October 21, 2011

Switching Genres: A Difficult Choice for a Writer

For the longest time, I wrote romance novels. That was my love and my passion. The first book I wrote was science fiction dystopian.

I know, weird right? Especially since I haven't written any type of novel like that again. 

However, I can feel some changes occurring. It's like an ocean wave just slowly starting to creep up then consumes you. And for a moment you panic. You're like Holy Crap I'm going to die and never get to do the long laundry list of stuff that I've wanted to do but never had the time to do.

Then you resurface and even though the world hasn't changed: you have. You start to realize how freaking short life could be. You realize that maybe things above the surface weren't so great then you start to wonder. If I died, would I be in peace? A.K.A: Would I haunt anyone just out of the pure frustration of my life and ruin someone else's?

I know this is a weird analogy, but go come on, drift with me here.

I delved into the dark abyss. I came to a point in my life where I wrote something completely out of my comfort zone. I knew I would be writing something different and I have to say, ever since looking back at my earlier works I start to realize that my stories haven't changed. I have.

Ever since writing Angel Diaries with that dark twist, I haven't been the same. Once I delved into the dark side of my mind, I can't come back. I can only move forward.

And I realized that instead of avoiding the gore that I absolutely didn't want to read, I loved it. Craved it even. 
The more graphic the more it creeped me out in such a good way it gave me chills. I would want to put the book down and crawl back into my comfy light fantasy realm, but something would compel me to continue reading into the graphically bloody book.

And once those flood gates opened, I tried different genres. It's like a whole side of a world has been closed because I have kept it closed. But now everything is opened and free. 

And as a result of all these changes, my writing is starting to show a shift. I don't cover light and airy topics anymore. There's a lot less laughter in my stories. There's this magical twist in there. This interestingly weird twists in my fantasies that have turned paranormal. Sometimes even gruesome. Bloody. Graphic. But yet compellingly vivid all the same. 

Therefore, all of this has been pointing in the same direction for the past five years (yes, these changed have been happening since I entered college): Horror.

*cue dramatic music and evil laughter*

Yeah, I know: Me? Write Stephen Kings level creepy novels?

Remember the analogy? Yeah, this is the part where I panic. I do not read horror except for R.L. Stine. Strangely enough, I have been hoodwinked into watching horror movies thanks to sneaky brother and sister. I can't stand the sight of blood. Even if I know it if is fake. I get sick and feel like I am the one on the operating table or the one sawing off my foot to survive.

Still, isn't that where I am heading? The dark themes. The bloodiness. The fantasy turning darker and eventually fading away into . . . What?

I guess this is the part where people say, "Buck up kiddo and grab a Stephen King novel and get to work!"

Well, yeah, I want baby steps into horror. What exactly does that mean?

I am probably going to write a horror anthology first.

*gasps of horror*

Yeah, after writing Everblossom and with the heavy influence of Halloween, the more and more I think about it, the more I love the idea of writing a horror anthology first. Just to get my toes wet.

However, in order to get into horror I still need to read Stephen King or maybe somebody not as scary and build up to read Stephen King. I'm just a little scared.

Here's the reason: My mother use to read Stephen King but then she got spooked so bad that she hasn't picked one up since.

"And your point is . . . ?"

Well, my mother is one tough cookie. I can't even find books (she lays all of her books around the house) by Stephen King. So it's strange and has officially creeped me out. 

But I will conquer my fears since I will not let fear be a factor! 

Anyway, I thought I would reflect on my journey as a writer to you guys. I know it's kinda random since I don't usually blog about inside my writer head, but I thought I would switch it up for you. :) Oh, and I was wondering if any other writer has a genre switch that's completely out of their comfort zone. 

I can't be the only one right?


  1. I found this post very interesting. At any time we can start writing another genre and we have no control- it comes from withing. When I imagined the type of book I would write- I was wrong. I wrote a middle grade novel, which I never would have expected.

    Thanks for sharing!

    I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by and follow the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published. http://thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com/

    Also, my co-author, Stephanie, liked your fb page today. Please like us back at: http://www.facebook.com/fairday

    Take care-
    Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out how to fix it. :)

  2. Hey Fairday! Thanks for commenting and following me on my blog! I'm now following you too on your lovely blog and on facebook.

    I'm glad you find this post interesting. I didn't know how people woudl react to this one since it's so personal but I'm glad someone enjoyed it and can relate. And I think people need to know that as writers we don;t always control what we write. Sometimes somewhere deep in us, a character forces us for their story to be told and that's what happens. We start writing something completely different then our norm, then we go: Woah, what was that?!

    I'm glad you shared about what happened to you. Man, a middle grade novel is fascinating. What's it called?

  3. Hey I am new follower would you please follow me back thanks :)