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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What Do You Read? Is It What You Write?

I don’t think that I write what I read. I LOVE to read Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mysteries, Spy Thrillers, Romance, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and some non-fiction, like true stories about amazing people or biographies/memoirs. I tend to read a lot. I like to read authors I'm familiar with, but also new ones, to help with honing my own craft at times. I've read a few written by folks participating in the A to Z. I have found more than a few Indy-published authors that I really like and I buy their books whenever they come out.
But I don’t write , strictly speaking, in any one genre. I guess you could say I mix it all up. The first novel I published was a mystery/women’s fiction/ghost story (which nowadays is called Paranormal). When someone asks, I say mystery. It’s easier. But the genre boundaries are spreading across lines, crossing into one another. I wonder how this is affecting the market, and my chances for sales.  
Are you someone who writes to a market? Are you someone who writes whatever you feel like writing? Are you someone who writes in one genre? We all write for different reasons and I think those reasons have a lot to do with what we write.
I write fiction in whatever form it comes to me because it’s the only way to get the stories (those voices!) out of my head. And, I don’t want to do anything else. When I write, not only does it (almost always) make me a better, happier person to live with, but I, crazy fool that I am, realize that I want to be read. I want other folks to read my work and tell me what they think. I don’t like it when they don’t like what I’ve written, but hey, I’ll take the bad with the good. Hopefully it makes me a better writer. It also helps me to keep my personal introspections more positive. Writing makes me more apt to listen to my positive blah blah instead of the negative. The negative is always worse when I’m not writing. I get mad at my husband (poor guy) when I don’t write and usually don’t realize I’m taking out my frustration on him until I’ve opened mouth and crammed the proverbial foot inside.
So, after that little “walkabout” in my head, do you write what you read?

Lisa Buie-Collard's blog is found at: Please drop by, and if the mood suits you, leave a comment. She always returns the visit!

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  1. Hi Lisa - I write what I'm interested in .... but I'd read just about anything if it hooked me - the challenge for me is to sit and read a book ... something that now it's the 6th I need to start doing!

    Just write and try different approaches ... there are some wonderful writers in the blogging community and the A-Z is one of the great ways to find new writers and new friends ...

    Happy New Year to one and all - Hilary

    1. And that's why we love your blog so much! Because we're interested in what you're interested in!

  2. I'm like you in that I like to mix genres together. If I had to label my writing I guess I'd say it's Fantasy but strictly in the YA category and even one could be considered MG. The reason why I'd narrow my writing down to Fantasy is because what I write is such a hodgepodge of genre mixture and that seems like a broad enough title, though I never actually know what to consider my WIP's until I'm done writing. I never write to a particular audience, I just write for myself.

    Great topic!

    Happy writing!

    1. I just hope that one day writing for myself actually pays!

  3. I am not a writer, but I like to read a lot of different types of things, fiction, nonfiction, etc. I tend to stay away from horror because it scares me too much. I have read some of the A/Z authors and their work; A/Z is a good way to find new authors I do believe.


    1. I can't do horror either. There is already enough scary stuff in the world to add more in my head!. I agree and love A to Z for that and many other reasons.

  4. Off the bat I'll say I need to read more. I do read eclectically which probably influences what I write (or want to write). Focus is probably important to attaining greater completion, but I tend to get stuck in a rut if I don't vary my interests.

    Good topic of provoking thought.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks Arlee! I just set my reading goal on goodreads...

  5. Hi Lisa! Interesting post because it raises a great question. Should we only be reading in the genre we want to write, or only write in the genre we prefer to read, or should we do it all? I believe in the do it all plan. I read everything, including nonfiction. I mostly write mystery/suspense, and tend to kill at least one person in every story, but I've also branched out into retold fairy tales and am working on a short romance. In the old days, publishers didn't like their authors crossing genres. Thinks are so different, and so much better, now.

  6. I didn't write to market because when I was writing my first book, everything I read said science fiction was dead. I wrote anyway. So far I've stuck with the space opera genre in science fiction, although I also read fantasy, thrillers, and some horror.

  7. I read all kinds of fiction and some nonfiction also. I love mystery/thriller but have no desire to write it. I think reading other genres helps me be a better writer. Even science fiction and fantasy need the same elements of surprises and tension.

  8. I read all kinds of genres though I usually stick with the romantic-suspense and supernatural genres when I'm writing. But I don't restrict myself when I write either. I've dabble in sci-fi and even western. I always say that writers should read books outside their preferred genres because they can learn a lot.

  9. I suppose I read some of the same genres that I write but not really. I tend to read across the spectrum. I love to write and read science fiction and romance. I also love reading anything from classics to literary to comic books and somehow I'm growing an interest in horror. So I don't know. I guess I read more of a variety than what I write. Oh well, it's something to think about, lol. Thanks for the intriguing post.

  10. I could have write this article myself, I mean, you just stealed words from my mouth. I feel just like you. I'm happy when I write, I'm not happy when I don't, I want to be read, I'm not happy when people don't like it, but I'm also ok with that. What is there to add for me? ;-)

    Well, I'd say that I do write what I read, if this is taken in a wide manner. I write speculative fiction, mostly of the fantasy incarnation, though recently I've moved more close to historical fantasy. So when I read, I prefer stories with a speculative element, but that could be anything. I also enjoy mysteries a lot, but I'll never be able to write one. I like historical novel, I also like any novel dealing with culture and cultural identity... which I'd say is a matter very dear to all my stories.

    So yeah... I don't only read in the genre I write, but I'd say the subject matters tend to be the same I write about.

  11. As a teen, I started off reading romance and then moved to mystery/suspense/thrillers, where I remained for a long, long time.
    I always imagined that I'd only write mystery/suspense, but that's changed.
    I now realise that, to grow as a writer, one should be open-minded, and TRY to read in many genres. As a result, I've extended my reading to include other genres, and to date, the only genre I haven't read YET, is steampunk. But I intend to rectify that. Soon.
    Recently, I wrote my first urban fantasy story (I didn't even know that was the genre name it belonged to... LOL) which will be included in an anthology which is going to be released soon...
    So there you have it.

  12. Hi Lisa,

    I see you are a fellow ghostlit writer! I tend to love to read what I write--namely, ghostlit and women's fiction. I'm curious. Which of your ghost novels do you like better? I'm now working on a YA and have been reading in that genre, too (though not loving it as much). I read lots of different categories, though, that I have no plans to write. I love to read mysteries, but I wouldn't know how to write one of those.

  13. I agree with you Lisa. For myself I've identified my main areas I'm interested in. I write it just for soul. At work I spend a lot of time with educational reading and, of course, writing like dissertation writing, but for my personal blog I can write about marketing for instance.


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