Finding Your Niche

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Discussions, On Books, On Writing
Tags: , ,

I’m sure many of you fellow writers have started writing with a genre in mind, only to find your story moving in another direction, or that it doesn’t feel genuine. I began writing realistic teen fiction. Ellen Hopkins was inspiration for me. I devoured her whole Crank series and was begging for more. Those stories had a real, raw quality to them that I loved. However, upon trying to write my own, I found it wasn’t as easy as I’d expected. Teen fiction was a struggle for me, and while I’d managed to write a whole novel about a young girl’s struggle with drugs, her father’s murder, boys, and other issues, it didn’t feel real to me. Even while I was writing it, I could tell it was forced and strained. Not a good way to write.

After feeling like a failure with my teen novel, I’d slacked off on writing for a while. My interest was once again sparked when my Mom recommended I read On Writing: A Memoir of The Craft by none other than Stephen King. I borrowed it from the local library (However, upon thinking about it, I just now ordered it online. I got it used for $0.75 by searching for low-priced books on Direct Textbook, a site I recommend you check out if you’re looking to buy books online. It searches book selling websites for you and pulls up a list of prices so you can compare and pick the cheapest.). It is an easy read, and so easy to get lost in. I find that Stephen King’s writing voice is fluid and extremely natural. He offers tips, tricks, and so much more for the new or young writer. This book sparked my desire to once again write, and I found that writing stories similar in style and tone to Stephen King’s came much more naturally for me. I’ve actually been wanting to read this book again for quite some time now, and I’m so glad I’ve finally bought it. For the beginning writer, it has tons of insight into the industry, and was a launching point for my writing.

Back to my point though.

Until you can find your groove, your niche, your way to write, it’s an uphill struggle to get anything of meaning on paper. Say you’ve tried writing before and found it’s just not for you. Take a look at what you’ve written and how you’ve written it. Maybe you tried your hand at non-fiction, and it didn’t go so well. It could be that you’re just better suited for fiction. Or maybe you know you’re best at fiction, and you’ve done children’s books, but you just can’t seem to get into what you’re writing. Try adult fiction, or romance, or horror, or poetry even. Try something new. You may be surprised to find it’s a perfect fit.

I’ve always been interested in horror and the strange, but I hadn’t tried writing it until two years ago. As a kid, I enjoyed scary movies (so long as I didn’t have to watch them by myself!), and scary stories, and all that. It took me trying to write it to realize I not only liked it, I loved it.

So, if you want to write, but can’t seem to find your style, genre, or field of interest, try a few different ones on. Walk around in them, see how they feel. You may find what’s most comfortable is not what you’d expected.

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