Specificity is Your Greatest Genre Ally


No matter what genre(s) you’re writing, the specifics of your genre writing can help to determine whether your book is an instant genre masterpiece or an example of what not to do in the writing community.

Let’s break it down a bit more. You’re reading a novel involving an investigator attempting to solve a murder.  It feels gritty, realistic, like a brutal series of crimes that imply unspeakable actions. And then, out of nowhere the narrative becomes more about a corporate plot of espionage for a futuristic technology. With the right specifics within the mystery genre, it could be a great twist to add a heightened level of challenges for the hero to overcome. Without planting the right seeds, and without remaining loyal to the specifics of your genre, it could just seem like a curve that leaves the mystery genre. You have to respect the readers of the genre and allow them to go back and see where the seeds for this twist had been planted.

It goes along with all other genres. What would a lightsaber be if anyone could use one skillfully all of a sudden? It’d violate the sci-fi rules set within the genre of elite warriors. One perfect example of when the rules of a genre are broken: Medichlorians. The Force was a religion, a way of life that was adopted and learned through the teaching of a great mentor. And then, it became a biological inheritance. If you had enough of a biological organism, congratulations, you can be a jedi. It completely betrayed the parameters from being a situation where a farm boy from Tatooine could learn the ways of the Force, to becoming a bloodline. Jedi went from Buddhist-like warriors to entitled bloodlines.

Think specifics when you writer for your genre and think about what your writing will do to your readers. How will the details help to create a unique experience for the readers? Chime in with your detailed world rules in the comments section below. The conversation is always live on Twitter @ThomasAFowler. Use the hash-tag #WritersConquest. As always, kick some ass and be proud of what you do.

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