Writing Tips #2(Choosing the genre)

Hello, once again, beautiful souls! As discussed every week we are going to proceed with the tips on fictional writing and the sequence remains the same:
#1 – Word Count and Story Length
#2 – Choosing the genre/ Conceptualizing the story
#3 – Sequencing the Plot
#4 – Character Development
#5 – First Person/ Second Person/ Third Person Narrative
#6 – The Power of Foreshadowing

Now, you must have a pretty good idea on how long your story should be, Kudos! But what good a story is without a particular genre? Today we’ll discuss the basics of choosing a genre for your story and conceptualizing it.

Choosing the Genre

Once you sit down to start a story, you shouldn’t start with the first chapter itself. But if you do, then don’t worry. You can always use it somewhere or the other. Even I did that initially, but it makes the foundation of the story shaky.
So, now when you sit down to start a story you ask yourself—

  • What do I want my story to portray?

When you have the answer to this very question, you should think on—

  • Will my desire to portray this particular thing be satisfied by this particular genre?

These two questions are the most natural hurdles you will face when starting your own story but these are the most vital ones.

Stop complicating things and help us figure it out, Ashutosh!

Alright, the first question— What do I want my story to portray? — is the easiest, since you are the one who knows the answer. Didn’t get what I mean?
What I mean to say is, you are the creator of the story. Which makes you omnipotent to answer any question related to your creation. Including, what your story should portray.

To make it simpler, let’s assume J.K Rowling has sat down for the first time and is thinking about starting a story. She answers the first question quite easily.(Obviously, this is just an illustration.)

“Oh, What do I want my story to portray?
Hmm, Yes! I want my story to reflect friendship, some magical things, my deepest fears, and having a school where friends turn into a family will be amazing. The good conquering the evil and making my readers relate themselves to the characters are a must, too. Let’s go!”

The next thing she does is wonder what genre would help her do this exact thing.

“Ah, this will be amazing if I made it a Science Fiction story. A school controlled by robots, and a robot apocalypse which is defeated by humans by their intelligence and strategies. But wait, what about magic? Oh yes, this story could be based in future and thus science has made man able to do magic. But then what about readers relating themselves to my characters? Obviously the future won’t be completely same to our current world. Bah! This is so much to do. I’ll drop the idea.”

Well, that isn’t what she did though, since she came back to her desk and thought harder.

“Okay, if I want magic in my story then how about making it a fantasy? And if I want to make my readers relate to the characters, then why shouldn’t I make the story based on the current period. Well, to add to their amusement I’ll completely base the story on a world that runs parallel to us! Yes, I’ll make my own world and I’ll connect it to the world of humans. How amazing would that be? Let’s get started with the Fantasy that has no bounds to stop my imagination! Yay!”

And friends, that’s how Harry Potter was born.(Just an illustration.)

It applies the same to other genres, for example: If you want your story to revolve around a crime you could make it a Murder/Crime Thriller and add other attributes to it. Which means, whatever genre you choose doesn’t mean that your story has everything based only in that genre. This brings me to the next point—

Conceptualizing the story

After deciding the main genre of the story, you’ve to decide what suitable sub-genres can be added. Sub-genres are the Moon to your Earth(main genre). An example of a sub-genre is adding a little bit of Romance/Love Story in a book that comes under the genre: Horror.

The one thing you should take care about, however, is that these sub-genres don’t over shadow your main genre. When you pluck out these genres and sub-genres from your mind, a perfect idea of what your story is would start to develop. But that’s not where you actually start to write, since your story doesn’t have a plot. Well, not yet!
More about developing a plot and sequencing it would be explain in next week’s tip: Sequencing the Plot.

Stay tuned!


©The Honest Fabler

©Cover Credits – Google Images