What genres do you write in and which are easiest for you?

Q&A With Shay Each Sunday

As writers, most of us explore many different genres. Even with fiction, we don’t always want to write the same type of fiction for feeling it gets repetitive. Even if we all are known to write in one specific genre, I think most would say they have written other things down outside that genre even if they don’t plan to do anything with it or show it to the world.

Q: What genres do you write in and which are easiest for you?

A: If asked this question a few months ago I probably would have only said young adult fiction. This is still my main answer. Both novels I have written so far (still working on) are young adult fiction. However, I decided to publish a book of poetry somewhere along the way. Even when mainly writing YA, I still wrote short stories that weren’t necessarily geared toward YA—some are available to read on the site! I also would randomly write poems in the notes on my phone. I started thinking about the self-publishing industry more and more over the past few months and decided I wanted to experience the process. That’s when I had the idea to publish all these poems. I had about thirty unrefined poems, and once I decided to pursue this I kept writing more and editing existing ones and trying to tie them together in an overall theme. This has been my project for the past six months or so and the book will be available this week! Writing the poetry has been really fun and even cathartic in some ways, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s easiest or most fulfilling. I love writing novels. Even though I haven’t really started a new one in about three years (well, I have, but not with much momentum yet) I love connecting characters and building a full world from start to finish. Basically, no writing is easy, but I think young adult fiction comes most natural to me. Also, both of my YA novels are totally different genres within YA, so that’s interesting to think about too. My first was a YA suspense, and my second is a coming-of-age. I think I’m starting to gear myself more toward coming-of-age, especially because my plans for my third novel are also coming-of-age, but I love a good thriller, so that will be returned to.

Aside from YA and now poetry, I have written some adult fiction short stories, which is also fun. I’d like to write an adult novel at some point (I have a great idea for a thriller, so we’ll see if I can bring that to life). I’d also like to write non-fiction, specifically a memoir. I wrote a non-fiction essay several years ago about my selective mutism and shyness (available here). Perhaps I’ll write a longer piece about that one day, but the memoir I have in mind is about a different event that happened to me a few years ago and informed my entire life. I already have a bit of anxiety when I think about writing this story because I want to do it justice. I think it’ll be the hardest genre for me to write in, especially as a book length piece. I find fiction a little easier to write because although the feelings are true and my characters are informed by real life, I can distance myself a bit more and my creativity flows more freely. With non-fiction it’s like I’m under stress to remember every detail and include every event while simultaneously trying to write the story in a way that isn’t boring and linear—in a way that readers will relate to, and that’s a difficult task, but one I plan on undertaking.

A few genres within the fiction realm that I don’t plan on exploring (but you never know) are sci-fi, fantasy, western, historical, erotica, literary novels, and probably no horror either. I also don’t know if I feel confident in my current skills to screen write, but it definitely intrigues me so maybe in the future. Clearly I view myself as a creative writer, so any writing pertaining to technical, scholarly, etc doesn’t really excite me. I could definitely write an essay or articles on topics I have knowledge about but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

I love words and expressing myself through words that you can read. No genre is ever off limits, but I have definitely been finding my place in the literary world, and for now, YA is where my heart is—not to say it hasn’t dipped into other areas and will continue to. Connect with me and tell me about your genre endeavors!

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Shay SiegelComment