How Top Authors (and Busy Writers) Find the Right Genre to Encourage Writing

Find the Right Genre

On the first Wednesday of the month, Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) asked, “What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?” I know what doesn’t work for me, and I’ll show you how I learned to find the right genre.

Find the Right Genre before You Write

Remember that sluggish feeling of writing a school paper for which you had zero interest?

That’s a minor challenge for a brief essay. But when you work on a full-length book for months, unless you have a burning passion for a topic, you’ll likely get bored with the writing project and set it aside.

Like top-selling authors, find the right genre and get your writing blood pumping!

4 Tips to Find the Right Genre

As a reader, I get excited reading mysteries and thrillers. In contrast, the fantasy genre would be the worst one for me to tackle because it doesn’t give me the same emotional boost.

Use these tips to find the right genre for your writing project.

  1. List the genres you read frequently.

    Scan your bookshelf and Amazon history for genre patterns (e.g., thrillers, crime, mystery, science fiction, and more).

  2. Identify which genres you read more frequently than others.

    Readers gravitate toward books that feed the emotions they crave (e.g., thrillers evoke excitement, mysteries give an intellectual puzzle to solve).

  3. Research the bestselling books in the genre you love.

    Use Amazon to explore the genre you read most frequently and read the reviews of books like the novel you want to write.

  4. Research your selected genre.

    Dig deep into your chosen genre, extracting the details you’ll need to give readers what they want.

    For example, determine how your chosen genre drives audience expectations (e.g., check out this post Genre: The Secret to Writing Page-turning Fiction).


Using these tips you can:

  1. Find the right genre before you write.
  2. Write in the genre that gives you an emotional boost.
  3. Stay motivated by focusing on your passion.

Leave a Reply

What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

Visit the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Take a moment and checkout Alex Cavanaugh’s popular Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to sign up and take part in the monthly blog challenge. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up for the monthly 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.

10 responses to “How Top Authors (and Busy Writers) Find the Right Genre to Encourage Writing”

  1. Michelle Wallace (@mishy1727) Avatar

    I have no interest in writing sci-fi and fantasy.
    However, I have read a bit of both genres over the years. I’m amazed at the intricate worlds that these writers develop.

    ~September IWSG co-host

    1. Grant at Tame Your Book! Avatar
      Grant at Tame Your Book!

      Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! I appreciate your efforts to co-host this month’s IWSG question.

  2. Jacqui Murray Avatar

    Great approach to this question. It’s a tough one to answer and you provided guidance!

    1. Grant at Tame Your Book! Avatar
      Grant at Tame Your Book!

      It was a challenge at first to understand the different genres. Then figuring out which one would sustain me through the creative process of writing a full-length novel. The best tool I’ve found to research genres is Publisher Rocket. It gives writers amazing insights useful before, during, and after writing, including the marketing phase. Here’s my review of Publisher Rocket.

      1. Jacqui Murray Avatar

        “sustain me through the creative process”–well said. Historical fiction does that for me. Not so much thrillers.

  3. joylenebutler Avatar

    Excellent tools to consider, Grant. I like the idea of leaving yourself open for change. I once said I’d never write a children’s book, and now I’m considering it. Who knew! Happy IWSG day.

  4. Priscilla Bettis Avatar

    I’m definitely not interested in romance. (Erotica, maybe.) I just don’t enjoy reading traditional romance books. But horror and mystery and lit fiction, sure!

    1. Grant at Tame Your Book! Avatar
      Grant at Tame Your Book!

      Puzzles top my list. Thanks, Priscilla!

  5. Stuart Danker Avatar

    I’m an SFF guy through and through, both reading and writing, but I do sometimes wonder if I should broaden my horizons. Have been looking for good romance novels to try lately, but most of them have left me wanting. Maybe I shouldn’t force things, hey?

    1. Grant at Tame Your Book! Avatar
      Grant at Tame Your Book!

      I enjoy romance, but mostly as a subplot to a mystery or thriller. Thanks for stopping by, Stuart!

%d bloggers like this: