This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.
This month’s question — 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 good question, Alex. Writers are always told to read vociferously in our genre so we see what makes for a good-bad story. I did that when I wrote thrillers but when I switched to prehistoric fiction, there weren’t enough of them. When I ran through all of Jean Auel, Sue Harrison, the Gears, Shuler, and the rest, I quite unexpectedly ended up reading Westerns. On the surface, this genre doesn’t seem to share characteristics with prehistoric fiction but when I thought about why I’d fallen in love with Westerns, it turned out to be the same traits that made for good prehistoric fiction:
…strong heroes that push the edge of what’s possible. …moral but flawed, powerful but earnest, not afraid to put themselves in danger and take responsibility, with a bias for action–no SODSDIs allowed (Some Other Dude Should Do It).
Other than Westerns, I love Indies. Yes, I know that’s not a genre but it does describe a category of books. These are as likely to be exciting, well-written, and page-turners as traditionally published books but in my case, they have encouraged me to broaden my interests and try new topics. That’s always a good thing.
I look forward to reading your take on this topic!
More on #IWSG
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.