Monday, January 23, 2012

The Writing Craft: What's Your Genre?

Hi all, I think I'm back, let's keep our fingers crossed.

When I first began this series I asked all of you to let me know what you struggle with or wonder about. What is your burning question about the craft of writing. I received several questions and have answered all but one. So today folks, when you leave a comment please let me know what you would like to learn about.

Genre: Riva asked how a writer decides on genre. First let us answer the question, what is genre? When I first heard the term genre I was clueless and even though I am blonde, I've never been dumb. LOL. Okay, that was sad.

Genre is simply a word chosen by someone to label the type of stories that are written. In recent years we've seen the rise of sub-genres. For example, it is no longer just a cozy mystery, it's a paranormal cozy mystery which means there is either a ghost or other invented creature in the story that is not human such as a zombie or vampire or maybe an alien.

I write fantasy, both for children and also epic. Epic fantasy, (can also be high fantasy,)  is a story that covers a long or short period of time in which the characters are generally on some kind of quest, usually thrust upon them. While there is a lot of actual historical information in my epic fantasy, it isn't a historical fantasy because I change history to fit my world, which isn't this world in any time period, but another world. My world is medieval with working modern bathrooms. Hay, a girl likes to be pampered. To learn I hope you read it.

One of Riva's comments was that she loved several types of writing. So, how do you, as an aspiring writer decide what genre to write in? I cannot answer that for you. What you should do is just write. As you write,  the story and characters will guide you. Once you discover what you love then the rest is hard work. No, writing is never easy. Coming up with the stories maybe easy for you, but writing is work. It takes discipline, education, revision, and just plain stubborn will power. Fortunately for us, it is no longer as solitary as it once was. We are all just a click away and if you have a local writing organization near you, I highly recommend that you join.

If you need further help, I offer classes, just click on the Writing Craft picture on the right hand side to read more.

Don't for get those burning or smoldering questions.

Alex J. Cavanaugh wants to know how he can add enough description the first time through.
Golden Eagle and Michael Di Gesu wanted to know about back story and information dump.  
Nas Dean wants to know about show don't tell.         
Riya wants to know how a writer decides on a genre since she reads in many different genres.

Still to come:
Mike Rushhoeft suggested a list of words to avoid. Good idea Mike.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy .. great to see you improving - and feeling well enough to post.

Keep well during 2012 and have a happier rest of the year - cheers Hilary

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Hilary, I think things are looking up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good to see you here again, Nancy!

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Alex.

Anonymous said...

Great to see you back! Wishing you a happy, healthy, new year!

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks mt.

The Golden Eagle said...

Welcome back! :)

Great advice. The story defines the genre(s); not the other way around.

Dawn Embers said...

Hi. *crosses fingers*

I always wanted to write epic fantasy, adult epic fantasy. That is what I thought I would write when I got around to writing a book at least. Never thought I would be doing romance/erotica or middle grade and a number of young adult novels. The stories that come to me and make me want to write end up being the genres I write in. ;-)

LTM said...

Hey, Nan! So glad you're on the mend! As for me, I play around with different subgenres--historical, contemporary, SF--but it always seems to come out YA. :D That's OK, I guess~ <3

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Golden.

That is the way of it Dawn. The characters often dictate the genre to us.

Hi Leigh, not everyone can write YA, so way to go.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and for all your well wishes.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Great to have you back and doing better.

I always thought I'd write cozy novels. Turns out my characters take me to fantasy.

Take care!

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Welcome back Nancy. Great post. Some of us write in several genres. I'd get bored just writing in one. It's interesting how more has been added to genres. And there's a big cross over of genres. All good.

I hope your health is really building up.


N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Mary and Denise
Yes, Multiple genres and sub-genres galore. All good when well written and I know you both do that.

Romance Reader said...

Thank you Nancy!

You explained the genres so well and all the cross genres as well.

Glad you're on the mend and welcome back to the blogging world!

Anonymous said...

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be really one thing that I feel I'd by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and very wide for me. I am looking ahead for your subsequent put up, I will try to get the hang of it!
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