Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Writing What you Read

"I don’t believe for one moment you can write well what you wouldn’t read for pleasure"
-- Nora Roberts


Nora Roberts is an amazing author. She's sold a bazillion books and is probably the first author who comes to mind when you think of romance.

This Nora Roberts quote applies to me. I read a lot, and always have. I enjoy many genres: mystery, romantic suspense, romance, fantasy, and sci-fi being the most common. I write mysteries with a romantic edge - a natural fit for me. I can see me (way far in the future) branching out into the fantasy and sci-fi realms, but not for a while. I really, really like the genre I'm writing now and just can't see it changing for a very long time!

How about you? Does the genre you write match your favourite reading genre? Or do you like to mix it up a little more?

24 comments:

  1. I'm in the same opinion. My genre reflects very much on the books I read and love. Doesn't mean by any stretch of the imagination I write in a similar style to likes of my favorite fantasy authors, however the essence is there I hope.

    Good post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Definitely a big Yes to the genre I write is influenced by what I love to read. Honorable mentions goes to Sherrilyn Kenyon & Kelley Armstrong for having inspired me. But I enjoy giving it a bit more of a twist. Having said that I'd like to one day write something S/F but I really want to focus on getting the paranormal romance / urban fantasy out of my system first.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Quillfeather - exactly! I don't think my writing mimics any particular writer, but I think the "feel" is there :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. laynap - I wonder how long it will take to get them out of the system? I've read a few paranormal romance and really enjoyed them, but haven't done much urban fantasy. I'll have to check some of them out!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great quote, and I absolutely agree! I started out writing a cozy mystery, although my taste runs to darker tales. Before I knew it, my 'cozy' had turned edgy and full of angst. I don't know when it happened, but it was then I found my voice. It was an epiphany - completely unexpected.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh yes, my writing genre perfectly matches the genre I read. It helps build the passion in my writing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm a mixer, as I read across the board and enjoy playing with different genres and the language within them.

    I'd say it's better you read outside your genre too, otherwise you're at risk of petrifying in that style.

    ReplyDelete
  8. VR - awesome story! It's such a thrill when you suddenly find your writing is the "right" voice for you, isn't it?

    Cindy - passion is always good! :)

    Drew - I also worry about sounding like someone else, so I read a variety of authors both in and out of my writing genre. It wouldn't do any good to inadvertantly mimic another author!

    ReplyDelete
  9. No question! I've tried to write other genres, but it's way too tough to get into the rhythm of it.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

    ReplyDelete
  10. Elizabeth - yes - the rhythm of each genre is unique isn't it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm an across the board reader as well, though I have a particular fondness for juvenile lit. This is where I'm focusing my writer's attention, with no particular subgenre. Just whichever voice is the loudest at the time.

    Sometimes I think it would be easier to have a more narrow focus. But alas, my gnat-like attention span doesn't let me enjoy such pleasures.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cat - I love YA lit too! As a teacher, I find there's never enough time for me to read all of the MG & YA I'd like to. I need to be pretty current with what the kids are reading in order to help the reluctant readers find just the right book. If only there was more time! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have an eclectic taste in reading, too, and yes, most of my novel ideas fall within the genres I read the most. I also like to mix genres! And I read a lot of YA and MG fiction. My NaNoWriMo novel is a MG novel.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's interesting how many folks enjoy a variety of genres - not much of a surprise, I guess :) I think most of us who write tend to read a lot!

    Another NaNo fan - I'm hoping to be able to finish again this year, but the month looks really busy :) If you want a buddy, I'm listed under jemifraser.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I read literary or woman's fiction. That's what I write. Not that I don't branch out in reading material. I love memoirs, some mystery, an occasional romance.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love my genre, but I too, read beyond it. I think it is important to read what you right. I don't know how someone can write YA, if they haven't sampled the genre thoroughly.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think we all probably read at least a few different genres, don't we? It's so much fun to see what style everyone has here!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Jenny - we cross posted! I think YA is particulary challenging in some ways. Teens are such honest, discerning people - and they want what they read to reflect that. We all remember being teens, but I think it takes more than just that :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I don't think in terms of genre all that much. I mean, I know I write YA, but if it has paranormal elements, then ok, and if it's romantic, then ok.

    And I'm a complete reading slut: if it's printed and looks interesting, I read it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. A reading slut :) That's a great term!! I may just have to adopt that one - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I can only write mysteries. I'd like to try another genre, but I don't think I could.

    However, I read everything. Histories, biographies, humor, science fiction, etc. I write and think mystery. It's nice to read something else!

    Elspeth

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's interesting how we all find our writing niches, isn't it? I can't imagine writing anything else either - at least not yet. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I read all genres but I get passionate about authors. It's something about the voice, more than the plot, then I'm hooked.
    I like my romantic fiction with a touch of something else - mystery or paranormal. It is no surprise then that that is what I have written as my first novel.
    I also read a lot of MG/YA fiction: I teach ten and eleven-year-olds.
    When I began editing in ernest, I was told to avoid reading as it would seep into my writing and dilute the voice. It made for a difficult three months; I love reading.

    WORD VERIFICATION: dergibil - little-known forrunner of the zepplin, designed to look remarkably like small rodents.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I do choose by authors as well - it doesn't bother me at all when an author writes in a new genre. I generally find it just as enjoyable as the original genre.

    I read MG/YA for the same reasons :)

    Don't you just love some of these word verification words!

    ReplyDelete