Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Do You Write What You Read?

Bare in mind, there is a difference in my opinion between "writing what you read" and "reading what you write".

To me, reading what you write is more of a researching, getting-in-the-genre type affair. You want to know your competition. You want to learn different styles of voice, get inspiration, know what the current market is drooling for. Writing what you read is something else.

I'm a big fantasy nerd. I love fantasy, all types, but usually the types that have female heroines. I don't exactly know why, maybe it's because I want to see aspects in myself similar to these strong female protagonists, or because I want to be a hero myself (if I could have a super power, oh the joy . . . ) but I'm strongly drawn to stories with female main characters. So, with that said, it'd be easy to determine what kind of books I write. Fantasy, with strong female leads. But, I like to consider myself a little more "well-rounded" in the writing aspect of things. Though fantasy by far would be my favorite to write (and definite favorite to read), my brain has manifested plenty of other ideas that are not in the fantasy genre.

But what about you? If you are a frequent reader of Romance, do you find yourself writing mostly Romance novels? Or, do you write in completely different genres? I just wonder if what a writer chooses to write has anything to do with what they enjoy reading. I can guess: probably so, but I'm still curious.


  1. I read just about anything, but my favs are almost always in the fantasy genre, with strong female leads and heavy on the character development: and I tend to write in the same manner.

    In fact, I wrote the first few scenes of a UF I think will be steampunk when it grows up, and thus far everyone who's read scene 1 thinks it's traditional fantasy! :)

  2. I mostly write non-fiction, and yes I read non-fiction both for enjoyment, and as a means of research. My current wip is The Road to Scholarships, and yes I read other books about scholarships to see how mine is different, and what I might want to consider including. In fiction I tend to be a little more eclectic, although for some very personal reasons, no romance for the past couple of years.

  3. I used to read heavy scary stuff, thrillers and Stephen King horror and Jason Bourne type action. Then I ran a bookstore for awhile, and read everything, and got really into "funny". I like to watch sitcom dramedies like One Tree Hill and Gilmore Girls, and my reading has taken that on as well. I met "Stephanie Plum" of Janet Evanovich's world, and I was hooked. So now that's how I write as well. Funny, quirky, real life going on including bad hair and PMS and throw in a little drama and a romantic twist. Haven't quite figured out what to call that. Too serious for comedy. Too light for suspense. Basically I have to laugh, whether I'm reading mine or someone else's. And I like strong female's too.

  4. I pretty much read anything, so I suppose I write what I read.

    However, I'm not into super heavy fantasy. That carries through in my writing. Even though there are magical elements, everything is set in a completely normal world.

  5. Sunna - can't wait to see some of this project!

    Nita - it's always interesting how real life situations can change our taste in reading. I've been in places before where I can't fathom reading or watching anything romantic. I'm there with the horror right now.

    Sharla - dramedy? I always love a good laugh.

    Jill - I try to read everything. It's hard sometimes. It has to be really good to pull me in if it isn't something I'm usually interested in to begin with. But then once I am pulled in I'm usually easy to please.

  6. I read mostly literary or commercial fiction. My writing aspires to be ther former, but tends to really be the latter.

  7. I like to read just about anything and like to have a melting pot style of writing. :D

  8. Very interesting! I'm a genre (as opposed to literary) reader AND writer, but I think I probably read more types than I write. That said, my second is shaping up differently than my first did. So, I wonder what that means...

  9. I write historical fiction, and I love to read it when it is good, but because I am also a professional historian I have all sorts of snotty opinions about what is authentic and what is not. So though I work on the Middle Ages, both professionally and in my fiction, I tend to prefer fiction that is outside my zone (ancient China!).

    When I find a great medieval novel though (Margaret Elphinstone, Dorothy Dunnett) t is the biggest treat in the world.


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