How To Figure Out What Genre To Write In

Ask yourself these 3 simple questions.

Bryan Collins
4 min readAug 10, 2020


What genre should you write in? Thriller books sell a lot of copies. So does science fiction, romance and even erotic fiction books.

A few years ago, a book marketing expert told me self-published authors earn a good living writing in these genres.

I wanted to earn a good living from writing books too.

So I spent a couple of months trying to write a thriller book that I could sell. I got up early every morning to work on it. And I hated it.

The process felt a lot more like work than anything enjoyable, and I couldn’t get the story right, let alone finish it.

I felt like I’d never become an author.

1. Are you writing the truth?

Robert McKee is a screenwriting guru that film companies like Pixar call when they have problems with their scripts. He’s also the author of the popular book every writer should read: Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting.

A couple of years ago, he gave a storytelling conference in a hotel in Sligo, in the West of Ireland.

At the end of the conference, I got a chance to meet McKee. They say you should never meet your heroes, and I was a little nervous.

I thanked him for his talk and then asked, “How does a writer figure out what to write about?”

Suffice to say, I didn’t elaborate on my attempt to write lousy thrillers or erotic fiction.

He took a copy of Story from me and autographed the first page of it with this piece of advice,

“Write the truth.”

I didn’t think much about how to apply it for a couple of weeks until I started writing thrillers again.

2. What books are in your library?



Bryan Collins

USA Today Best Selling Author | Make an Impact | Get Paid to Write | |