The Weekly Screen & Fiction Writers' Tips

Where have I been? You really don’t want to know…

In Authors and Books on 08/03/2014 at 14:32

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sorry to sound mysterious


sometimes, one loses time doing other things


really I have no excuse


let’s get on with the show…

What’s today’s philosophical question?

‘Do novelists remain novelists all their lives, or do they move to pastures new?’


‘If they do remain novelists, then do they change genre?’

Hmmm… Interesting thought Watson. I just need to play a few notes and have a few smokes from my pipe. Well, I suppose you shouldn’t speak in general, but I’m sure that some novelists move on to new ways of expressing their creativity. It is very possible.

And so, Holmes it is possible to think, that some writers change their style.

Yes, yes, of course. One has to think of the story. Would it be better as a book, poem, film, short story, comic and so on. You cannot assume that because you are a novelist, and you have a story, then it must be suited to a novel. You can make it so, but perhaps it would lose the depth, the emotion, the characterisation.

Then it is settled Holmes. A novelist cannot remain a novelist.

Oh Watson, you are generalising again. How can that be? A novelist who wants to change their style need also consider whether they have the skills to do so. This isn’t some instant decision.

Yes, of course, skills, aptitude. It isn’t some area to rush into. That could lead to disaster. That could destroy your writing confidence, your voice, your creativity.

Absolutely Watson.

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So then Holmes, what about genre?

What about genre?

Well, my initial question? Can a novelist change genres, or do they have to remain with the genre they know?

The answer is in your question Watson. You said, ‘with the genre they know’. To change one’s genre requires a tremendous effort. To write about a genre, you have to know the new genre, as well. To know the associated words and expressions, the characters’ mannerisms, speech, the way they dress, the background and so on. If you need to write about it, then you have to have almost lived it. Can a romantic novelist, suddenly become the writer of steam-punk detective novels? I hardly think so. I may be proved wrong here but I believe that you have to spend as much time reading that type of genre as reading romance.

Yes, you’re right Holmes. You can only write about something well if you are familiar with that topic. And write with the same skill set as other writers of that genre.

Bravo Watson. You have answered all your own questions. Excellent.

So, it’s goodbye from me until next week.

Have a positive productive week.

Love one another and be creative.

And this week I ask you to love yourselves.

Ta Ta.


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