Bella Vida by Letty

Ready, Set, Write! What’s Your Genre?

Horror Genre

It’s officially National Novel Writing Month and in addition I’m also participating in the South Florida Social Media 30 day blog challenge.  Now that’s a whole lot of writing.  I will do my best to write every single day.  Some days it will be blog posts in addition to the novel I’m reworking.  I’m a very slow writer and a novel is a huge project so I like to prepare as much as possible.  In preparation for diving back in I spent the week reading about story structure .

One exercise I found helpful was thinking about the genre of the story I’m trying to tell.  Readers have certain expectations.  For example horror genre readers will expect to be terrified at some point while in the Fantasy genre expectations are that something magical or supernatural will happen.  My story is a combination of both.  The main character has supernatural abilities and there are tons of monsters and magical creatures running around causing lots of trouble terrifying the heck out of people.

What is genre?

Genre is a classification characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

Wikipedia has a crazy long list of genres you can check out HERE.  I counted sixteen subcategories under the Fantasy Genre alone: contemporary, urban, dark, fables, fairy tales, epic, high fantasy, heroic, legend, magical, mythic, sword, planet, science, etc.  Some subcategories of the Horror genre: ghost stories, monster, werewolf, vampire, occult, slasher, survival, etc.  Reading the list is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

How to figure out your genre.

One way to figure out your genre is to find other stories similar to yours.  Clicking around on the Barnes & Noble website  made me realize they didn’t have a Fantasy section, they have a Science Fiction combined with Fantasy section.  After some more clicking it seems my story would fit under their Dark Fantasy section.  There are some really cool authors there like Anne Rice, Ray Bradbury, Clive Barker, etc.  You can do the same either online or in a real world book store.  Knowing your genre will help you figure out who your audience is and what that reader is expecting from your story.

Tell me about what you’re writing today.

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“Don’t classify me, read me. I’m a writer, not a genre.”  Carlos Fuentes

“I am self-educated from genre books.”  Charlaine Harris

“Dismissing fantasy writing because some of it is bad is exactly like saying I’m not reading Jane Eyre because it is a romance and I know romance is crap.” China Miéville

“All fiction is a process of imagining: whatever you write, in whatever genre or medium, your task is to make things up convincingly and interestingly and new.”  Neil Gaiman

“Good writing is good writing. In many ways, it’s the audience and their expectations that define a genre. A reader of literary fiction expects the writing to illuminate the human condition, some aspect of our world and our role in it. A reader of genre fiction likes that, too, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the story.” Rosemary Clement-Moore

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