27 Feb

Non-writers might assume we are struck with an epiphany one dark and stormy night and just KNOW what type of writing is for us. That’s so cute. The fact is, writers often don’t find their writing genre immediately. Even multi-published writers change genres for many reasons, some of which are career-driven, the need for new challenges, or by a publisher’s request.

I won’t speak for the published authors, but I can share my writing genesis. Natasha Tate wrote a guest blog and also referred to her writing development in

A writer’s journey does not stop at fiction. Poetry comes in many formats. It’s not all rhyming couplets. Starting with the “A’s,” there is the Acrostic. Pick a subject and make it the title of your poem.  Write this title in a vertical row downward.  Then write the lines of your poem, starting with the letters you have written.  Each line can be a word, a phrase, or a sentence.


When the creative flow

Rolls off the pen,

It seems impossibly slow

To ever find the end.


That was a quick one I made up, but you get the picture. Other forms of poetry include cinquain, free form, haiku (my personal favorite. I love the depth in simplicity), limerick, and sonnet. Rapping is poetry, although more some of us would disagree.

Genre fiction includes action-adventure, crime, detective, fantasy, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, western, young adult, children’s, and inspirational. Within each of these, there are sub-genres. For example, mysteries have too many to list, but some are cozy, woman in peril, procedural, noir, and caper, to name a few.

How do you know if your initial passion is actually your strength? Just write it. Try it on. Live in it a bit. I won’t tell you any of it will come easy. Easy is not a word we use in this profession.

But how will you know if you don’t try? In romance, I’ve written historical, category, paranormal, and single title. Each story brought new skills and insight into my strengths (and weaknesses) as a writer. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, that’s not exactly true. With insight came the painful realization of not quite getting it down on paper the way I wanted.

I’m writing a single title with a partner now and it’s a warm, extended family story with romance, humor, and friendship. The first of a planned series of books. I’m having the time of my life. Is it my niche? I have no idea. But, I’m learning and growing.

What is your RIGHT-ING? Where has your writing road traveled? Where is it going? Did you find your place in writing with the first book you wrote? I’d love to hear about your journey.


Posted by on February 27, 2012 in poetry, writing


Tags: , , ,

16 responses to “RIGHT-ing

  1. Liz Fredericks

    February 27, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    Janis – this is very useful! First, cuz I agree with you on Haiku, but second . . . . I don’t have a handle on genre. I read voraciously and the things I like best are difficult to type, yet genre casting seems to drive everything in this profession. I think I’m writing a political thriller now, but it might be women’s fiction with romantic elements, it’s definitely women in peril (e.g., the focus of the terrorist plot) . . . who knows? For now, I’m looking forward to settling in with your book.

  2. Janis McCurry

    February 27, 2012 at 7:42 AM

    Thanks, Liz.

    It was Lao-tzu who said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

  3. Meredith Conner

    February 27, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    First – I love your off the cuff poem. Just great. As for my writing – my first was a suspense, and after that I settled into paranormal. However, I have at least two women’s fiction books as well as a YA that are tucked away inside my brain, just waiting to be let loose.

  4. Janis McCurry

    February 27, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    So much to write, so little time! Thanks, Meredith, and good luck on your future books.

  5. florence fois

    February 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Janis, I have been doing some serious research on acrostics to use in a stand alone romantic suspense where the clue to the murderer is hidden in coded messages left by the victim. Of course, you’ve read Edgar Allen Poe’s acrostic poem?

    Okay, I love the muse, listen to all manner of music, wrote poetry at one time, and “play” with style, voice and characters. It’s what I love. That has translated into multi-genre. How I will handle this might be with two names, different publishers, indie and traditional … who knows? There are eight cords with infinite possibilities, so why limit ourselves?

  6. Janis McCurry

    February 27, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    True enough. “Infinite possibilities” for all. I haven’t read Poe’s acrostic, but I’ll check it out.

    Thanks, Florence.

  7. Peggy Staggs

    February 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    The more I stretch the better I get. Exploring different techniques, areas, and genres is the only way to grow. I’ve been to all kinds of conferences, workshops and groups and they’ve all had an influence on my writing. I’ve read books that have been life changing and some that have been really-they-published-this quality, but they’ve all had an impact. I keep stretching and growing. Now if a publisher would just take notice.

  8. Janis McCurry

    February 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Amen to that!

  9. Lynn Mapp

    February 28, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Janis, Janis, Janis. Writing is a diffiuclt road to travel. I recall the times people have joined the writing organization I am a member. One woman said she wanted to be a writer. She thought she’d start with romance because it was simple.
    What’s easy about writing?
    It doesn’t matter what the subject is. It takes work.
    Those are my thoughts.

  10. Janis McCurry

    February 29, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    True enough.

  11. Marsha R. West

    February 29, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Interesting post, Janis. I’m so not into poetry, though I have a haiku my mother wrote sitting on a shelf as a nice reminder of her.
    I like the positive spin you put on our growth as writers. We learn something new every day–even from those sometimes awful contest results. Maybe it’s all right not to know everything at the beginning. (Heaven knows I knew nothing about craft when I wrote my first book. I’m a little amazed in retrospect I had the gumption to begin.) Thanks goodness for all the conferences, on line classes, and critique partners to push my growth.
    Double Amen to Peggy’s comment about a publisher,Janis. Okay, back to pulling out those overused words in book 5! Though playing on blogs is so much more fun. 🙂

    • Janis McCurry

      March 1, 2012 at 8:05 AM

      “overused words.” LOL. Good luck, Marsha!

  12. Mary Vine

    February 29, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    What a good thought to broaden our horizons as for as writing goes. Who knows what creative effort we’ll end up liking the best. Won’t know without trying (I’m talking to myself here). Thanks once again.

  13. Janis McCurry

    March 1, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Yay. Get on that poetry!

  14. Clarissa Southwick

    March 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    I’m still looking for my place, but I know it’s not poetry 🙂 Thanks for another great blog.

    • Janis McCurry

      March 3, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      LOL. Yes, I’m still searching as well. We’ll find it.


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