Some writers get frustrated by writing category stories, meaning stories that demand a precise formula. Some people even have the unmitigated nerve to criticize authors writing these stories as somehow not as talented as people who write books with fewer restrictions.
I think both types of authors possess abundant talent, but today I will focus on writers targeting the genre market.
A genuine talent genre writers must employ is writing inside the box, yet tapping their hands against the box. Write to the rules the reader expects, but offer a unique story. For instance, readers of romance novels expect, in the end, that the couple will walk into the symbolic sunset, assured they will live happily ever after. No romance novel ends up with the hero and heroine realizing they should break up and marry other people. Many a great book can end this way, but a story with this solution is not a genre romance. Writers of any genre cannot break the rules of their type and still label the story as such. Whatever you’re writing, be sure to understand where it fits in the marketplace and, therefore, how to market it.
Writing within a formula but still offering a unique story is challenging. Here are a few ideas that may help:
- Give one of your characters an unusual career that affects the story.
- Set your characters in a different, yet familiar setting. That setting can be your hometown. Your hometown won’t be exotic to you, but most of your readers won’t know about it, so they will feel that it’s new.
- Set the story so it’s affected by an unusual event.
Authors create new ways to make classic stories special every day. Have fun as you think of the best ways to appeal to your reader.
What genre story have you seen that felt fresh to you? Why?
What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
What suggestions can you share?