Just saw this over at Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog and had to pass it on: MT Anderson’s post at Cynsations:
There are people who want to brand themselves. There are publishers and agents who want to brand their authors. There are authors who love one kind of genre, and find constant renewal in it. That’s great, but I’m not one of them.
Stop by and read Natalie Bahm’s take on the same topic: Why We Should Diversify
There’s a lot out there about the need to brand yourself, to stick to your genre and build your reputation on it, but maybe there’s some good to be said for occasionally reinventing your writing.
What do you think?
Roni @ FictionGroupie says
Thanks for the links, great topic. 🙂
Stephanie Cheryl says
I think it all depends on the person.
I, for example, am completely content with writing contemporary YA, and don’t think that will be changing anytime soon.
Other writers that have the ability to write many different genres and actually have the work still be GOOD, well, then–they should go for it! (And not have to be held back by anyone else.)
I’ve written a few posts on my MNPD (multiple novel personality disorder), so I’m always happy to hear that agents want writers to diversify. Mind you, most of what I’ve read talks about branding, which has caused me tremendous anguish. Okay, so maybe not that much anguish…fine, no anguish, but I’ve thought about it okay? Sheesh, give a girl a break. I’m trying to decide which genre of book to go with, and the pressure…oh, the pressure! 🙂
Rosslyn Elliott says
Caroline, you just sent me down a very interesting trail of thought that I think will lead to a separate blog post. I still have one or two posts left in my “how I got a contract” series, but when I get to the you-inspired post, I’ll give you a shout-out!
Karen Amanda Hooper says
If a writer can pull off writing more than one kind of genre I say go for it.
Caroline Starr Rose says
Rosslyn, happy to help! 😉
Irene Latham says
Great topic! I can only write what I am compelled to write… and so far that has meant great variety and diversification! (Apparently I get bored easily.) So, while I got my writing start in poetry, my debut novel is historical fiction. And my second novel is contemporary. And my third, the one I’m working on now? fantasy. However. All midgrade. And all somehow fit my brand: Heart-touching Tales of Unexpected Adventure. So maybe this branding thing can be looked at more than one way??
Sharon Mayhew says
Personally, I want to write whatever pops into my head…If I (EVER) get an agent, hopefully, they’ll send my work to the right markets and I can just be me and write whatever continues to pop into my head.
Happy writing, Caroline!
Branding can probably be a double edged sword…not speaking from experience (yet) of course, but just, you know, supposing.
I think if a writer is ambitious and gifted enough, they can span a variety of genres.
I believe in reading and writing widely. Even if you only publish in a certain genre, practicing different styles and genres will inform your writing. In any art form, trying different styles will help your home. That’s what I think. The best dancers span styles, the best artists study different mediums, the best singers try classical, pop, opera, and Broadway, and the best writers practice in many genres and style. Otherwise, how can you know what you’re really great at?