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Johne

How To Research Your Genre To Write Better Stories

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What kind of book are you writing? That may sound like a simple question, or one you don't really need to answer. You're writing your story, creating something unique that's never been seen in this world before!
 

But this question is actually incredibly important. Knowing your genre will help you know exactly what readers want from your story so you can write a fresh and original book with all the elements they'll love.
 

In this article, Sue Weems breaks down how you can become an expert in your genre, plus how to use your genre expertise to take your writing to the next level.

(In my study of The Story Grid, this is one of the first things to nail down. When you identify your genre, you also unlock the common Obligatory Scenes and Conventions associated with the genre which can save you a lot of time. While writing my Fantasy / Noir, I learned I needed a crime in the first chapter. I opened with a shocking murder and voila, I was off to the races.
https://thewritepractice.com/genre-research/
 

Quote

 

Genre appears simple on the surface: writing with similar form or characteristics. We’re familiar with genres like mystery, romance, horror, and science fiction. But it’s more: Genre is a promise to the reader, and more specifically, it’s a series of promises.

Some writers think identifying and writing to a genre kills their Muse’s Unicorn Magic. Not so.

Think of it this way: Good writing is a lot like giving a tour. Readers buy books to take the tour. If I hire a tour guide to take me around Paris, I expect to see Paris. Not London. Not Berlin. While those are lovely places, that is not where the tour guide said we were going, and it isn’t what I paid for. There’s nothing I appreciate more than visiting a city for the second or third or twentieth time and getting a great tour from someone who surprises and delights me by showing me the city in a new way.

Good writing is like that.

 

 

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Excellent piece!! Yes, genre is very important, for sure; in my writing, I explore just about all genres. One story might fall into one category, such as sci-fi, while another might explore something like action & adventure or romance; I'm very open minded! :D

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10 hours ago, Johne said:

There’s nothing I appreciate more than visiting a city for the second or third or twentieth time and getting a great tour from someone who surprises and delights me by showing me the city in a new way.

Good writing is like that.

Good analogy. Explains the need to identify what the readers expect.

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Love the image of going on a tour. In a way that is exactly what we as writers should be doing. Taking our reader to a place they have never been to and showing them the 'sights' - it the emotional and action in the story.

As a rule of thumb most agents want the story set up by chapter 3 -which should end on a cliffhanger.  A good opening chapter that gets straight to the point of the story is also desirable. 

 

In my last work I ended up ditching 2 whole chapters when I realised it was backstory and I could jump straight into the main story with 'chapter 3' which become chapter 1.  Made a huge difference to the plot and pace.

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47 minutes ago, Shamrock said:

In my last work I ended up ditching 2 whole chapters when I realised it was backstory and I could jump straight into the main story with 'chapter 3' which become chapter 1.  Made a huge difference to the plot and pace.

 

Nice! I have some important backstory that I've moved all the way out to the third novel of the trilogy. I'm going to use it as the big, overarching character arc reveal for all three novels instead of revealing it way up front in the first novel.

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