A very common question I’ve seen in the writing community is beginning writers (or even some intermediate writers!) asking, “How do I find the right genre for me?”
It seems that they enjoy bouncing around between multiple genres, or just can’t find one they really really like. I’m not beating up on any writer who loves working on stories in different genres. If you love that and that’s what you’re comfortable with, then go right ahead!
However, for those who really want one main genre they can invest in, here are three pointers on how to find the right genre for you! Before we start, try to pinpoint at least a couple of the genres you currently would be interested in writing. Try to apply these three questions to each of those genres, and see which one calls to you the most. Let’s jump right in!
1: Is Your Heart in It?
Number one is possibly the most important one to start off with. Is your heart in this genre?
When you study the genre, consider stories you’ve read in the genre, and think about what you’d like to write, does your heart warm up? Do you feel excited to write that genre, or does it feel a little dull and boring to you? Really think deeply about this. If you don’t love the aspects of the genre, the tropes, the plot possibilities, the world-building possibilities, it may not be the genre for you. Now, you may fall in love with the genre after you’ve written a few stories in it, but if you’ve tried the genre and it hasn’t felt right to you, then perhaps you need to consider another one.
2: Are You Knowledgeable in It?
It’s a fact that you’re always going to be learning new things about the genre you write in. However, if you’re going to settle down into one genre, you’re going to want to be semi-knowledgeable in the basic ideas of the genre. Here are a few questions to consider:
Have you read multiple stories in the genre?
Are you familiar with the tropes, cliches, and basic story structures of the genre?
Do you know what to avoid in the genre, and what people want to see in that genre?
If you know a good amount of what goes on in the genre you’re interested in, that could be the one for you!
3: What Meaning Does it Hold to You?
If the first question isn’t the most important, this one definitely is!!
What meaning, what value, does this genre have? Why are you inspired to write this genre, and what is the motivation behind it? There’s no right answer, there could be many reasons!
As an example, one of my (many) reasons to write fantasy was creating worlds that were fictional, packed with dragons, swords, heroes, etc., but could still hold powerful messages that would hopefully transfer over into the lives of my readers. A little stereotypical, I know! But still, you get the point. To write something truly great, with true meaning that will impact those who read your work, you need to hold value in what you’re writing. You need motivation. So when you examine each genre you are interested in writing, which one holds the most value to you?
Okay, that’s all of the tips I have! I hope these are some helpful pointers as you search for the genre you want to write in! Keep these in mind, and I wish you the best of luck!
Which genre is your heart most attached to?
Do you know the basics of the genre?
Do you feel like the genre has value?
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