You Like What You Like

Earlier today, some writer friends and I were discussing the genres we work with and whether or not we’d ever consider writing in other genres.

My brain works well with science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

It has learned to like mysteries and historical fiction. I haven’t written any of them yet. Maybe I will one of these days!

It still sputters and then shuts down completely when I try to write any sort of romance, though.

I wish it didn’t. I occasionally enjoy reading them. Every time I try to outline one, my characters end up doing everything other than falling in love with each other. They might be gay, or asexual, or not at all interested in their would-be soulmate, or way more interested in finding out just who or what is making that rattling noise in the other room than in doing romantic things.

You like what you like. And what I like is the paranormal and that tingling sensation one gets from being scared by things that can’t actually hurt anyone.

I wonder how much this is influenced by childhood? As a preacher’s kid who grew up in churches that encouraged this sort of thing, I heard a lot of spooky stories from other Christians about spiritual warfare, demons they’d encountered, and prophetic dreams they’d had.

An extended family member gave me the Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings books when I was a kid. I read all of them over and over again. I read a lot of secular science fiction, fantasy, and horror as well growing up. The themes in them reminded me of what I heard in church about what it meant to be a good Christian. The language changed, of course, but it was all about quests, finding allies, saving people, and keeping your eye on the longterm goal of bringing the One Ring to Mordor and/or making it into Heaven.

We were discouraged from reading romance novels. I read a few for the novelty of it, of course, but I always returned to the genres that I’d settled into very early in life.

How about you? How strict are you when it comes to the genres of fiction that you do (or do NOT) like? Have your tastes changed over time?

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0 Responses to You Like What You Like

  1. I’m curious about those stories on spiritual warfare and demons. Were they taken as a sort of allegorical exaggeration of a simpler story, or were they usually thought to be true?

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