By Glen C. Strathy
Most aspiring writers begin with the writing genres they most love to read, which is a sound strategy (an example of "write what you know"). However, we all have a tendency to ignore certain genres, either because they weren't taught in school or simply because we were too busy reading our favourites.
Yet, exploring genres you haven't tried before can lead to
pleasant surprises. You may, for instance find yourself gaining new respect for a genre you previously overlooked, or even falling in love with it. You may decide to expand your writing to include other genres. And sometimes you may even have a life-changing creative breakthrough. For example, a person may have spent a frustrating few years trying to write literary fiction, only to discover their true calling and talent lies in writing steamy romance, children's chapter books, or crime thrillers.
At the very least, familiarizing yourself with other genres, and reading at least a few shining examples of each genre, can expand your understanding of storytelling techniques. You may find that importing elements from other writing genres into your current work-in-progress breathes new life into it. It can help you put a new twist on the genre you are currently working in.
Writing a cross-genre or genre blend story can also expand the potential readership of your novel by attracting different types of readers. Cross genre stories are quite popular today, and the number of possible combinations of genres is nearly infinite.
Of course, it takes time to become familiar with the conventions of multiple genres, and the expectations of different readerships. But the articles below are intended to give you a starting point -- to suggest about which genres you might like to explore first.
The basic rules of mystery writing.
How to structure a mystery novel.
How to create emotional depth in a mystery.
To some, genre fiction is distinct from literary or mainstream, as if the latter are not genres in themselves.
Is literary fiction a genre or a non-genre? The basics of what literary readers expect.
When determining what genre a book belongs in, there are seven main criteria -- some of which are a lot more useful than others.
Definitions of the major genres and subgenres of fiction, organized by reader experience.
Have specific questions about a genre you want to write? Here you can get answers.
|search engine by freefind|
Proud to be one of the...
"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards
"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus
"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.
"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman
"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of
knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I
truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me
successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins
"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash
"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero