Saturday, January 28, 2012

Jumping the genre fence

The western genre has fascinated me for many years. I have read countless selections from the late William W. Johnstone’s ‘Last Mountain Man’ series, as well as numerous books from David Thompson’s ‘Wilderness’ series. I have always held a special fondness for these particular tales. I never grow weary from reading the portrayed adventures of Smoke Jenson and/or Nate King.

However, even with their long, trailing backlists and influential prominence in western lore, Mr. Johnstone and Mr. Thompson have one time or another, written in a few other genres. It is a common practice among many writers.

I recently began working on a follow-up story to my own western short ‘Brothers of the Mountain’. After a few days of intense writing sessions and extensive facts checking, I decided to take a break from ‘Brothers’ and steer my writing aspirations in a different direction. I thought, hey, what if I started writing that children’s story; the one I have been contemplating about for some time now.

So that’s what I did.

I have to say the experience has been beneficial. I am flexing writing muscles that rarely get used, and applying imagination and creativity in a completely new way. It is a much-welcomed and deserved change of pace.

If your passion, as a writer, lies within one single genre, keep busting your tail for the genre you love most. But if you feel the urge to write something different, or feel the need to pen a compelling story that might be a little out of your comfort zone, I say go for it. Try it out. You might enjoy it immensely. I know I have.

Write whatever your little heart desires. Put all your passion and soul into your masterpiece. Whether you are writing about a gun-toting, whiskey-guzzling outlaw, or penning your YA fantasy novel about vampires and werewolves, it is all the same.

A writer must tell his/her tale, no matter which genre it may happen to fall in.

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