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Why Different Genres Truly Do Matter

Lately, I've been stretching my writing muscles through different genres. Sometimes the best way to learn something knew about the art of writing, is to experience. Of course, the science fiction project I worked on was no where near as well-organized as my romance, but it was so much fun.

Right now, I'm in the middle of reading a young adult series called "The Mortal Instruments" by Cassandra Clare, that is more urban fantasy than anything else. Think Supernatural meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Pure awesomeness. If you haven't seen the upcoming movie trailer, then I would encourage you to do so here:

I might be behind in the game, since the first novel came out in 2007, but I've realized two things while reading these books:

A) Ms. Clare is an exceptional romance writer,

and B) Any writer/artist who can create a whole new world and people through pure imagination or experience deserves kudos.

Here are the major fiction genres and what an author can learn from each:

  • Action and Adventure = Writing plotlines that carry throughout the book.
  • Chick Lit = Writing good characters around one person.
  • Children's and Picture Books = Writing meaningful prose in a small amount of space.
  • Commercial Fiction = Having good sentence structure, vocabulary, and pacing for easier readability.
  • Contemporary
  • Crime = Weaves suspense and plot along with the main character's views.
  • Erotica= Writing passion that sizzles on the page.
  • Family Saga = Weaving sub- and main-plots throughout the story that could lead to a series.
  • Fantasy and Dark Fantasy = Creating worlds from nothing or using real-life places as backdrops for creativity.
  • General Fiction = Writing with many genres at once to create the world that is envisioned.
  • Graphic Novels = Turning pictures into words or vice versa (except most of us do this in our heads).
  • Historical Fiction = Making your research show on every page.
  • Horror = Writing to place fear or terror into the reader, both conscious and subconscious, so they keep turning the pages.
  • Humor = Creating a more entertaining dynamic for your story.
  • Literary Fiction = Writing an adventurous plot that is well-thought out and meaningful to the reader.
  • Military and Espionage = Writing with a focus on plots with a high-level of action.
  • Multicultural and Gay/Lesbian = Writing diverse characters who overcome emotional obstacles.
  • Mystery = Weaving clues into the story that lead to a surprise ending.
  • Religious and Inspirational
  • Romance = Weaving a storyline in between two characters who must have a happy ending.
  • Science Fiction = Writing with a focus on futuristic technology and making it affect the characters around it.
  • Short Story Collections = Making a story believable and entertaining in a short number of pages.
  • Thrillers and Suspense = Weaves suspense and tension throughout the story without losing pace.
  • Western = Focusing on one element to make the whole.
  • Women's Fiction = Writing physical and sometimes emotional obstacles for characters to overcome and to unify their experiences toward the end. 
  • Young Adult = Writing from the perspective of a teenager and how they see the evolving world around them.
Sounds a bit like I've just listed the definition for each genre, right? Well the explanation is its own reward.

If you would like to leave a comment and tell me how you think writing in different genres could help a writer to grow in their craft, I would truly love to hear from you! Thank you for reading.

Happy Writing!
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