So many times I read through the internet on writing and what people enjoy and several posts about what they hate. Of course authors think the genre we write in is the best, why won’t we? That’s why we write what we write, right? So how can we challenge the judgements against genres outside of our own?
As a fellow writer, I gravitate toward my favorite authors and genres as well. Are we able look at other genres without becoming judgmental? There is a difference between judgement and discernment. Judgement shows a declaration of something either being good or bad, right or wrong. Discernment means we have a clear idea about differing categories while being able to point out the differences between genres. It is a willingness to look at other categories as a way to expand and grow our writing without being willful to our own likings.
The reason so many genres become stereotypes is because the genre of writers has become so avid about only reading in their genre that many of the books start sounding the same, falling into the same genre traps.
Even though I have my least favorite genres, I find myself still picking up those books because they offer information and points of view my favorite genres don’t always find. Let’s look at this for a moment. Horror is a great genre that focuses on emotions and making the reader feel scared to put the book down. This is an awesome technique that other genres could benefit from. How do we build up the suspense and emotions? How do we keep the readers scared to put down the book?
Another example, the strength of romance is the emotional drive that many people have for unconditional love. Of course one of the weaknesses of romance is it has been reduced to a formula that many writers end up falling into (mostly because it increases sales) after all we all want the same thing only different.
What are strengths and weaknesses in your genre and what ways can we improve the genre’s we write in by utilizing strengths in opposing genres?
Here’s a fun exercise. Combine two genre’s that don’t quite fit together and see what stories we can come up with together. Since my examples were horror and romance let’s combine them into a story idea: An underground facility contaminated by a zombie virus has somehow become a love virus. A team is dispatched to stop an outbreak only to find that the first person they kiss they instantly fall in love with.
I want to hear your ideas now. Combine one of your favorite genres with one of your least and see if you can come up with a unique idea that could fit in both.
Don’t forget to keep writing!