Footloose and Fantasy-Free


Free Fall -sig


Most of the things I write have no genre.

I can’t query an agent that I’ve written a romance or horror, fantasy or historical fiction.

It’s tough to get your work looked at by anyone when you can’t explain what it is you’ve written. I can ramble on about the story but it’s easier to have a genre to pitch. At least initially.

Do not throw rotten tomatoes at me (you’ll only ruin your screen). I’m not saying it’s easy to get published, I’m saying it’s easier if you can categorize what you’ve written.

I wish my writing fit neatly into a specific genre.

The thing is, I write what I want and it’s not always tidy. Maybe my writing will become a new genre. And they’ll name it after me. And pigs will fly, hell will freeze over, and we’ll find out the moon really is made of cheese.

Working outside of known genres is risky but has a certain kind of freedom.

The freedom to fail. Sure, sure. That. But also to free fall. Which is exhilarating.

This could end with my parachute opening…or not.

Please, no betting in the comment section.


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.



Do you write in a specific genre? Do you have writing that doesn’t fit into any genre you know of? If so, do you find it difficult to pitch your story?


64 thoughts on “Footloose and Fantasy-Free

  1. I do write per genre, however I have potentially torpedoed my chance for success by not picking a single genre and running with it (I would however love to be proved wrong). First book was women’s lit/mystery. Second book was Scifi/cyberpunk. Blog is nonfiction. A WIP is more post-apocalyptic. I write what I read and I read more than one genre.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think that’s true. I really don’t think you need to stick with one genre. So many authors write in different genres. Your books all sound awesome (and your blog is great so, IMO, you’re set).


  2. I really do just indulge and write in as many genres as I can. To me, the challenge is to vary styles and still retain my voice. That I can write a short story or a poem and people can say, maybe he did that. In all honesty, it’s all about having fun and I do love dancing outside my comfort zone. Although my second novel is done, I’m also finishing a bilingual collection whose goal is to show range. Essays, poetry, and short stories in English and Spanish. The stories in English, one about a boxer, another about cloud elves trying to get rain to the Earth, and the third, a boy who wishes upon wishes for a miracle, and he gets one. Related? Hell no. But fun? Every time 😀

    Here’s to seeing that Lemon Brentyn category come forth. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another multi-genre author. I love it. 🙂 It is a challenge to keep it real, keep your voice while varying styles. That’s awesome. I know, Mr. Joker, it’s all about having fun. But, once I’m done having fun, I want a beer in the sun. You know? No, you don’t. Because I don’t. Anyway. Glad you’re having fun. And I enjoy reading your words. So. Speaking of cloud elves boxing in a jar of wishes, don’t I owe you a collaboration? For fun? 😉

      I love the image of you dancing outside your comfort zone. That’s kind of what I’m doing right now. Which is part of the reason I can’t find a genre. But, yes, I’m having fun with it. ❤

      Lemon Brentyn… I like it!


    • That’s an impressive word count. Keep at it. As Christine mentioned, there are so many sub-genres now, I’ll bet that fits into one. (Or two.) Either way, you have many fans waiting to read whenever you publish. 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If stream of consciousness can be a genre, so can your “Sarah says it” genre. We might need a catchier title though. I enjoy your ponderings on the meaning of anything and everything. You also send a little tweak to the grey matter. Who wants to be in a genre the same as everybody else and write by their rules anyway? Make up your own. That way no one can tell you you’re wrong, cause if they do, they’ll be the ones who are wrong. Go girl. Follow your pen where it leads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do write ‘stream of consciousness’. That is just the way the words flow. Sarah says! 🙂 How about Lemon Snark? Ponderings From the Sea? I do enjoy writing by my own rules. But, in this case, I sometimes wish I could categorize my writing to make things easier.

