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How to write fiction | genres

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There are a lot of different genres to choose from when you’re writing fiction. You should always have your readers in mind, regardless of what you’re writing. There is always a demand for books for children and you might think it’s easy to write for children, but keeping it simple can be quite hard. Children can be impatient and won’t like long drawn out descriptions, but they also have vivid imaginations and so just need enough information to see the same imaginary world as you do. The young adult genre is very similar, but far more sophisticated.

There are many genres related to crime, murder mysteries, thrillers and to a certain extent adventures. You can combine genres and write a children’s story that is also an adventure. I combined adventure and comedy because I think readers will respond to comedy well. I did choose a difficult genre and had to write not only about amusing events, but also write it in an amusing way. Irony can be amusing and an ironic twist at the end of any work of fiction can be a good way to end it. The guy who wins the lottery, in a twist of fate just as he thinks he has lost everything, will amuse the reader and they will want to identify with the character.

Helping the reader identify with one of the characters is important for them to become part of the story. The protagonist could be James Bond and the men will associate with that character and maybe the women with the Bond girls in his life. These characters are given quite powerful personalities and roles within the story. Your readers will like some characters and dislike others. They will empathise with the bad guys, if you paint them as a victim of circumstance, rather than a villain. You have a powerful way of manipulating what your readers believe and you can lead them down a path. You should give them all the information they need to imagine what’s going on. You might want suspense, but don’t be too mysterious. Many murder mysteries tend to lead the reader down the wrong path throughout the novel only for some ridiculous confession at the end by someone who wasn’t even a suspect. The reader groans when they have been led to the wrong conclusion. You might have a twist at the end, but if the reader doesn’t think, ‘Oh yes, I should have known’; the twist at the end doesn’t work.

I think it was Somerset Maughan who said, “There were only three rules for writing a novel, unfortunately no one knows what they are.” We have to make it readable and so good construction is important; but there is no blueprint for a good story.

The most important thing about writing fiction or anything else is to get lots of practice. I write a blog everyday, this is the second one today and I write other things too. The practice helps me in the search for something great, I’m not even sure I will know when I find it. It’s like writing a funny line, when you come to editing, you find it amusing; it’s a pearl amongst all the words. When I write something really great, I think I’ll know it. In the meantime, I’m not arrogant enough to think I write anything, except rubbish; but it’s what I do.

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4 Responses

  1. I’ll right away grab your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me realize in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.
    download recently posted..1My Profile

    June 7, 2012 at 06:34

    • Hi,

      There is a subscription box in the sidebar on the right. Enter your email address there and you get a email every time a new blog is posted. You can also click the box under the comment box. ‘notify me of new posts by email’

      June 7, 2012 at 08:48

  2. Frances Kennett

    I’d like to keep up with the blogs about writing. I have written and published 30 books but not in recent years, and I miss it. I hope to get started again!

    July 8, 2012 at 19:04

    • Hi Frances,

      There is a box to enter your email address in the side bar on the right of the screen to subscribe. Then you get an email every time a new blog is published. I haven’t had a book published yet, but many of my friends self publish theirs. I was told they are more interested in well known writers, but I am better known now! I have readers in 50 countries on this blog and 80 countries on my WordPress blog. I intend to work on this for a while, but I want to write a novella at some time, they seem popular now, people have less time and want a shorter faster paced story; especially for eBook readers like the Kindle.

      Thanks for visiting and I hope you’ll become a subscriber.

      July 8, 2012 at 20:05

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