Choosing a genre to write can be the easiest thing in the world. Sometimes the genre will choose you. Other times, it’s really tricky.
Many authors write the book, and decide afterwards if it will fit into a specific genre. If it doesn’t, it might fit the criteria of literary fiction.
“Literary fiction is a term used in the book-trade to distinguish novels that are regarded as having literary merit, from most commercial or “genre” fiction. However, the boundaries are not fixed, and the serious study of genre fiction has developed within academia in recent decades.” Wikipedia
The first question should be, ‘what do you like to read?’ If you’ve never read a horror story, maybe that’s not the genre for you. On the other hand, your favourite genre to read does not necessarily coincide with the one you will write best.
I love reading romance, and I confess that a bit of romance often creeps into my crime thrillers; but my first love (in literature) was crime, and I find that writing suspense comes quite naturally to me.
Cross-genre fiction is also becoming popular. After all, not everyone likes being tied to a set of rules. This can be limiting when it comes to the time for publishing, as you may come across some roadblocks, but I believe it’s important to write the story you want to write. IF it’s good enough, it will get published, although you may need to explore less traditional routes of publishing (I’m a huge advocate for good independent publishers – my books are published by Darkstroke – I might be biased, but I think they’re brilliant!)
You can find their submission guidelines at: www.darkstroke.com
Exploring different genres is also reasonable. Lots of great authors have written crime and romance, or crime and fantasy – sometimes using different pen-names, other times under the same name.
Popular genres include romance, crime, thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, dystopian, historical and chick-lit, but this is not an exhaustive list.
Whatever you choose to write, enjoy it!