Friday Forum: Genres

“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.

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5 thoughts on “Friday Forum: Genres

  1. Rob Charron July 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm Reply

    Hi 🙂
    A great blog post with excellent links.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Love from Northern Ontario
    twitter.com/RKCharron
    xoxo

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen July 25, 2009 at 6:23 am Reply

      Thanks, Rob. Always nice to hear from you. Hope you and family are well.

      Take care,
      Jessica Rosen

      Like

  2. J. Koyanagi July 25, 2009 at 10:02 pm Reply

    Great post! When I first started the current WIP, I was undecided on the genre. Eventually it became abundantly clear and I applied the demands of the genre to the work. The novel is stronger because I know the general audience I’m aiming for.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen July 26, 2009 at 1:22 am Reply

      Exactly so. The more I’ve learned about genres and what’s expected in each one, the better I know my novel. What was a blurry mishmash of elements before is now, as you said, stronger.

      Take care,
      Jessica Rosen

      Like

  3. […] Friday Forum: Genres Jessica Rosen has started a new focused link love forum. Should be good. “Each week, the Friday Forum will focus on a certain subject links to do with writing and/or publishing.” […]

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