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Sometimes I feel like if I hear the word “genre” one more time, my head will explode. I know it’s a legitimate word about a legitimate thing, but it’s so frustrating sometimes to try to figure out where my book fits. I’ve worked on my latest book for many months. During that time, I’ve tried my best to figure out what genre to put it in. Because, you know, you HAVE to. It has to go somewhere. So, is it… Horror? Paranormal? Paranormal romance? Thriller? Murder mystery? Supernatural thriller? Ack! I really hope my beta readers will be able to help me with this, because this is the first time I’ve never had a clue.

So now we segue into pen names and new directions…which also involves genre. I can’t get away from this word! Anyway, almost two years ago, I started what I was going to call a Christian Romance. And I was going to write this book under my real name instead of my pen name. I wanted something I could actually let my church friends read. I abandoned that idea after only writing about 15% of it because I was afraid it would take time away from my Lauralynn Elliott books. Today, I was thinking about a couple of things. First, I wonder if I should abandon the idea of writing Christian Romance and write “Sweet Romance”. I think there might be a bigger readership if that’s how I market it. I could get the Christian romance readers because they know there won’t be graphic sex in it, but also maybe get readers that don’t necessarily want to read books with the word Christian in them. I would have to rework a little bit in this book so it won’t sound so “judgy” in places. The second issue is the fact that it could push back publication of my other books. I’ve never been able to write two books at the same time. But I know others that do it, so it CAN be done. If I set aside certain times or certain days for each of the books, maybe I could pull it off. And it might be helpful if I’m stuck on one to be able to work on the other.

So what do you all think? How do you feel about genres? Have you ever had problems figuring out where your books fit? Do you write in different genres? Do you use more than one pen name?

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I’m posting this knowing that I may be the only person who even reads it.  So far, I’ve had no comments, so the people who know about this blog either are not reading or are just lurking.

Back to the topic.  A lot of authors, including a good friend of mine, believe in outlines.  They meticulously write out every thought, and organize the story line, character, etc.  Most wouldn’t even think about starting a novel without the outline.  I’m just a little bit different.  I start with a general idea, and the story flows from there.  This makes writing a little more exciting, because I have no idea what’s going to happen next.  I have a pretty good idea what the ending is going to be like, but not exactly.  What seems to happen is that my characters take on a life of their own.  Instead of telling them what to do, they are doing what they want to do.  Sometimes they surprise me.  If any writers are out there reading this, let me know how you write.  Outline…or not.  What are the pros and cons of each?

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