March IWSG: Should We Change What We Write to Gain Success?

I'm in a good place writing wise at the moment. I just finished act two of my WiP, urban-fantasy/ paranormal-romance, The Order of the Ancile Book One, and I'm eager to get started on the final act and climax.

Being close to finishing (around 20k words is close, right?) I can't help but think of the future. Whether I decide to self-publish or query with the hope of traditional publication, one question keeps coming back to me ... is urban-fantasy still popular?

I feel confident that my story is original, interesting and well-written enough to stand against other titles in the genre. My worry is, am I writing in a dead genre?

I see a a lot of talk that urban-fantasy/ paranormal-romance is dead. That it's lost the popularity it had a few years ago. That agents and publishers aren't interested in it as a genre.

While I've grown past doing something just to be popular or jumping on a bandwagon, I do wonder if I'll have an up hill struggle getting noticed with a book in a genre a lot of people seem done with.

So what's the answer? Stop working on it, and start a new project in a more marketable genre?

I do really enjoy contemporary romance. I read it sometimes, and I have a few contemporary ideas, but whenever I try to write them, I feel like a spark is missing ... a paranormal spark. I like coupling my romantic storylines with a secondary storyline of something supernatural.

I'm the same with the TV shows I watch ... most of my favourite have a romantic element combined with a fantasy/ paranormal/ supernatural element.

For me, reading and writing are a form of escapism, and nothing helps me escape more than exploring new, unusual worlds.

So I'm left wondering, should I just say to hell with it, and write what makes me happy, or Should We Change What We Write to Gain Success?


  1. I think you already know the answer to this question lol. You should never write to fit in with the trends - you should write what you're comfortable with.

    I read something the other day about paranormal romance being dead, and I shrugged. People who like to read paranormal romance will always want to read it. Yes, you might have more of a challenge selling to an agent or publisher, but as you know, there are masses of hugely successful self-published authors who did things their own way and hit bestseller lists.

    So... write what makes you happy!

  2. Oh dead genre huh? So I bet steampunk is dead too, right? Forget those dumb asses and just write. No genre is really dead it's the quality of the book and the fans/readers that matter. Fantasy is overpopulated but books stand out all the time. LGBT books often doesn't get the credit they deserve sometimes but that doesn't make the genre dead or unworthy either. Keep writing and only worry about being worried.

  3. Write what you want to write. There are always going to be people out there who want to read certain genres. Those who call it "dead" were probably just jumping on the bandwagon in the first place. They only like things BECAUSE the genre is popular.

  4. Write what makes you happy. A good book will always be a good book no matter what genre it is. I still love UF and PNR. I doubt that will ever change. There will always be an audience. :)

  5. Definitely write what matters to you. :) Industry trends change all the time, and it sometimes seems like whatever I'm writing is always either in a "dead" genre or something agents/publishers aren't buying! But readers are still looking for new books in these genres. Keep writing!

  6. Write what you want to write. If you force it in a genre that's not you, it will show. Trends come and go, but there is always a demand.

  7. You've gotten some fab advice here, Clare. Write what you want to write (and read). Writing to a trend is tricky. Some may even pull it off successfully. But I"m with Alex, it'll show. In some form or fashion, your readers will know.

    Write what's in your heart, Clare. It's the best advice I know.

  8. I don't think I can write anything w/o adding weird and quirky to it. It's just me. I think you have to write what calls to you and ignore the market. Just play to the audience of the genre and you should do OK.

  9. Excellent post. I wonder if someday whether I could challenge myself to write something totally different. I do have a children's book in mind.

    Happy IWSG day, Clare!

  10. *shrugs* Write it, shop it, and, if it doesn't sell, indie-publish it (or shelve it) and move on to the next book.

    IWSG #268 (until Alex culls the list again or I goof and get myself deleted. :P)

  11. I certainly hope it is not dead. My story was among those genres. Maybe by the time I finish writing it, it will be in fashion again. I do agree with Alex that trends come and go, though.


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