How To Pick Out Your Genre? Everything You Need to Consider

girl in library

Choosing the right genre for your book is an immensely important decision that holds the power to shape your writing journey. It has the potential to influence not only the creative process itself but also how your work is perceived and embraced by readers, ultimately playing a significant role in determining its triumph in the ever-evolving market.

This guide will walk you through the steps to identify the genre that best fits your writing style and interests, helping you to make an informed choice.”

Pick Out Your Genre infographic

Assess Your Interests and Strengths

girl thinking

Your passion for your subject matter is crucial. Writing in a genre you enjoy reading can offer a wealth of intuitive understanding and enthusiasm to your project.

Questions to Consider

  • What Do You Enjoy Reading?

Your preferences can guide your genre choice. Identifying what captivates you in a story—be it complex characters, thrilling plots, or detailed world-building—can steer you towards a genre that resonates with your tastes.

This alignment can enhance your writing, as your familiarity with the genre increases your ability to avoid clichés and innovate within the genre’s boundaries.

  •  What Stories Do You Enjoy Telling? 

Reflect on the themes and narratives that excite you. Whether it’s tales of heroism, deep psychological explorations, or intricate political dramas, the stories that you find yourself drawn to again and again will be the ones you write with the most passion and authenticity. This natural gravitation towards certain themes will help solidify your voice within a specific genre.

  • What Is Your Writing Style? 

Some genres might be a better fit for your natural style. If your writing is fast-paced and dialogue-heavy, thrillers or young adult novels might be the best fit. Conversely, if you have a descriptive, lyrical style, you might excel in literary fiction or epic fantasy.

Understanding and embracing your stylistic strengths can make your writing more effective and engaging. Evaluating your interests and strengths can lead you to a genre that feels natural and exciting to write about.

Research Market Trends, It’s a Must

podcasting

While passion is important, awareness of the market can’t be overlooked. Researching current trends can help you understand what readers are enjoying and what publishers are seeking.

Read widely in your chosen field. Stay updated with popular titles and emerging authors. This not only helps you understand what is currently successful but also allows you to spot gaps in the market where your book could fit. Reading widely can also expose you to different writing styles and techniques that might inspire your own work.

Follow industry news. Websites, podcasts, and blogs about publishing can keep you informed about what’s in demand. These resources can also provide valuable insights into the business side of publishing, like changes in reader demographics, which can influence your marketing strategies and writing focus.

Engage with the community. Online forums and local book clubs can provide insight into what readers are currently enjoying. Direct interaction with readers can reveal immediate and honest feedback on various genres, helping you gauge potential interest in your themes or approach. These communities often highlight underrepresented voices or innovative trends before they reach mainstream popularity.

Balancing your interests with market trends can increase the likelihood of your book’s success.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment with Different Genres

If you’re unsure about which genre suits you best, try writing short stories or scenes in various genres. This experimentation can be a revealing and enjoyable way to discover your niche. What are the benefits of experimentation?

  • Flexibility: Allows you to explore without committing to a full-length novel. This can relieve pressure, making the creative process more enjoyable and less constrained. By experimenting with various genres, you can also adapt quickly to changing market trends, keeping your writing relevant and vibrant.
  • Feedback: Shorter pieces can be shared for feedback to gauge reader interest and response. This immediate feedback can be crucial in refining your style and understanding what resonates with audiences. It also provides a platform for testing different narrative techniques and structural ideas without the commitment of a longer manuscript.
  • Skill development: Helps develop versatility in your writing skills. Tackling different genres can challenge you to develop new skills and broaden your narrative techniques, which can enhance your overall writing ability. This versatility can be invaluable, especially in a competitive market where adaptability can set you apart from other writers.

Experimentation can spark creativity and lead you to your ideal genre.

Consider Cross-Genre Potential

Many successful books blend elements from multiple genres, creating unique and compelling narratives. Consider whether your story could benefit from combining these.

How to Mix Genres?

person writing in notebook

Identify Compatible Elements

Look for themes or characters that could naturally bridge two genres. For instance, a romantic subplot can enrich a high-stakes fantasy plot or sci-fi elements can add depth to a political thriller. Finding these connections can create a richer, more complex story that appeals to fans of both genres.

Maintain Balance

Ensure no genre overshadows another, keeping the narrative cohesive. This balance is crucial to avoid confusing the reader or diluting the strength of your story. Effective integration of genres should feel seamless, enhancing the story’s appeal without overwhelming the reader with too many conflicting elements.

Be Mindful of Audience Expectations

Each genre’s audience has different expectations, which must be honored to keep them engaged. When blending genres, it’s essential to understand and respect these expectations so as not to alienate fans.

For example, fantasy readers might expect world-building and epic stakes, while mystery fans look for suspense and logical resolutions. Exploring cross-genre possibilities can broaden your audience and enrich your storytelling.

In summary

It’s worth noting that your genre selection not only shapes your approach to the project at hand but also has a profound impact on how your work will be received by readers. The genre you choose becomes a lens through which your story is perceived, a gateway that invites readers into your world. So, choose wisely!