This past Sunday, my mom and I got sucked into the coverage of the Golden Globes, from the red carpet arrivals until Downton Abbey came on and I proceeded to break out the TBR pile.
While the ladies of the red carpet were mostly well-dressed, there were some complaints in our household.
Among the chiefest being that certain celebutantes always wear the same shape of gown. My argument for this is that they’ve decided on the image they want to project to the world and know that particular style suits them and that image.
Sometimes they’ll branch out, take a risk, and it works and they land on the best-dressed lists left and right. Other times they crash and burn. Most understand this risk and thus stick to one style. (Which can in the long-run work to their detriment.)
The same principles can hold true in writing. Only, we’re not looking for gowns, we’re looking for genres.
Before you’re published, agented even, you can explore. You can experiment. It’s all about finding that right fit for you. Try on the gowns you think might work on you but aren’t sure of.
For me, this gown is fantasy. I can write contemporary and traditional, but I like to stick to fantasy. That’s where I want to be published. I am comfortable in my princess ball gown that makes me feel like the only one in the room. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to try on the mermaid or trumpet gown on occasion, just to see if maybe I’ve lost enough weight or the lighting has changed enough to make them look good on me.
But then I retreat to my ball gown. That’s the image I want to craft for myself, that’s where I want to be in the genre ring. Fantasy.
The ball gown is what I’ll enter the publishing ring in. But down the line I may step out in that daring drop-waisted mermaid gown bedazzled with rhinestones and crystals.
Have you found your gown? Er, I mean genre?