Five Tips for Choosing the Right Genre for You

Crime, Romance, Thriller; what genre does your story fall into?

Rooting your story within a genre serves several benefits. Categorising a book by a particular genre signals to potential readers and publishers whether your story fits their reading interests or audiences. When a book has an identifiable genre, publishers can market it to the right audiences more effectively. But what happens, when you don’t know what genre to write in? Or your story tends to jump between genres?

It is important to stick to one genre throughout your story, as committing to one genre, will make it easier to get your book into the hands of readers who are likely to enjoy it the most!

So, how do you know which genre is right for you? Nicole, lists some tips to help you decide:

  • Write what you love – if you enjoy reading or watching murder mysteries, then you are likely to enjoy writing stories in that genre.
  • Read widely – sometimes what you enjoy reading isn’t what you enjoy writing. So by reading widely, you may discover a new genre.
  • Don’t choose a genre because it’s popular – writing in a currently popular genre may seem like a good idea, but what’s popular now won’t be in the future. Plus, if you don’t enjoy writing in that genre, it will show in your writing.
  • Experiment with short stories – you won’t know what you like to write until you write it, and this is where short stories can help. With a short story, you can easily write in different genres without having to committing to writing a whole novel.
  • Ask yourself questions – asking questions will help you to figure out what effect you want to have on your readers. For example, do you want to inspire, frighten or mystify?

But what comes first, choosing a particular genre or the writing? Writers who choose a genre before they begin writing their story may be more focused and have a better idea of what elements of their novel to emphasize, in order to best attract their chosen readership.

Tell Writing Times what genres of writing you enjoy writing in?

Written by Nicole Simms

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