Don’t fence me in

Since my dad was a fan of the old westerns, I'm very familiar with song "Don't Fence Me In."

Since my dad was a fan of the old westerns, I’m very familiar with song “Don’t Fence Me In.” Whether you’re a cowboy or a writer, no one wants to be fenced in.

Much like actors, I think writers often worry about being typecasted, so they carefully select a genre and stick with it. I’ve not really had that mindset. I like reading various genres and have aspirations to write in quite a few, particularly several branches of speculative fiction, historical fiction and perhaps even a western or mystery. Each of these genres offers something new and fun for me; after all, they require very different tones, characters and styles. What’s not to love? With multiple genres, writers get to spice things up and challenge themselves.

However, not many writers choose to do this. And it’s not necessarily because they fear that they are/will be typecasted. Instead, especially when you are just starting out, writing multiple genres is just not feasible in today’s market, at least not at first. If you go the traditional route,  your agent won’t be fond of having to approach a lot of companies right out of the gate on your behalf. Additionally, your publisher will want you stick with them (most publishers have set genres that they publish) and build an audience. Jumping between genres is not a good means for building an audience, which is why sticking to one genre increases your odds of making a decent living from writing. Continue reading

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