Romance Writing Tips: Are You Writing In The Right Subgenre?

By on November 27, 2017

2017 has been a tough year for many Romance writers. Sales have been challenged. Some reading buddies have been concentrating on other things (like politics). A few writing buddies are considering leaving this otherwise wonderful profession. They’re thinking about taking a break or walking away from it completely.

Before you make that decision, I hope you will ask yourself one additional question.

Am I writing in the right subgenre of romance?

When I started writing, I was told to write what I loved. I loved Regency Romances. I read all types of romances but that was my favorite subgenre at that time. I wrote a massive, absolutely awful Regency Romance. I had fun writing it. I thought it was good (at the time).

I sent it to an editor-for-hire who specialized in Historical Romances. He read it (winces) and then asked me what research I did for this story. I hadn’t done any. He asked me if I was interested in historical research. Other than the history of warfare, I’m not very interested in historical research. I certainly didn’t have an interest in gowns or food or any of those tiny yet important details.

He then asked why I was writing Historical Romance if I didn’t like a huge component of it. (He also said I didn’t have the voice for it but that’s an entire different post.)

That was the last Historical Romance I’ve ever written. It is the wrong subgenre for me. I could have forced myself to do the research and, if I had worked hard at it, I likely could have written an okay story.

But there’s no place in this crowded market for okay stories. And there’s no need to write okay stories, not if we can write wonderful stories, stories we were meant to write.

I explored a few more subgenres. Writing these stories was a blast. Some of them were published and reading buddies seemed to enjoy them.

Then I had a string of writing business disasters (almost all involved publishers). Combine that with not yet having a breakout hit and I was seriously considering writing only for me. Writers write. That is what we do. We don’t have to publish those stories, however. That’s a choice.

I wrote Releasing Rage for me. I poured all of my emotions and many of the things I loved into that story. Out of pure curiosity, I had previously talked with scientists and entrepreneurs about cyborgs, how they could be mass produced, how they could possibly have babies, etc. (Looking back, this was an obvious clue that maybe I should be writing Cyborg Romance. – grins) As I mentioned, I have a love for the history of warfare (especially strategy) and I incorporated that. I enjoy writing fight scenes and put some of those scenes into the story. There was sex, of course. I love writing sex scenes. I didn’t have any explosions in Releasing Rage but the potential was there.

Cyborg and SciFi Romance has everything I love writing in it and I don’t think it is a coincidence that this was the subgenre in which I finally found some reading buddies. There were other factors (like two of the top writers in Cyborg Romance being on a break) but being in the right subgenre definitely helped.

It also made me happier as a writer. I was writing what I loved to write, had found a place in Romanceland in which I fit. That’s magical and will likely sustain me when I go through another dry sales spell (because that WILL happen – it happens to every writer).

Before quitting or taking a break from the writing, consider looking at what you love to write, what you research for fun, what people say you write well, what you feel genuine joy writing. Are all of those components valued by reading buddies in a certain subgenre? Is that the subgenre in which you’re currently writing? If it isn’t, maybe that’s the true issue. Or maybe it isn’t but isn’t it worth at least investigating?


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Seeking Vector

A cyborg with a secret… A female seeking the truth…

Vector, the C Model captain of the Freedom, is a cyborg many warriors wish to emulate. He fights fiercely, leads with honor, has earned the respect and loyalty of his crew. But no being, not even a cyborg, is perfect. Since arriving at the Homeland, Vector has been hiding a dark truth about his past. If his secret is exposed, he could lose everything – his position, his ship, and his life.

Kasia excels at uncovering secrets. Half a lifespan ago, her curiosity placed her on the Humanoid Alliance’s kill list. Now she has accessed information the cyborg council would prefer remain hidden. Their warriors are hunting her and won’t rest until she’s dead.

When Vector arrives on her battle station, all grim determination, gray skin, and bulging muscles, Kasia knows he has been sent to kill her. That doesn’t stop her from wanting the dominant cyborg. She senses the savage nature under the male’s controlled exterior, sees the mysteries in his brilliant blue eyes, craves the roughness of his touch. She will risk all she has to experience his embrace.

Kasia braved the cyborg council’s ire for a reason. If she doesn’t convince Vector to act on the information she uncovered, the enemy could destroy his home planet and render every cyborg in the universe immobile.

Can a doubting C Model warrior learn to trust and to love before it is too late?

Seeking Vector is Book 10 in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is a STAND-ALONE story.
It is also a Cyborg SciFi Romance.

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