Sunday, March 29, 2009


The great thing about genre is it leads to some built-in expectations. For example, if you read a western, you expect a gunfight or two. If you read a horror novel you expect some chilling scenes and possibly some gore. In sci-fi you'll probably see some spaceships and some faster than light travel. Fantasy of course and you expect to see some sword and sorcery.
So, the great thing about picking a genre is you can fit right in. Louis Lamour, in many ways defines the western. Of course there are other giants in that genre (Zane Grey, et al). Stephen King is horror. R.A. Salvatore is fantasy. If you write like these people, then are you going to automatically succeed in the chosen genre? Maybe not. I would say probably not. The best thing in the world to do is to pick a genre and include all the formulaic pieces, but also to have something uniquely yours. What's a great example? JK Rowling. Clearly fantasy. Wizards, swords, trolls, dragons, wyverns all that jazz, but it is quite a bit different as well. And JK Rowling has birthed a whole new industry of young adult fiction.
So, find your an expert in it...and then put your uniqueness to work and watch what happens!

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