Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Switching Gears: Benefits to Writing in Different Genres

Growing up as a military brat, my family’s wheel-of-life was ever turning. We lived all across Canada, from Summerside, Prince Edward Island, to Nanaimo, British Columbia. I got used to packing and unpacking, to the mad dash up the stairs with my brother and sister - to claim the biggest bedroom first, and, of course, to being the new girl at school.

Likely why Eryn, the main character in my SKINNED series is also new to town. I’m fascinated with the unknown, the next location, and the promise of a new adventure. Our lifestyle of travelling, starting over and scaling down so we didn’t have to haul useless items across the country has impacted my life in many ways.

I get itchy feet.

If moving is out of the question, which it has been for the last few years as my husband and I have been carving out a life in our cool little Northern Alberta town - then I rearrange the furniture in our house, renovate, paint – anything to change our environment.

In terms of writing – this means I don’t restrict myself to a single genre or medium. Sure, I write a lot of young adult paranormal fiction, but I also write edgy / contemporary YA, twisted horror short stories for adults, flash fiction, television and film scripts, as well as composing music and lyrics.

I’ve recently started writing a steampunk young adult series and I’m loving the research phase of things - reading EVERYTHING steam that I can get my hands on, taking notes on specific time periods, historical events and people, modes of transport, how people dressed, the science of the day, as well as alchemy and Victorian spiritualism.

I’m never bored when writing, because I’m always improving my skills and learning the tropes of new genres – so I can avoid them or smash them together with those of another genre – hopefully creating something fresh and new.

Diversity is key to growth. If you’re a writer, a musician, an artist – a reader…I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. Allow yourself to start from grown zero and enjoy the climb.

Shift those gears.

New worlds are waiting.

Judith Graves

Judith is the author of Under My Skin and it's sequel Second Skin, YA paranormal fiction for those ready to go darkside. 


  1. great post. I have done more research for my steam punk manuscript than any other book I've written. It's kind of fun to dive into something I knew little about and come up with something totally new. new inventions, new terminology, new alternate history. Can't wait to finish it.

  2. Thanks, Halli - I agree. Tons of potential with steampunk tales. Can't wait to read yours. ;)

  3. Such a great post! I love writing new genres...and man, I would love to write steampunk.

  4. It is indeed the key to growth! And growing is something we never want to stop doing as writers. Excellent post!

  5. Awesome - I'm so impressed with all the things you do! I WANT to write a lot of different things ... publishing those is another step of bravery I need to take. :)

  6. "I get itchy feet." I love the way you put that! *scrambles off to put that phrase in my writing notebook of awesomeness*