We don’t like to think of categories for our writing. We write from the heart, giving our perspective of the world and the human heart. So what’s with this pesky concept called genre? Well, allow me to tell you that you can’t ignore it. It’s a marketplace consideration you’ll be dealing with throughout your career.
Best Foot Forward
When people tell me they’re writing a novel (I don’t know why, but I am constantly the recipient of this personal information) I always ask what genre they’re writing in. To me, it’s the quickest way to a meaningful conversation. I know what books to talk about, and if the conversation veers to publication, I may know more or less about the topic. Sadly, I am often told that the writer is “not sure” what genre it is. It might be sort of a romance, or a bit of fantasy although with a cynical detective and a monster called Hades. It is a quick-paced thriller with a science fiction premise, but totally character-based. It is, I am thinking, a hopeless mishmash. I smile. What else have you read that is like the book you’re writing? The author assures me with some pride that it is like nothing else. Either that, or they just don’t know.
This, my friends, is the #1 indicator of an amateur writer (and one who is likely to remain an amateur.) It means that the writer has launched into his story without giving much thought to the world of fiction and the publishing industry. They are writing their first idea. They are writing what they know and what’s in their heart. They are writing a dead-end book. Read More…