Genre - A-Z Challenge, Starting & Sustaining A Writing Career

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A genre is a specific type or category of music, film, or writing.This is further broken down into sub-categories. To get an idea of the number of genres that books fit into, click here and here.

The vast majority of writers know what they want to write or at least have an idea of the kind of material they are suited to writing. With a lot of research, and dedication to learning new things, a writer eventually find the niche that best suits each him/her.

A band-wagon approach is not advisable unless you're a lightning-fast writer who can ride every popular wave. Even then, churning out books to meet a particular demand isn't smart and doesn't work for everyone.

My best advice is to write what you love. Even if you never hit a best-seller list, people who read your words will be able to tell you put your all into the story. For some of us (myself included) who write in different genres/sub-genres, this choice may be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you look at things.

The choice of venturing into one or several genres is left to our talent and discretion. Writing different kinds of stories has stretched my abilities, prevents me from becoming bored and gives readers a variety of material. Come to think of it, not a lot of writers these days stick to one genre. Self-publishing has given many of us the option of trying something new alongside our regular offerings.


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

12 comments:

  1. Choosing a genre that suits your writing style is an important first step by any other, I would imagine. I find there are particular genres in music, books, and movies I tend to gravitate toward but it doesn't mean I am not prone to switch like the changing wind to something new. Like you said, if it's something the writer loves than he/she will do it well and someone like me might take a nibble and get hooked.

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  2. You're right that people can tell when you are writing something you don't truly love.

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  3. I always write the weird stuff, keeping you on your toes and the tricky twist in the end. My works are a little too choppy for some, short stuff is too quick... though I do like what I write, makes me feel good... I will make my mark years after I am gone... lol.

    Welcome in the letter "G"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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  4. There's so many genres that everyone can find something they'd love to write/read. :)

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  5. There's so many genres that everyone can find something they'd love to write/read. :)

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  6. When I start writing a story, I don't usually worry too much about the genre. I save that for later when I have to edit and eventually for publication.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  7. I agree. The problem is if it doesn't fit on the shelf where there's a neatly printed tag (Mystery, Women's Fiction etc) retailers have a problem of where to put it! I think we're finally heading away from that idea, but it's slow in coming.

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  8. I agree completely. Small presses are more likely to take on mixed genres than the big publishers but all of them like you to be able to label your book even if it fits into numerous niches.

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  9. Rosemary is very wise. Genres are wide and vast.

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  10. There are so many genres and new ones are popping up all the time. I agree with write what you love. I love dark fiction. That allowed me to write in many different genres but with a dark element to it. For example, my novel is dark fantasy.

    TD Harvey
    A to Z participant
    http://www.tdharveyauthor.com

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