What I Read vs. What I Write

There is something of a discrepancy between what I read vs. what I write.  This never fails to surprise me on some level.  I always thought the stories that would be the easiest would be the ones that are of a similar genre to what I read.  Not so!

I actually read quite a bit of British literature.  I'm particularly fond of 19th century British literature (maybe +/- a decade on either side).  This isn't to say that I don't read other things.  That's just generally what I lean toward when I'm browsing for a new book.

So when I really started writing with publication in mind, I just kind of assumed that I would probably end up creating a whole bunch of Regency romance novellas or something.  I even tried starting one but then I got stuck.  I will resurrect it eventually but I just hate forcing plots that aren't ready to be written yet.

Which brings us to what I actually really enjoy writing right now: science fiction and fantasy short stories with strange twists to them.  Now, I love reading stories with strange twists.  But they occupy a very small percentage of what I actually do read on a regular basis.  Same thing goes for sci-fi and fantasy.  I watch a lot of movies that fall in those two genres but don't actually ready it very much of it.

Going back to my attempt at writing a Regency romance, I found it to be surprisingly difficult.  Maybe just because my standards were set high?  Or I was locked up from trying to be historically accurate?  Maybe deep down I'm really just more geek than romantic?

Has anyone else noticed this with their writing?  Do you mostly write in the genre that you read?


  1. Not at all. I like to read SF/F, and I like to write it. Which is not to say that I don't read other genres; I read a few. I also write in another genre, nonfiction about Kansas history.

    Maybe your passion to read romance didn't translate into a passion to write it. Could also be that you weren't finding your voice in romance. You went to another genre, SF/F, and found it there. I have heard of authors that started in one genre, found they were better at aspects that were more important in another genre, and transitioned over.

    It's a cliche, but it's true: every writer is different.

  2. There's always truth in cliche!

    It's just interested to me. I love reading like Jane Austen/Charlotte Bronte esque books but every time I try to write "sophisticated romance" it comes to a painful, screeching halt lol.

    Ah well, write what you love.

  3. Yes. I read a lot of science fiction in my youth and so assumed I could write science fiction. I could not. My first attempt at a novel was science fiction and that disaster sits in a filing cabinet somewhere and will never see the light of day. I have more recently written two short stories, one has a Philip K. Dick feel to it and the other a Twilight Zone feel to it. They are contained in 3 Very Quirky Tales.

  4. I do seriously wonder if I'm just bogged down from having too many other stories running though my head. Like, I'm terrified of just rewriting what's already been written or something.

  5. I always assumed I would write SF, because that was the bulk of what I read when I was younger. But while I have written SF and fantasy, I have actually found more success with historical fiction and even romance.

    So I agree, what we like to read and what we write need not necessarily be the same thing.


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