Thursday, January 21, 2010

Diehard Fan…Or Bandwagon Jumper?

In sports, you have two types of fans. First, you have the ones who are the true diehard fan. They stick with their team whether they’re winning or losing. They stick through the rough spells and always hope for a better outcome next season. Then you have the bandwagon jumpers. The ones who jump from team to team depending on who’s winning. And if you’re like my daughter, you go with the team who has the hottest guys playing for them.

Me…I’m a diehard fan. I’ll stick with my team through the losing streak and cheer anyway. Go Panthers!

So what about writing? Or reading?

I guess this could apply too. Maybe you stick to one or two genres. Or maybe you go with the market, reading or writing the next trend. Now of course, unless sports is your business, your income doesn’t really depend on what team you follow. So following the trend isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Writing is a business. I can see the positives and negatives in both writing approaches.
Staying with your one genre helps readers to know what your stories will be about. They can open the book and get the story they’d hoped for. You can build a fan base of readers and hopefully they’ll pass your name around. Plus, the more you write the stronger and more knowledgeable you get in your genre. On the down side, the market might not be strong in your genre, therefore buying fewer stories. And you could be alienation yourself from a huge reader base in other genres.

Now, on the other hand, if you follow the market it could be harder to build the “diehard fan” fan base. Most authors write under different names for different genres to let the reader know what type of story to expect in each book. But then you have to build fans for two different authors. Of course, you hope to land more contracts by writing what the publisher wants at any given moment. And hopefully the fans you make in one genre will take a chance on another genre written by you.

Both of these approaches could work. It really just depends on what drives you and how you want to write. I just can’t seem to write for the market. I’ve tried and I lose heart in the story. Or nothing comes out. I spend more time reading or researching than writing. And by the time I feel like I might be knowledgeable enough to write that genre, the market has changed.

It’s not that I will write one genre and one genre only. (Makes me think of Blades of Glory - We skate to one song and one song only.) I’ve tried my hand at a couple different ones. But I’m a romance girl with a couple of different sub genres I like. I have written erotica and mystery. But they just don’t seem complete to me without the romance.

Of course, hoping genres goes deeper than this. You have all kinds of sub-genres in romance. Some authors stay true to sub-genres and some hop around in this too. Again, I like to stay in a few or mix a few in the same book. I tend to stick with contemporary, but want to try historical and sci-fi. My current WIP is historical. I also tend to stick with erotic romance, but my current WIP is also a sweeter romance. Then, even if I don’t try to, at least half of my work seems to have a mystery going on. I’ve written a straight mystery. And I plan to write a sequel to that book. But even if the market moved from romance to mysteries, I don’t think I could stop writing romance. It was hard enough not to turn my mystery into a mystery romance. No. I consider myself a diehard fan, diehard writer and diehard reader.

So what are you?


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