      Thanks, Norah. 💖 I appreciate this. And I love “follow your pen where it leads”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lemon Snark!!! That’s hilarious! (I haven’t been misreading “shark” have I?)
        It is convenient to be able to apply a label to things, makes them easier to define and describe. But it also places restrictions upon them. Is that what you want? Another label? I think we need to brainstorm some ideas for a title that doesn’t restrict, but describes, somehow. I’ll start thinking about it. You never know, you may write yourself into it! As long as you enjoy, that’s all that matters. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! 🙂 No… It’s definitely the shark in these waters. You’re right. It’s a conundrum. Genre is much easier to define but does place certain restrictions. Freedom to fail, freedom to fly… Yes. Let’s brainstorm. (That’s such a fun word.) I’ll create some thunder and lightening here in the grey matter. P.S. I really am enjoying this latest work. ❤


  4. I don’t care what genre you write in, Sarah, I’ll still read it! You’ve got an amazing ‘voice’ and your personal style is sheer joy to read: it’s quirky, it’s you, it challenges me to think, it’s funny… I could keep going. Please don’t stop writing. Agent or no agent. After all, there’s always a self-publishing option, and your loyal readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You sweet, lovely lady. ❤ I'm not even sure what to say. And that is saying something. You know, for me. Because I ramble. I mean I tend to. And with the stream of consciousness writing… I truly appreciate this, Gulara. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I write in multiple genres. My short stories are Gothic horror, and I have one series that are pulp or weird Westerns, and the one is horror dark fantasy. I envy authors who can say “I’m a sci fi author”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Is this a riddle? 😉

      You never know. In another life you may have fancied mysteries or westerns. But, yah, you definitely have the dystopian genre working for you. (Also a couple other genres?) Plus, if you can say you write YA, an agent can say whether or not he or she reps YA. Then you’re set. Or searching. Still. It’s nice.


  6. The downside of any classification system is that they are often to benefit the powerful (I’m being footloose and fancy free with my thoughts here, not sure what genre to fit my comment into, but I’m starting off thinking about psychiatry, against which creative writing doesn’t seem quite so bad) who like things neat and tidy and struggle to acknowledge that not everything will fit.
    I agree, easier to get published if you know what you’ve written and much easier to know what you’ve written once you’ve published it and gauged people’s responses – Catch-22, as much of life is – but I didn’t know I had written a political novel until recently. Better stop now or my comment will be as long as your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m trying to wrap my brain around this footloose and fancy free comment with the creative psychiatry focus on the fact that things aren’t always going to neatly fit. *wipes brow* “easier to get published if you know what you’ve written and much easier to know what you’ve written once you’ve published it and gauged people’s responses…” Yes. That certainly is a Catch-22.

      Okay, so how did you pitch Sugar and Snails? What genre were you thinking it was at the time? (And I missed the memo of it being a political novel. O_o Unless that’s not the one you’re talking about…)


  7. 10 says she shorts it!

    Oh, sorry, no betting. 🙂

    I do feel like genre fiction is so popular these days that the initial pitch (and maybe sale) is aided by finding an editor/agent who works in your genre. If you don’t have a genre, you have to find another way to hook their interest.

    Always thought-provoking posts here — thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Twenty.

      Oh, wait. Is this the part where we exchange money or is this the part where I’m anxiously awaiting disaster and say, “No bet”? 😉

      Genre fiction. Yes. That. And, yes, also, to the initial pitch being helped by finding an agent who works in your genre. I guess I’ll be working on another way to hook interest. Unless my fiction morphs into something that I can later fit into a genre. Which is possible. Thanks. ❤


  8. I write fantasy pretty much all the time. I mean, I’m a squirrel…

    Trying to constrain myself to this reality is too hard, and I don’t like it when writing shifts from passion to obligation to stick to something in particular. My sub-genre might change depending on what I’m writing. Derek is epic and dark. Cera is comedy and whatever she darn well pleases.

    I think it’s fun not being held to rules. Revel in the freedom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The comment ate my sly looking faces!!! Curse you, WordPress! *shakes furry fist at sky* Oooh, look! A nut! *darts off*

      PS, since I know you edit comments, this is what I was trying to do:

      If it doesn’t work this time, feel free to delete both the above and the previous comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, your sub-genre changes but you still write fantasy. I mean, all your books fall under the fantasy genre, no? Speaking of Cera… When do I get to read more of her adventures? 🙂

      Okay, I will try to revel in the freedom (while I wonder how I will ever publish anything).


