Why does genre matter?
Once it leaves the hands of the writer (after a long, sometimes slow process), a book becomes the
While these are all important aspects of a story’s life, many writers think
Most importantly, genre helps you, the writer, figure out what you’re trying to say.
Genre describes the arch the character experiences during the story. Meaning, the change that occurs from start to finish (and, yes, there has to be a change or you don’t have a story). Genre is the simplest way of looking at that change.
So, a mystery will start with a crime and end with the solution of that crime. It changes from injustice to justice. A love story will start out at indifference or hate and end at love or intimacy or commitment. And an action story will change from life to death (and probably back to life if it ends positively).
Basically, genre clarifies the value upon which the story turns. It helps you figure out what the change is so that your story isn’t just a jumbled mess of words where nothing happens. So, figure yours out and see what doors it opens to your writing. You may find restrictions to be freeing rather than stifling.
What genre are you writing? How has that informed your writing? Has it helped to clarify what you’re working with?