Friday, September 11, 2015

Learning Technique In Other Genres

First of all, let me say that I am a big advocate for reading what you write. Your own individual genres have specific nuances that other genres don't have. More importantly, reading in your own genre will keep you apprised of unique trends that are occurring in the business. You can really see this when you are reading the new authors showing up daily. But, with that said, it is good, every now and then, to read outside of your genre.

This will actually be tough for a lot of authors. You like the genre you write and the odds are, you love that same genre when you read it. But, picking up a book outside of that genre, will provide new techniques and approaches you hadn't seen in the past.

One of my authors is currently working on a romantic suspense project. Her editor suggested using a common trope that we normally see in other genre. For my author, that trope is not something she was clear on. Sure, she knew about it, but, that type of character was completely foreign to her. The solution was simple. She picked up a couple of books from some other lines that used that concept. In this case, instead of getting the new authors, I sent her in the direction of some established authors who are able to use that technique naturally in the story.

Seeing that particular style gave her a new direction that she can take her character. There were traits and attitudes she hadn't even considered that would work perfectly for this new project.

Now, when you are reading outside of your genre, you are not looking to necessarily like the new genre (although it is OK if you do). This is really a diagnostic study of the genre. You start to pay attention to patterns in characterization, when character traits are revealed, and even things as small as sentence structure. This is tough to do at first since we often pick up books just for pleasure. But, if you can figure this out, a whole new world can open for you when it comes to your own writing.

Have a great weekend.

1 comment:

  1. I hope this isn't too "huge" of a question, but what exactly is a trope? I checked the dictionary and the internet. Still don't get it other than it is figurative language. But is it referring to the author's voice, a character's description, the way a character speaks or ???
    Thanks for any info. Kate M