Monday 29 May 2023

Changing The Focus Of Your Writing - The Creative Process


I am, if you're not already aware, very much a multi-genre author. I have written a lot of crime/mystery, but I've also had paranormal, done urban fantasy, done sci-fi, dystopian, and a lot of others in between. I have no problem with this, my readers don't seem to mind either. I stick it all under one name because I don't like being held to one or two genres. I go where my ideas take me and if that happens to be somewhere new, or somewhere familiar, then I don't mind.

That said, I do know that it can be easier for indie authors, and trad pub too, to stick to one genre for a period and not do too much crossing all over the place. I know of some authors who have one pen name for romance and another for fantasy, but for me it's never really worked. I want to see my actual name on my books. I've never been someone who can cope with having all these different social media for all these different names, and the thought just makes me get cross-eyed about it!

If you're looking for advice on how to do that, then I would suggest you go elsewhere because I don't have the first clue what to say and it would be wrong of me to pretend otherwise. I know there is lots of information about having multiple pen names and such all around the internet, and I'm just not someone who that has ever mattered to, and it's never been something I've thought about, or experienced.

So, then what am I trying to talk to you about? Simple, that sometimes you will spend time in one genre, and other times your ideas will switch and take a hard left turn and you find yourself in a completely different one. I was someone who was sure, I mean completely sure, that I would never write any kind of fantasy, and then I got the idea for Cramping Chronicles, and after that, other ideas that have yet to see the light of day. If you've been following along with me for a while, you'll remember the 5 facts I've given about a variety of different WIP and not all of them have been one genre. I do write all over the place, and I'm happy with that.

So with all that in mind, I thought I would give you some tips on what to do if you find yourself switching to a new genre, or changing the focus of your writing. It's not the end of the world, and I'm not anti-muliple pen names, I just don't have the experience to guide you if you choose to take that route.

While I'm pretty sure I will never write epic fantasy, simply because I very rarely read it, it's important to allow yourself some leeway. There are some genres that might not appeal to you now, but that doesn't mean you won't ever get an idea that leans into that space. I've not written any books where romance is the main genre, I've had sub-plots of it, but it's never been the whole focus of the book, but that doesn't mean I won't ever be hit with an idea that allows me to branch out into that genre more. You gotta be open to change, if that's what you want to do.

Is this a project that you want to publish one day? Or is it something that you just want to write and get the story out of you? I've had projects like that, some of them eventually get to the point where my goal changes and I do want to send the book out into the world, but when you're first planning (or not) maybe think about what you want the end product to be for. From there you can work out whether or not it's something you want to put a lot of time into.

This is a question that I ask myself every time I think of a new idea. I have a folder on my computer that has them all written down because my memory is not the best. But I will go back through and read them and decide whether or not I want this to go anywhere, because if I'm not going to enjoy the process most of the time (it doesn't have to be all of the time) then is there any point in putting that on my shoulders? If the answer is yes, then you know that this is something you're going to want to explore.


A lot of the time, for me at least, I will have one genre in mind when I'm planning my book, and it can, and does, switch while drafting it. For that reason I try not to be too limited in what I see as my chosen genres. Like with Cramping Chronicles, it started as a paranormal/mystery, but it soon became very clear that it was urban fantasy, but if I'd not allowed myself that time to work through it, then I wouldn't have gotten it to the point where it is now. So this is a very important part of it.

So there we go, those are my four tips, if you have any, or want to add something more, then lemme know in the comments!

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