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Dear Cathy‎

Among different categories of Novel / Stories / Books  i.e. Fiction written by Authors, Which category do you feel the Most difficult to write and which category could be the most easy to write with reasons ?.



Do you feel Great Authors / Writers should be able to write
any Fiction Book/ Novel / Story ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar


Although I suspect this might be a homework question (which we're not supposed to answer) , I'm going to answer because it might help other people too.  

I have written most of these categories at one time or another. By far the most difficult would be romance---specifically subgenre romance. This is because all subgenres other than contemporary (set in the here and now, with no other elements such as historical, suspense, paranormal, western, etc.) must be a "braided plot" where the internal conflict between the parties must flow at the same pace as the external conflicts that make the novel part of the subgenre. So in a romantic suspense, the people must realistically grow emotionally closer together to fall in love over the course of a plot where a killer hunting is them. This is a challenge to aspiring authors that takes time and practice to accomplish seamlessly.

As for whether great writers can write anything, sort of yes and sort of no. Let me tell you a little story. It was part of an interview that the horror novelist Stephen King gave years ago. I'm paraphrasing here, but the gist of the interview section went like this:

Interviewer: Why do you write about such scary stuff?

King: Because I can't not.

Interviewer: What do you mean?

King: Okay, let me give you an example. Let's say you took me, Danielle Steele, Agatha Christie and Louis L'Amour out to a desolate place. The only thing for miles around was a small pond and a large shade tree. We were instructed to write a story with three named characters, two men and a woman, with specific personalities and the pond and tree as the setting. Danielle Steele would likely write about a love triangle and the drama of the jilted husband discovering a tryst next to the pond. Agatha Christie's story would have one person dead, one detective and the guilty party being questioned. Louis L'Amour's tale would be about a poisoned water hole that was killing the cattle that the woman inherited from her aging father. And my story? Well, it would be about something ancient and evil that lives at the bottom of the pond, who has already eaten the lovers, the detective, and is about to eat the rancher. It's how my mind works. I can't not.

So, one idea...four distinct and viable stories.  Could King write the romance, or the mystery, or the western? Probably, yes. But it would be a much bigger challenge because it isn't his normal mindset.

Does that help?


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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