Sunday, April 5, 2015

DEFINING GENRE MATTERS

A hybrid or cross-genre book is a genre in fiction that blends themes and elements from two or more different genres is the definition I found in Wikipedia. This type of genre is a hot trend in the current marketplace. A caveat when writing a hybrid genre is that you need to be aware of who you’re writing for. Where in the bookstore would your target reader go in search of books like yours? In its most basic sense, genre is all about audience expectations. Genre fans turn to their books for a particular kind of escape, whether it be solving a mystery, becoming lost in another world or feeling swept up in a romance.

IDENTIFY A BASE GENRE.
First and foremost, there needs to be a base. The most popular flavors are mystery, romance, fantasy, science fiction, literary, horror, historical, thriller, comedy and drama. The first thing you need to do is decide where your story fits best. To pick your base—your focus—start by asking yourself this key question: At its core, what is the plot of your story centered on?

ADD EQUAL PARTS OF MORE THAN ONE GENRE.
Any ingredients you add to your base should enrich it, not overpower it. Remember, your story may have elements of a romance, a murder mystery and a new fantasy world, but that doesn’t mean it falls under all three genres. You have to decide: Which one is the focus?

Your book can’t be in two places at once—and knowing where it will likely end up can reinforce that critical element of understanding who you’re writing for.

PUT THE STORY FIRST.
Don’t try to force your book into any given genre—or subgenre—because it’s the hot new trend. To enhance a story, the introduced elements have to play a part in the story.  

2 comments:

  1. I love, love, love your advice on writing for writers, old and new. Always something new to think about and consider. So, if any of us become famous through our writing, does that mean we owe you a percentage for past advice? ;)

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  2. LOL! Funny, Mark!
    Well, I guess it'll depend on how successful your book is, right? ;-)

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