“What genre do you write?” I’ve been asked that often lately. I see it as the writer’s equivalent to the coed’s “What’s your major?”
At times, I envy those who have a simple answer to this question of genres. Maybe I just need some Adderall, but I’m writing a novel that morphs from fantasy to thriller and romance as well. The years of expecting everyone to write strict genre fiction seem to be behind us.
And yet I’ve heard established writers I respect say to choose a genre and stick with it. What to do? I go back to the statement that you have to write something to be able to edit it. The story is what matters. If you have a good story, everything falls into place from there.
At least, that’s what our heroine is telling herself, dear Reader. Follow at your own peril.
In my research about genres, I’ve learned some important things. Knowing which genres you’re writing can help you stay true to your story. It can help to strengthen your voice and give you direction. It can determine what type of conflict you need in a given scene.
Wikipedia has a good article about Genre Fiction. It also has a handy list of genres and the generally accepted qualities that define each one. Take a look, see which one describes your book best.
Understanding Genres in Adult Fiction is an article that states: Understanding genres enables a writer to focus his work in a certain direction. It claims that all stories, even those that seem to cross genres, can be identified as one specific one. It makes a good case for it, too.
Penguin.com’s USA blog has a post titled Cross Genre Writing by Karen Chance. Loved this article, it was fun to read as well as informative. It includes a funny conversation between a Romance Fan and a Fantasy Fan over a well-known book. Don’t miss this one.
Even cross genre writing has certain requirements. Make sure you’re hitting both the high and the low notes required so that you can make your novel a solid composition.