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ONE GENRE OR MANY?

29/10/2023
ONE GENRE OR MANY

Ever wanted to write something new?

Completely different from anything you’ve written before.

A piece of writing that will energise you. Inspire you.

And yes. Keep you right on your toes.

If this is you –

              TRY WRITING IN A DIFFERENT GENRE

And –

              DON’T ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS!

They might say:

Stick to what you know.

Don’t genre-hop, whatever you do.

If you’re used to writing non-fiction, stick to it.

Don’t think you can write a children’s story if you’ve only ever written adult fiction.

Don’t try writing fiction if your thing is fantasy.

NONSENSE!

My advice about your writing in different genres is to:

  • EXPERIMENT
  • EXPLORE
  • EXTEND YOURSELF
  • CHALLENGE YOURSELF

There’s nothing quite like a challenge to keep your brain firing on all cylinders.

So even if you’ve poured your heart and soul into perfecting, say, adult fiction, why not try your hand at:

  1. A memoir
  2. A magazine article
  3. An essay
  4. A poem

GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING

Stretch your creative muscles and enjoy yourself while you’re about it. Sure, you might never master one particular genre. You might, after all, go back to writing what you know. But if you try writing in various genres, you have very little to lose – except for your time – and a great deal to gain. You might, for example, discover that you’re BRILLIANT at a particular genre, a genre you might never have tried had you not EXPERIMENTED.

THE ACHIEVEMENT FACTOR

Think of the sheer satisfaction you’ll feel from being successful in multiple genres. Don’t listen to the critics, who might say:

              It’s ridiculous to think you can master more than one genre.

              How arrogant!

              How misguided.

              They could concentrate on improving on one area.

              It’s a disaster trying to be a jack-of-all-trades.

I would like to encourage all those sceptics and nay-sayers out there that it is possible to write successfully in more than one genre, even in multiple genres. And in all humility, I would like to share with you how I began experimenting with different genres.

My writing career began more than three decades ago when my three children were still very little, doing typical things that small children do: playing in the sandpit, splashing around in the bath, having a tug-of-war for a worn and battered teddy. I started to compose bedtime stories around their daily activities, stories like ‘Sammy’s new facecloth” (cringe), and “What’s that in the sand?” (more cringe), and “Bubbly foam slippers” (top of the cringe list).

I researched South African publishers, posted off my many offerings to them – I was very prolific -  then waited…and waited…and waited…for a response.

Needless to say, it was negative times hundreds. Rejected manuscripts started flooding the

 post office, until one seemingly ordinary day four years later, when I received the usual registered slip in my post box, I was in for a long-awaited piece of good news:

A CONTRACT.

An actual CONTRACT. For my first book, a humorous children’s picture book:

The Biggest Pizza.

How EXCITING.

To cut a long story short, I wrote many more picture books, some of which were accepted by a variety of publishers, but I also tried my hand at all sorts of genres like:

  • Supplementary Readers for Primary Schools
  • Textbooks
  • Adult Fiction
  • Adult Non-fiction
  • Young Adult Fiction

My current focus is on writing Christian fiction for all ages, which is giving me so much

purpose and fulfilment, particularly when I am able to share my stories with readers in different communities and countries.

So, in conclusion, I would encourage all writers out there to try their hand at creating material in a variety of genres for:

  1. THE PRACTICE
  2. THE PLEASURE
  3. THE EXCITEMENT

Achieve some of the writing goals that are closest to your heart.

Happy writing.

Happy experimenting.

              AND –

Dare I say it –

HAPPY GENRE-HOPPING

Breath of God by Gillian Leggat
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