1. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    How to decide on a genre and story.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Fitzroy Zeph, Nov 19, 2013.

    I have no interest in historical fiction, westerns, romantic and a few other genres. I read from and enjoy sci/fi, general fiction, thriller, horror, mystery, YA, fantasy and of these have no real preference. How did you decide on a genre to write in? As I go through the motions, I keep seeing ideas and jotting them down. Some of these have natural fits to a specific genre and others could go a few ways. For those of you with multiple ideas and interests, how do you decide on which story to write and where to place it?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure you can really decide. I write the stories that are in me. I don't really think about what genre they fit into until after they're done.
     
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  3. Tharian
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    Tharian Contributing Member

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    I think that, for a novel, there is one key thing: do not write out of prompted inspiration. More often than not, a sudden inspiration disappears as fast as it has come. You should write on something you'd read and on which you are versed; or, on which you'd be motivated enough to become well-versed.

    You could perhaps keep a journal and keep notes of your ideas. The most important thing is to keep writing. If you don't have the motivation or the inspiration for a novel, write short stories.
    After a while, when you have had that one idea in the back of your head droning around, you can start expanding solely on that idea. And that's how I decided.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think much about genre in the beginning, I just write it the way I envision it.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in my old life, when i was writing fiction, i simply wrote stories as they came to me, in whatever genre they happened to be... never had to do any 'choosing'...

    ditto for the medium... i might have been working on short stories, a novel, a one-act play, a screenplay, a musical, poetry, articles and essays, columns, advertising copy, et al., any or all at the same time...
     
  6. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    So just to hijack the thread for a second - I also write stories as they come to me, but I write in many genres, such as fantasy, science-fiction, and drama. If I wanted to establish myself as a writer and my first novel published was a fantasy, does that mean that it is mainly fantasy that people will expect from me for the rest of my life?
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Keep in mind that "genre" is nothing more than a marketing construct so that potential buyers know where to go to narrow their search for whatever it is they want. Write the story you think needs to be told and worry about where to pigeonhole it if and when it's published.
     
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  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Genre is a way for you to write according to expectations and also as Ed said it's a marketing tool.

    Sometimes the idea will give you a hint of it's genre. If it's got elves in it - it'd be a hard sell as a drama and if
    you want to write about a shark munching his way through a tourist resort it's a cinch it's a horror ( Or
    a really, really black comedy. ) Also if an idea isn't working for me in one genre maybe I'll switch to add some
    excitement. Turn my sci-fi into a horror or my horror idea into a dramatic piece.

    After I come up with the idea, I see how it goes but I'm not crazy about genre thinking. I don't go oh, I'm writing
    a fantasy. Or this will make a good horror story.
    As soon as I label it people have certain expectations and some readers can get very disappointed if I don't full-fill them.
    It's like selling a chocolatly, chocolate chip cookies and skimping on the chips. And if I decide to categorize my book
    before I write it - say as a thriller because of the subject manner, and it winds up having more humor in it than I expected,
    people looking to the label instead of the story, will be disappointed maybe even feel cheated whether or not it's any
    good. I'd just write the book first genre thinking aside and then let the publishers sort out how to sell it.
     
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  9. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    I usually decide based on elements and themes that are involved in my plots. Where I feel they will fall in the best.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it was runaway successful, possibly. But there are ways around that. That would be a nice worry to have, so I wouldn't spend too much energy on that particular issue at this point.
     
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  11. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I write what's in me. I classify my most recent novel as "general fiction" because it doesn't quite fit into one specific genre. There's elements of crime/thriller, romance, inspirational, mystery, and others all rolled into one. My next will be a war story (probably set in Vietnam) After that, I have plans for a post apocalyptic story. When one gets writer's blocked, I rotate to another. In short, genre isn't a word I necessarily worry about all that much.
     
  12. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    The premise, and my personal beliefs of the supernatural (I don't believe in an afterlife), kind of decided the genre.
     
  13. hvb
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    hvb Member

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    Thanks for that, because I can't decide which genre my story is in. I will continue with it till it is done.
     
  14. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, there are some worries that are better than others.
     
  15. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I write whatever I feel inspired to write without limiting myself to genre..., at least I try to. Sometimes, my personal habits and interests seemingly drag the premises of the story toward my usual genres of interests. Not that I mind. Just like in nature, when you try to obstruct the natural flow of things, catastrophic things can follow. Just let the idea carry itself wherever it wants to go.
     
  16. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    I write stories as they come to me regardless of genre. I have a lot of possible story ideas at any time. Since I try not to distract myself with secondary stories when I finish a main project I'll work on whichever of my secondary ideas is most developed regardless of genre or when I had the idea.
    With choosing my story ideas I try not to let them distract me from my primary project especially with ideas that I'll lose enthusiasm for. So when I get an idea for a character/conflict/setting I'll ask myself where it fits, if it works into my existing primary project or a well developed secondary project I'll write the gist of it down. If it doesn't I'll do nothing. If it's a good idea, one I'm enthusiastic about, one I can write about as a stand alone piece I'll actually have a better idea from trying to ignore it for a week than writing down everything to do with this idea for a few hours.
     
  17. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I write whatever interests me at a given time. If I feel like writing military sci-fi, I write military sci-fi, if I feel like writing hack'n'slash fantasy, that's what I'll write. I mean, why not?
     
  18. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    The theme will tell me what the story is about and the world will lead me into the genre.
     
  19. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I write several different genres and i let the idea that i want to write about dictate which genre it will fall into.
     

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