Writing within Genres

It’s that time of the week – Tuesday Discussion.

From those who are new, each week I post a topic (relevant to my WIP) and try to unravel the mysteries and perspectives of it. Lat weeks post was How to Pursue Novel Ideas and this week is:

Genre Writing.

Writers who choose a genre before they begin writing their novel may be more focused and have a better idea of what elements of their novel to emphasize in order to best appeal to their chosen readership. However, writers who are passionate about an idea should not let themselves be hampered if they are struggling to decide which genre their work fits into.This is also a decision that can be made after the book is finished.

Genres of writing serve multiple purposes. Classifying a book by genre signals to potential readers whether your story fits their reading interests. When a book has an identifiable genre, agents, editors and publishers can also market it to the right readers more effectively.

I believe, Genre writing matters because they demand that you follow a certain structure, write in a certain style, adopt a particular persona. To succeed in writing within a genre, you have to recognize, follow, and test its conventions.

As a reader of fantasy, authors write in recognizable forms and readers  can anticipate the information you’ll be providing, the basic structure, and the point of view you will probably adopt.

When many people think of fantasy, the first thing that comes to mind is long books or series set in other worlds, and the enormous popular success in film and TV of works based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series have contributed to this perception.

Do you use the genre of your projects as a guide?


At the core, a genre is a familiar pattern, a way of organizing information that has become so common that readers will probably recognize each new instance as belonging to the genre.

While it is better to market a book to editors and agents as belonging to a single genre, in some cases, agents or editors may have their own suggestions about which genre would be the best fit for your book. However, in most cases, it is in a writer’s best interest to start with a clear idea of genre and to have a good idea of what readers will expect from that genre. This gives you the freedom to satisfy (or thwart) your readers’ genre expectations.

As a writer: If you know your genre, will that set boundaries,

restrictions and rules to follow or break?

As a reader: When you pick a book  up with a specific genre, do you

expect the rules of the genre? Or do you read with a blank canvas?


If you think someone has an interesting point of view and answer, please invite them or

share this post to them.

#DWTSmith #genrewriting

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4 thoughts on “Writing within Genres

Add yours

  1. I think defining a genre gives you a framework for literature review in the genre. This in turn lets you know info such as what has been done, cliches, etc. Genre should therefor be a very lose map.

    Liked by 1 person

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