My Top Ten Tuesday topic this week (Why I Love to Read Sci-Fi and Horror) got me thinking if it really was more difficult to write in one fiction genre than in others?. My gut instinct is to say yes, and that science fiction is probably the hardest of the lot to write in. Now, my partner’s take on it is that historical fiction is probably the hardest because you have to write within the limits of what’s been established as historical fact, yet spin an entertaining yarn around it. Though, let’s be clear, here. Regardless of where I’ve ranked the genres on this list, anyone who can put together a coherent story has my admiration. So, here’s my list in order of hardest to easiest.
Science Fiction | Historical Fiction
Middle Grade Children’s Books
I respect anyone who can put together a decent tale, regardless of where the genre falls on my list. However, it just seems like some genres have to be more challenging. Just think of the difference between writing a hard sci-fi novel (where you’re required to be knowledgeable and to extrapolate potential futuristic technology based on past or current gadgets, gizmos, and schools of thought) and… Twilight.
Middle Grade Children’s Books made the list because, good lord, that seems like it would be a succeed wildly or fail horribly field. Kids at that age are so unpredictable and fickle. Getting the novel the right length, making sure your characters appeal to kids who have just above the attention span of a gnat, and especially hooking them for a series? More power to you if you can do it!
Epic fantasy I placed solid middle because while it might be hard to construct the world, it seems like everything is pretty established. A quest. Weapons. Mentor-dude. etc. Yes, yes, I know you could make that type argument for a lot of genres, but it is what it is.
So, dear readers, what do you think is the hardest fiction genre to write in? Did I leave out an obvious one? Are you offended because you can prove that epic fantasy or thrillers are the hardest to write in? (Mind you, I’m not saying published – just write in.) Now’s your chance to take the floor and prove me wrong. What’s the hardest fiction genre to write in?
Talk to me!
In my opinion mystery is the hardest but I haven’t tried to write a middle grade book yet. LOL
Mystery does have a lot of balancing involved, doesn’t it? I hate it when I read a mystery and it’s soo bloody obvious.
nodding. I scrapped the mystery I wrote last year because it just didn’t work.
I think authors are naturally drawn toward one genre or another. Writing in that natural genre is going to be easy, and trying to write in anything else will be difficult. I try to write monstery steampunk adventures, but they keep coming out as humorous. Some people say that comedy is the hardest thing to write, but nothing else ever comes out of me.
That is a VERY good point about the natural genre thing. Thanks for chiming in with it!
I vote for literary fiction as the hardest (although I realize it isn’t on the list!).
That’s precisely why it wasn’t on the list *grin* I knew someone was going to say it!
I agree with historical fiction being hard because you have to be careful to include some facts and not make everything up, but for me, the rest really depend on what you like to write. For example, I would write a Middle Grade book much more easily than a Romance, because I understand more of what appeals to kids than how to make a relationship work on paper or how to describe it without being totally ridiculous, you know? But I guess there are bigger pitfalls on Middle Grade books than on others. It’s a good thing to think about! Love this topic.
Thanks for your input! One of my other commenters said basically the same thing – the ‘natural genre’ for you. It does make a lot of sense. I don’t get how people write romance novels at all, but that’s primarily because my eyes cross and I go all 7 year old boy “EWWWwww” half the time hahaa! My romances have to hit just the right note, or it’s eye-roll and toss time.
Right?! It’s a fine line between “aaaww” and “eeeww” hahah
I’ve found I tend to prefer my romance with a comedy angle to it. Probably why I love Dara Joy’s stuff.
Oh, good to know! I’ll check out that author.
Historical fiction certainly has its challenges, and it also depends on how fast and loose you want to play it. Take historical fantasy fiction. Wilhelm Meinhold did a great job with “The Amber Witch,” but his later “Sidonia the Sorceress” blew up trying to reconcile the actual history with any sort of plot. That same problem hit Tim Powers on “The Stress of Her Regard;” the sequel, “Hide Me Among the Graves,” having a tighter timeline, was much more successful.