Write Outside Your Comfort Zone

types of genres2019 is here, which means it’s time to start setting and sticking to new writing goals for the year. Writing goals or writing resolutions are so important for writers because they help keep them on track and motivated. Along with setting daily or weekly word counts, writing in a different genre can help strengthen and grow your craft. There are so many different kinds of genres of writing and subgenres within those genres. Some books blend aspects of several different types of writing genres. With so many worlds waiting to be written, why limit yourself to just one genre?

One way to grow and evolve as a writer is to explore different types of writing genres and try your hand at them. In 2019, write outside your comfort zone. Push your creativity and your limits. You may find you excel in a genre you never thought you’d try.

Types of Writing Genres

First things first: what is a genre? The definition of genre is, “a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.” Think of music genres: rap, country, rock. They all sound different from each other, but within each there are similarities, whether this is in the lyrics, rhythm, or subject matter. So, too, do book genres function. Within a specific genre, there will be similarities, whether in theme, style, tropes, character archetypes, etc. Genre to genre, though, there will be stark differences. It’s easy to tell the difference between a romance novel and a horror novel (hopefully).

Let’s delve a little deeper: what are the different types of writing genres?

Fiction genres:
  • Literary fiction: Literary fiction is defined by having literary merit. These stories strive to tell about the human condition. Books within this genre do not necessarily follow strict tropes and themes like books in other genres do.
  • Science fiction: Science fiction novels are primarily defined by their themes of real or imagined scientific and technological advances or downfalls.
  • Fantasy: Fantasy novels feature the make believe: magical worlds, beings, mythological creatures, etc.
  • Mystery/Thriller: Mystery/thriller novels will be suspenseful and keep readers on their toes. Common mystery/thriller novels feature detective stories, murder mysteries, etc.
  • Horror: Horror novels are similar to thrillers. There will be suspense and fear.
  • Romance: Love and relationships are the focus of romance novels. In self-publishing, the romance genre is the most successful. 
  • Western: Western novels are set in the American West. They are adventurous and suspenseful.
Nonfiction genres:
  • Memoir/Autobiography: Memoirs and autobiographies are stories about the author’s life. Memoirs will be less chronological than autobiographies, and may instead be organized by themes or essays.
  • Biography: Biographies are stories about important people written by another author.
  • Self-help/Motivational: The focus of these books is helping the reader grow, heal, or change in some way.
  • Religious: Religious books focus on spirituality and belief systems and often include aspects of memoir and self-help.

Blending Types of Writing Genres

Great writing can take familiar tropes and themes from several types of writing genres and blend them into something new and refreshing. For example, some mystery/thriller novels often include a romance between two key characters. Western novels may have some sort of mystery to be solved. A horror novel may find its scares in science fiction or fantasy tropes. Storytelling isn’t done in a vacuum. Whatever genre your novel may fit into, it’s likely you will pick and choose and borrow from other genres to tell the complete story.
In 2019, don’t be afraid to take risks and try something new and unprecedented. Blend styles that will surprise readers. You may find your writing is all the better for it.

Try a New Genre

Creativity is like a muscle. In order for it to grow, it needs to be worked and pushed. You don’t grow from doing the same thing over and over again. You grow from adding a little more weight each time. So too, in order to grow and strengthen your writing skills, do you need to push and test them. One way to do this is to set the writing goal of trying new types of writing genres in 2019. If you normally write romance, why not try fantasy? If you’ve already self-published a science-fiction book, why not try your hand at mystery? If you’ve never strayed far from fiction, try nonfiction!
Writing in a new genre in 2019 doesn’t mean you’re going to give up your original genre choice. If you try something new, like poetry, and find it doesn’t work as well or you don’t enjoy it as much, you can stop! Or, if you find you enjoy it, but it’s just not there yet, consider this exercise just practice. You don’t have to self-publish in this new genre.
Pushing your limits as a writer is important, because you may find you’re good at something you never imagined. Switching it up and writing poetry when you normally write fiction can prove to be the right move. Branching out and writing a horror novel may be your best career move. You never know until you try it, and if it doesn’t work out, then nothing is truly lost.
Your writing goals for 2019 should be all about making yourself a better and stronger writer. We believe one way of doing so is to break out of your comfort zone. You never know – next year at this time, you just may be self-publishing a book in a new genre.