  9. I know I’m late to the comments, but I’ll echo everyone else – write whatever you feel, don’t worry about genre 🙂
    My books all have a fantasy element but they’re tough to fit into specific genres. But that’s how the stories came to me. I imagine it’s the same for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mmm, yes, I can sympathize with this. Not that I write a ton that I submit, but what I do write is kind of all over the place. And I’m not sure that I’m particularly *good* at any one form. So there’s that. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This question has nothing do with today’s topic…but… How are you able to write such pithy posts in 200 words or less?

    About lit genres: I find the thought of all the genres and subgenres a little overwhelming when it comes to my writing. I’m a whiz (or so I think) at categorizing others’ pieces, but not my own. Hmm…a good topic to ponder on this rainy Thursday afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know! The Thought Bubbles started out as a challenge for myself and morphed into this huge “thing” that’s completely taken over. It’s like a 50s sci-fi film. “The Blob That Took Over the Blog”

      Yeah, there are so many genres and sub-genres now it really is overwhelming. (But, also, another reason I find it strange I can’t place my writing into one of them.) If you’re such a whiz at placing others’ writing… You know what I’m going to say now, don’t you? I mean, you have to know. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oops – I should have said I *think* I’m a whiz at categorizing others’ writing, but since you asked, I keep wanting to classify your blog as a branch of Literary Criticism. I say this because it seems you often analyze and discuss goals & themes of blogging. Also, I bet you’re a genius at deconstruction.

        As for your phrase “The Blob That Took Over the Blog”, it’s brilliant! Wish I’d thought of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Whoa! Head rush. That is awesome. I love it! A branch of Literary Criticism. So completely cool. And genius? Well, I don’t know about that. *emails everyone I know* But deconstruction is kind of fun. Analyzing stuff… Am I the only nerd in the house?! “Nerds Unite! Woohoo!” No? Anyone?

        But my fiction writing… That’s what I’m wondering about. What the heck is it? No idea. I think it might be speculative or experimental…


  12. I know what you’re saying. Although I’ve never had anything published, I always write whatever I want – I’ve never tried to fit into a specific genre. But lots of writers seem to choose a genre they like, then study it a bit and learn the conventions, THEN start to write. I’m not sure I could do that but there are a lot of talented writers who do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I write whatever comes to mind (literally). Hee. That was fun.

      Agreed, I’m not sure I could write to a specific genre as in researching it and then trying to fit my writing into it. I guess a lot of authors do that, though. And, hey, it works for them so… Although, since you’ve brought it up, I did write a post about pulp fiction and am trying to write some pulp now so apparently I do. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I definitely fit into the genre of memoir so I don’t have a problem for myself. I can see your problem though and speculative might be your best fit. In reality it doesn’t matter apart from where on the bookshelf the bookshop is going to put your books in order to sell them. Mine will probably not be put in a memoir section but rather in travel or true adventure. So even when you have a genre others can decided otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Love this Sarah. I think many writers in this new era have been faced with having to create a cross breed of genre. I think I’m in that boat too lol. I write all my books in memoir/self-help/nonfiction. Try narrowing those down, lol. 🙂 We are the new breed.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I enjoy your eclectic mix of topics. I, too, write about many different things. I prefer it that way. There are topics within my overall life stories that I’d like to turn into books. Currently, I’m busy like you, living life and recognizing fodder for essays, stories, blogs all around. Too much to remember if I don’t speak it into my phone notes asap. I like writing whatever strikes my fancy. If boxed in, my joy turns into work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I use my notes all the time, too. (I used to “write” whole posts/essays/flash in notes and email it to myself but that backfired and is another story.) But, yes, so many ideas and too much to remember especially if you write whatever you like whenever you like. Which, apparently, we both do. 🙂 Joy!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Reading & Writing in Specific Genres #IWSG | Lemon Shark

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