It's time once again for our monthly posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share fears and insecurities without being judged. This month's excellent co-hosts are Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen, Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre and JQ Rose.
This month I'm feeling in an optimistic frame of mind, with spring in the air and the vaccine doing the rounds (my daughter had her first shot last week and my wife will get hers on Friday). Hopefully a bit more normality is ahead for all of us. I do have the usual nervy insecurity that comes with having a book out with CPs. Never sure how it will go down!
Let's turn to this month's IWSG question which is as follows:
Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?
This is a great question. I definitely think it's important to read as widely as possible. I'm currently leaning towards speculative fiction for writing, but I started out writing crime novels. I do think I was reading more of those at the time and now I know a lot of bloggers who write spec fic. But I read other things too. As a reader it should be the story that comes first, then worry about whatever genre it fits into. I'm all for groundbreaking ideas and concepts, but I won't get far with the story they're in if I don't connect with the characters. As a writer I also think there are things to be learned from all kinds of genres. They bleed into one another all the time. We tend to think of romances as being set in either contemporary times or the past, but if there's a story set in the future in which genetically engineered cyborgs fall in love, we'll call it sci-fi, but isn't there a case for calling it romance if that's the most important element? Publishing would be in a pretty insular state if all writers stuck rigidly to reading the genre in which they work.
What would be your answer to this question? Don't forget to check out many more IWSG posts here.