All posts for the month February, 2024

Your Genre

Published February 29, 2024 by swankivy

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Ya know, there aren’t that many hard and fast rules in the writing world, but here are a couple you can take to the bank:

  1. If you’re trying to fake familiarity with your market, it will show.
  2. Writers read.

Marketing isn’t easy, and figuring out how to sell your work isn’t the same skill as writing your work. But don’t turn your nose up at becoming familiar with the actual market of what you write. If you’re out here comparing yourself to authors that are nothing like you; or you’re trying to sell romance without knowing what the agents’ and editors’ preferences on heat levels and happy endings are; or you call your work high concept, upmarket, literary, or magical realism without knowing what those things ARE just because you think they sound cool; all you’ll accomplish is showing professionals that you didn’t do your homework or disappoint readers who were misled by you just not taking the time to understand what the heck you just wrote.

There’s no shame in asking for help figuring out how to describe your stuff, but misrepresenting your genre or age category is like if you paid for tile flooring and the contractor installed linoleum and couldn’t figure out why you weren’t satisfied. As a writer, you should be one of the first people to understand that words mean things! And really understanding your genre goes far beyond just figuring out what to call it.