 
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