So, What Exactly Do You Write?

Before I became a writer, I was a reader and a voracious one at that. It meant grabbing any book that caught your fancy and reading it primarily for your enjoyment. It didn’t matter one bit whether or not I knew which genre it belonged to. As a kid, I loved thrillers, mystery novels, crime stories and stories about the wars. This kind of grew on me over the years. It was probably inevitable that when I became a writer, I would try to write stories of the kind I loved to read.As a published author, I am now frequently asked , “So what exactly do you write?” I usually reply, “I write fiction, mainly thrillers and stuff like that.” This surprised many especially in the initial period when I took to writing after more than three decades as a corporate executive and executive coach. At that time, most believed I would write about People Development, Organizational Behaviour and Attracting & Retaining Talent, which is what I did for years.

Now I need to answer whether I write fiction or non-fiction, if fiction whether literary fiction or commercial fiction. See what Carol Benedict has to say about this in The Writing Place. Which genre do I write in? I need to understand what is meant by different genres and segments. The Writer’s Digest and the columns by Chuck Sambuchino is what I turn to learn more about the business of writing. I learn more every day about “steampunk,” “middle grade,” “upmarket fiction” “Mainstream fiction” “young adult or YA”, and many other segments I frankly didn’t know existed.

It apparently isn’t enough these days to say you are a writer, it appears you need to articulate what exactly you write. As far as I am concerned, my goal is clear. I shall continue to write what I have been writing for the last few years. You will probably categorize my writing as mainstream fiction (as it has no pretense of being literary fiction), surely it will be in the genre of suspense and thrillers.

I like to think that my recently completed novel, ‘ Let The Dead Stay Dead” is a psychological novel with high elements of suspense and mystery.

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One thought on “So, What Exactly Do You Write?

  1. I agree with you, Prem. I too am unable to remember the various genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres of writing. I write because I love to tell stories.

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