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Do you pick genre first or start with the story?


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Poll: Genre or Story first? (17 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you write with the genre in mind?

  1. I write the story first then figure out the genre (13 votes [76.47%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 76.47%

  2. The genre inspires what story I write (4 votes [23.53%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 23.53%

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#1 kdall

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 09:20 AM

Just curious...

 

Does anyone ever set out to fit into a particular genre? Maybe due to an agent's request, or you think it'll be popular?

 

Or do most writers here have an idea and then figure out what your genre is? Do you ever re-write to fit a genre better?



#2 Litgal

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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 28 May 2017 - 10:24 AM

For a first story I just began writing and then figured out where that manuscript fit. BUT BE AWARE once you sell something you will be expected (at least in the short run) to continue to produce work in a similar vein. So if you have a sci-fi fantasy manuscript and a romance manuscript before you decide which to query and pursue publication for ask yourself which do you want to write more of for the next half-dozen to dozen years. Publishers seeking to help you build a brand will not only want the same genre but in many cases similar work (eg. number of POV's or if you are say a "blood and battle" writer in historical fiction they will not suddenly want a "court intrigue" tale). If it seems narrow it is. But remember for publishers--and for writers who want to keep on writing--branding is essential. 


Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

#3 Anna L. Walls

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 02:45 PM

I did at first. At first I figured I'd be writing for young adults primarily, but then I decided, since I never really cut any slack for kids, I probably should promote to adults and let them decide if they want their kids to read my stuff.


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#4 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:52 AM

I started out to write a YA Fantasy about a year or so ago. I wrote it, but the entire time it felt off. Since, I've revised it so the MC is older, and it feels better. It feels more natural. I'm better at the Adult/New Adult genre, as it turns out! 

 

I'm finding that when the genre comes first, the story is sometimes squished into the mold. 



#5 Niambi

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:40 AM

I picked the genre first, in my case science fiction, then learned that it fit more into speculative fiction as I finished up the first draft.



#6 jaustail

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 05:56 AM

It varies. I've written short stories where I knew from beginning it would be funny.



#7 Faltho

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 09:31 AM

Usually I let the story just kinda happen organically then work my way from there. I might have an idea that something will be MG or YA, but you can never really tell till it's finished.



#8 jaustail

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 10:33 AM

I thought my book was MG until a beta reader said it's Adult. :laugh:



#9 Faltho

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 08:30 PM

I thought my book was MG until a beta reader said it's Adult. :laugh:

 

Weird, how did they determine it was adult?



#10 VonAngel

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:32 AM

For a first story I just began writing and then figured out where that manuscript fit. BUT BE AWARE once you sell something you will be expected (at least in the short run) to continue to produce work in a similar vein. So if you have a sci-fi fantasy manuscript and a romance manuscript before you decide which to query and pursue publication for ask yourself which do you want to write more of for the next half-dozen to dozen years. Publishers seeking to help you build a brand will not only want the same genre but in many cases similar work (eg. number of POV's or if you are say a "blood and battle" writer in historical fiction they will not suddenly want a "court intrigue" tale). If it seems narrow it is. But remember for publishers--and for writers who want to keep on writing--branding is essential. 

 

I can't like this advice more! This is one reason I'm so grateful my first 3 manuscripts didn't get picked up (each written for a totally different audience). I can't even imagine writing books in those genres for years to come. Good thing I realized this before beginning my 4th project. I took time off (like a year) to really think about the kind of writer I want to be, in what genre do I want to brand my name. Once that light bulb went off, I plotted my story and began to write. I wouldn't have written a word had I not already settled on a genre, and truthfully, for the first time in a very long time, I'm confident in my work because it now has direction.


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#11 DustinT

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:51 PM

Just curious...

 

Does anyone ever set out to fit into a particular genre? Maybe due to an agent's request, or you think it'll be popular?

 

Or do most writers here have an idea and then figure out what your genre is? Do you ever re-write to fit a genre better?

 

Being that I am unpublished, my writing has yet to be dictated by the specific request of an agent, etc. 

 

I have however, taken both approaches for my own benefit.  I mostly write what I want to read.  In poetry, I identify a feeling or sense that I'm hoping to invoke within myself and just start writing and mulling apart the chaos in my mind.  In my novel the writing started as just a short story from a spark of imagination. I liked what I had written, but wanted to add to the beginning. My ten pages became twenty. The twenty became forty-three.  The initial story was deleted entirely and a new monster took place.  Before I knew it, I had accidentally sunk halfway into a genre.  



#12 mwsinclair

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 01:36 PM

I've written all sorts of stories, so often it depends on deciding what story I will write next. I've been concentrating on a pair of launches coming up for other writers, so the story I was writing over the summer is kinda on hold. But that story is basically a chapter book, targeting kids my daughters' age (8/9 -- 2nd, 3rd grade).

 

But I will write genre-specific stuff at times, and at other times I just have a story I want to get out onto paper.



#13 Litgal

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:42 PM

It depends where you are in your career. My first manuscript I wrote what I was inspired to write. That hooked an agent but didn't sell. He wanted another historical so I wrote one. ONCE YOU SELL though--with rare exceptions, and generally until you are well established--you will be expected by your publisher and your fans to stick pretty close to your first published work. So if you don't want to write half-a-dozen space operas then don't query one.


Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)




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