Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Case for Eclectic

Recently, a FaceBook group I belong to, Chick Lit Goddesses, asked us to use one word to describe our writing style. There were wonderful answers: “quirky”, “snappy”, “clean” (!), “sassy”, “true”, and so on.

I didn’t know what to write.

So, I “walked away” from the FB question and did other stuff. Meanwhile, the question of what one word describes my writing kept percolating in my brain. I just had to wait for it to be brewed.

I went back later and typed in my word, hit the return, and sent it out to my group trepiditiously (Is that a word??? Who cares. I am a neologist.).

My word? “Eclectic”. I even got one Like from someone.

So why eclectic? Though that does help explain why I couldn’t think of a word--I write in so many styles the tone and impact I want to create changes with the genre.

Some writing critique group partners have urged me to not write in so many genres. If I stuck with one, they argue, I might be able to get really good with it instead of being only okay in a half dozen. I kinda do get it, but the stories bang at my head, demanding to be written and written in a specific way.

So I write historical fiction, comedic plays, short stories, culinary mysteries, erotica, paranormal romcom, and women’s fiction. Eclectic, yes?

The good news about eclectic is you may never get proficient in one genre, but you for sure never get bored or writer’s block. There’s always another piece waiting if one story line won’t play nicely.

So do I write “Romance”, well, yeah. But I don’t know that I set out to do it. The story dictates how much relationship stuff is included. It’s a secondary story line in Mission Impastable, my culinary mystery, but in Streetwalker (erotica) and Lucinda, historical fiction, the romance/sex/love predominate.

How do you describe YOUR writing style or the style of your favorite novelist? Leave a comment below and let’s chat about it.


  1. I loved this! I think that everyone has certain TYPES of writing. I've often thought about writing mysteries since it seems that it's all I watch, but when I came to actually write it, that was another story. I give credit to those who can AND do write different genres.

    Great post!

  2. Thanks so much, Isabella. The Chick Lit Goddesses have given me some great new contacts and ideas to ponder. I'm glad you liked this post. I try different genres in part just so I can stretch myself and learn more about the whole field. Aren't we the lucky ones to have such opportunities?