Genre is Important When Writing a Novel
It is amusing
how genre is one of the defining aspects of a novel. The novel and genre are so
intrinsically linked. You cannot think of Lord of The Rings without thinking of
fantasy, the Hunger Games with young adult or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the
Galaxy without science fiction. But why is it so important to be categorised?
Is it even necessary? Wouldn’t you rather be hip and say I have a romance
infused-fantasy epic-exploration of space kind of novel? Sometimes having to
classify your novel by a single “narrow” definition can be confining or
important for a number of reasons and if you ever want to be published you need
to have an appreciation of what genre really is.
many purposes. The simplest is to quickly categorise your novel. Humans like to
organise items which may not need organising. But out of the millions of books
that exist in the world, yours will have a greater chance of sticking out but
cutting away the unrelated books. You may not like to define your book for the
sake of being pretentious but in doing so you enter the market at a
to know your book will sell and be read. The genre is critical in determining
your target audience. As much as we like categorising things we also like to
read something that is familiar. Many readers will pick up a book simply
because it is a certain genre. If you feel that no single genre can define you,
use two or three, never more. Avoid using language or tropes typical to a
genre. The success of many genre novels lie in their ability to surprise the
A Song of Fire
and Ice has been so successful due to George R R Martin’s ability to express
such detailed human emotion and experience. The characters are so real and the
fantasy adds to the colour of the world rather than confusing it. The Martian
appeals to many readers due to its comedic elements and doesn’t choke the
reader in high-order science.
contradiction lies. Choose your genre so readers can find your work but feel
free to expand beyond for wider appeal. What is important is the strength of
story. If your novel is well written, intriguing and has interesting characters
it will find success despite genre.
So don’t feel
like choosing a single genre is selling-out. What you are doing is giving your
novel the best chance to be read. After that you can do whatever you want.
In : Writing
Make a free website with Yola