Monday, June 20, 2011

On Genre Blending

So, like many weekends, I spent it at a conference with writers listening to pitches. This conference, I heard more of something that I normally hear so I thought I would bring it up with you all today.

Writers, in an effort to "reach as many readers as possible" were blending genres. Now, while this, in itself, is not a problem, the issues stemmed from writers either blending too many genres or genres that really don't go together. The end result for editors and agents listening to your pitches, is that we really don't know how we would market a project with these traits.

When we talk in publishing about being able to "reach a lot of readers" we are not talking about writing about everything or in every genre, but to write with "universal themes" that everyone can relate to. When we think of many of the books in the "Canon of Literature" we can see that each of these work with universal themes. We don't have to be a teenager at a boarding school, but we "get" Holden Caufield.

I have mentioned this before here on the blog, but I want to repeat it again. Publishing is about product placement. Success or failure of your story is based on your ability to "place it" with the right people. Having a story that really has no home because it is so unique results in a project that becomes nearly impossible to sell. Sure the writing may be good. Sure the research you put into it may be great, but we have to know what to do with it.

So, today, think of where your writing fits. Pick one and stick to it.


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