My 'comfort zone' genre - both reading and writing - is a kind of blurred sci-fi/fantasy. You know the kind of thing - some interesting tech in some form of AU setting.
Terry Pratchett's Discworld is an interesting example of this. The initial impression is of a pre-tech Earth-type world where magic and myth are real - there are Wizards, Vampires and Werewolves aplenty. There are also racial tensions between Dwarves and Trolls. However, the Wizards have invented a computer called Hex - it includes a ram's skull and has a mouse living inside it (somehow, it works better with a mouse...). What begins as a fantasy story somehow manages to bleed over into sci-fi.
Tad Williams' Otherland series goes the other way. A group of megarich individuals have poured their collective wealth into developing a virtual reality computer network that will enable them to live forever. Each has created a series of virtual worlds drawn from across the range of available literary and historical sources.
So, this is where my writing tends to go. However, I also enjoy reading other genres from Tolkein to Austen to Koontz and everything in between.
The question is, how well could I write in an alternative genre? The last two Flash Fiction Friday challenges (Western and Horro) haven't really inspired me to actually write - but maybe I should be forcing myself outside the comfort zone a little more? After all, I can't be sure where my best writing lies if I never even try other things.
I'm exploring this idea for my NaSho stories - either take a single prompt and write it in as many different genres as I can come up with, or write each prompt in a different genre. The next step is probably to see how many genres I can come up with - and how many sub-genres. For example, 'horror' instantly suggests 'gothic horror', 'slasher' and 'monster'.
More on this in my next post.